— Yeosu’s being a 3-month regional expo, all 100+ participants including the USA occupy tenant spaces within one International Pavilion rather than raise their own structures.
— The USA Pavilion is being developed within a 12,000 square foot space that will be mostly devoted to public areas but also include a VIP hospitality room.
— Exhibits will focus on US coastal areas, with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and stewardship.
On 13 October, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton officially announced that the United States will participate in the next World Expo, in South Korea: Yeosu Expo 2012. The announcement, made during a state luncheon at the US Department of State in honor of Republic of Korea President Lee Myung-bak, formalized the USA pavilion planning and development process that has been underway for several months. (See original news story here.)
USA Pavilion Chief Spokesperson is Philippe Cousteau Jr who is also President of EarthEcho International; pavilion CEO Andrew Snowhite is advisor to EarthEcho International and Cousteau’s business partner at Azure Worldwide LLC, a strategic environmental design and development firm. COO of the pavilion is Mark Germyn; Executive Producer is Robert L Ward and The Hettema Group is exhibit designer. Fundraising is administered by the US Department of State with support by Norm Elder on the pavilion team side.
Having been COO of the USA Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010, Mark Germyn has on-the-ground experience both relevant and recent. His international background includes top management roles at Legoland California and Warner Bros parks in Germany and Australia, as well as operations roles with pavilions at AmeriFlora 92 and Vancouver Expo 86. Norm Elder is a leader in strategic marketing and brand development whose credits include raising corporate sponsors for major Disney parks and for the USA Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010. The Hettema Group is a top design and master planning firm in themed entertainment and has received both awards and accolades recently as creator of “Beyond All Boundaries,” a 4D multimedia educational experience for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Prior to founding his own company, Phil Hettema was SVP of attraction development for Universal Recreation.
The situation for the Yeosu expo is somewhat different. Korea is a major trade and political partner to the USA; however Yeosu itself, on the southernmost tip of the country several hours’ drive from Seoul, is remote and the interests for corporations to back the pavilion are less obvious than they were with China and Shanghai. Yeosu’s being a 3-month regional expo, all 100+ participants including the USA occupy tenant spaces within one International Pavilion rather than raise their own structures. But even the modest USA Pavilion target budgetof $10 million to $13 million is elusive. “We have minimum threshold funding at this point,” said Ward. “The clock is running and we are working diligently to finalize a concept that can roll within the funding we do have and deliver a memorable and inspiring story.”
— Theme: The Living Oceans and Coast
— Expected attendance: 8 million to 10 million, mostly from within Korea
— Venue: New Port area in Yeosu, Korea
— Dates: May 12 – August 12, 2012
— Site: Area: 1.74 million ㎡ (Includes exhibition area of 250,000 ㎡ and auxiliary facilities) The site overlooks Hallyeosudo Marine National Park and Odong Island, and is surrounded by 317 islets.
— Website: http://eng.expo2012.kr/main.html
— USA Pavilion website: http://www.pavilion2012.org/
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