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Photo Credit: AIPH

‘Making the unimaginable happen’

The virtual AIPH International Horticultural Expo Conference on 16 March attracted over 140delegates online from over 50 countries worldwide, eager to listen to future International Horticultural Expos’ progress reports.

There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the progress of these enormous events, but through adversity came stories of strong leadership, agile planning and the overwhelming spirit of resilience.

International Horticultural Expos showcase beauty and creativity, with a magnificent Expo park attracting many international participants, who build their pavilions lasting up to six months and captivating the imagination of many millions of visitors domestically and internationally. Although Covid-19 is here for the long haul, these open-air events are looking positively to the future. Every International Horticultural Expo is carefully regulated, steered, and monitored by AIPH, and the period from now until 2027 includes ten AIPH-approved expos.

Photo Credit: AIPH

The conference, on the Hopin platform, began with a progress presentation from Floriade Expo 2022 Almere. There is just one year to go until the opening. “The landscaping and planting in Almere continue, while the real estate and infrastructure near completion”, reports Chief Operating Officer for the Expo, Mr Sven Stimac. He speaks of the positive response from more than 40 countries confirming diplomatic participation in the 2022 event and more than 50 partnerships from the horticulture sector. Everything is continuing to plan, with a healthy and sensitive focus on Covid-19 prevention measures for the event in the Netherlands. Interest from people is increasing, as Mr Stimac reports more participation online in the Floriade Knowledge Programmes webinars than were initially planned for the physical seminars.

Considering the time it takes to prepare a high-quality A1 International Horticultural Exhibition and the difficulties in continuing preparations during the pandemic last year, it was agreed that Expo Doha Qatar moved from 2021 to 2023. In the progress report given by Mr Mohammed Ali Alkhoori, Secretary-General of the Expo, he showed that the timeline’s shift has not put a dent in its ambitious event and legacy plans for the 179-day event theme Green Desert Better Environment.

The plans for the World Horticultural Exhibition Yokahama 2027 are “blossoming” in their early stages. Mr Soga Koji, Director-General of Kamiseya Development and World Horticulture Exhibition, and his team are working in partnership with the government to develop a master plan for the event. The venue area is nearly 100 hectares of landscape and takes inspiration from satoyama’s cultivation philosophy – derived from the Japanese words for the village (sato) and mountain (yama). The central theme is Scenery of the Future for Happiness, with four sub-themes aiming to generate new values based on horticulture and to pass on a growing legacy.

Euroflora has had to postpone the 12th Edition in Genoa from 23 April to 8 May 2022. The organisers are planning a one-day event in September 2021 dedicated to the promotion of worldwide horticulture.

The AIPH Expo Conference presented an excellent opportunity to learn more about hosting or being involved with these major international events. AIPH is very grateful to Gold Sponsors for the conference – IGMPR and PERA Event, and our event and media partners.