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Major World's Fairs, 1851-2017

The three largest international events held on Earth are the Olympics, the World Cup, and world's fairs. Unlike the Olympics and the World Cup, however, world's fairs are focused on the visitor and not elite athletes. Anyone can be a part of of a world's fair. Since their inception in London in 1851, over one billion people have visited a world's fair. Known in most of the world as "expos," the largest held so far was Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China.

Since 1851, there have been many events held throughout the world using the names "world's fair," "international exposition," "universal exposition," "world expo," and just "expo." By the 1920's the proliferation of these events lead to the formation of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), and international treaty organization, to help control the quality and frequency of the events. With the notable exception of the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, all of these events since World War II have been held under the sanction or recognition of the BIE. Our site highlights the major world's fairs held throughout the world, but attempts to have a more comprehensive list in our various timelines.
Expo 2015 Italy Pavilion 2017 Astana 2020 Dubai
Next Four World's Fairs: 2017 to 2025

Where's the Fair?

The next world's fair, Expo 2017 will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan. Given the interest in the upcoming Expo 2017, ExpoMuseum.com has created a sister site, AstanaWorldsFair.com. Expo 2017 will be a specialized exposition, the smaller-sized version of the event, somewhat akin to hosting a Winter Olympics.

In 2013, the member nations of the BIE selected Dubai, United Arab Emirates as the host for Expo 2020. This event is expected to attract 25 million visitors in its 6-month run.

Three cities on three continents are bidding for the 2022-2023 slot: Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lodz, Poland; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Four cities are bidding to host Expo 2025: Baku, Azerbaijan; Ekaterinburg, Russia; Osaka, Japan; and Paris, France. More information about the bids and the bidding process can be found at ExpoBids.com.

Join the Conversation

ExpoMuseum has partnered with WorldsFairCommunity.org to discuss world's fairs... past, present, and future. I invite you to join the dialogue or ask a question. It now has nearly 800 members with a wide breadth of world's fair knowledge, interest, and experience. Click the "Discussion Group" tab at left to visit the site.

Urso (signature)
Urso Chappell
19 June 2017

P.S., Feel free to email me at: Urso@ExpoMuseum.com.
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The World's Fair Community

ExpoMuseum's sister site, WorldsFairCommunity.org, maintains several discussion groups about world's fairs, past and future.

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