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Turkey: Horticultural Expo gets advice from Expo 2015 Milan

Extensive market research is key to the success of an expo and high visitor footfall.
The former General Manager of Expo 2015 Milan, Pietro Galli, shared his wealth of experience with delegates at the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) International Horticultural Expo Conference at Expo 2016 Antalya in Turkey on 28 September.

Expo Milan welcomed 21.5 million visitors over its six-month duration and 30% of these were from outside Italy. 140 countries participated around the theme of food. Delegates at the AIPH conference, hosted by Expo 2016 Antalya, were able to learn from the experience of Milan as they prepare to organise or participate in future International Horticultural Exhibitions. Getting people to visit is the most important aspect to any Expo and Milan addressed this through extensive market research before the event. They questioned 25,000 people and defined clear market segments that would be used to direct their future marketing and ticket sales. Only 20% of tickets were sold at the gate and 55% were ‘pre-paid’ having been purchased by re-sellers, according to Mr. Galli.

Other key discussions included lessons in the organisation of Expo 2016 Antalya and overcoming the challenges facing the Turkish tourism industry, and how to ensure good quality international participation at an expo and the need to demonstrate a return on investment to participants.

Delegates heard progress reports from the Tangshan International Horticultural Exposition currently running in China as well as future expos.

Commenting on the conference AIPH President, Bernard Oosterom said, “AIPH believes that International Horticultural Exhibitions are a great way to share with your country and the whole world the importance of plants. We see ourselves as ‘the world’s champion for the power of plants’ and we want every person who visits one of our approved expos to be inspired, informed and invigorated by plants. Households have the opportunity to learn how to use plants in their lives and cities have a place to come to discuss and develop new ways for using the green landscape better for their own citizens and for the environment.”

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