Expo 2012, Yeosu, South Korea
Final report on Grenada’s Booth at Yeosu Expo 2012. The sky of Yeosu was lit up with spectacular fireworks at 9:20 p. m. on Sunday as the city celebrated the end of 93-day Yeosu Expo 2012, which kicked off on May 12.
Hundreds of spectators, participants and performers joined hands and danced in circles to mark the successful wrapping up of the event.The closing ceremony, which began at 7:30 p. m. , was attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, who both commended the hosts for doing a sterling job on the Expo.
Yeosu Expo 2012 held under the theme “The Living Ocean and Coast” reached its target of attracting 8 million visitors. 104 countries participated in the expo and each country, including Grenada aimed to highlight workable solutions for achieving sustainable development and co-existence with the living ocean as seen through its underwater sculpture park display.Grenada’s Participation in Expo 2012 Reflecting the importance of its relationship with the ocean, Grenada presented its theme through a visually impressive booth, informative exhibits, and friendly interaction. The general public was introduced to the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park, Nutmeg, Carnival, the yachting sector and Grenada as a tourist and business trading destination. The Grenadian Booth was very well received by the general public, VIPs, and business participants, and was one of the most popular at Expo 2012.
Participanting countries were equally complimentary about the success of our booth and appreciative of its role in furthering the work in ocean conservation. Our presence at Expo 2012 was an excellent platform to promote links between Grenada and Korea through trade, investment, people-to-people and tourism contacts. 2,223,131 visitors toured Grenada’s booth. In addition 65, VIP delegations, including 2 heads of state/government, 11 ministers, and senior officials and business delegations from abroad visited the booth.The Grenadian booth clearly demonstrated its worth in terms of the visitor numbers, confirming a strong interest in our country by the general public.
The key to the success of the booth was the innovative and iconic underwater sculpture marine park display which drew many people and reactions to the piece. This made Grenada’s booth stand out from other participating countries in the Atlantic west pavilion by creating a conversation as to the purpose of the park. Thus, visitors were able to get a well-rounded and insightful view not only of the sculpture but of Grenada as a whole.Grenada also participated in CARICOM’s Regional Day on July 30th.
Six countries; Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis and Suriname, participated in the days events. Minister Glynis Roberts represented Grenada and the Secretary General of CARICOM, Mr. La Roche delivered the address on behalf of CARICOM.
Products Another important aspect to Grenada’s booth was the Nutmeg and Nutmeg products. Many inquiries and request for information were made especially for De La Grenade products and Noelville’s Nutmed Spray and Cream.Many were given direct information on manufacturers and others information were written down whilst many left their business cards. Several visitors also requested information on the importation and distribution of nutmeg.
The Nutmeg was prominently displayed in the glass cases available and all nutmeg bi products placed therein. It attracted large crowds who were given demonstrations on how to open, grate, it uses and other relevant information. Many have heard about it but never seen it and only know of it as the most expensive spice. RecommendationsGrenada’s booth was well traversed by thousands of visitors during its 3 month participation in the 2012 Expo. Keen interest was shown in Grenada as a travel /tourism destination and its products.
Its charm and beauty captivated audiences who were introduced to images and information about Grenada. However, the theme could have been better presented in terms of the description given along with the photos. An important piece as the underwater sculpture should have clearly stated the purpose more than anything else. People who read it still had lots of question as to “why” was it done.
Each piece should have had an inviting title. Instead of just “Vicissitude” the display could have read “From Despair to Hope” or “Ocean conservation through artificial coral reef”. The BIE was looking forward most to how each country “developed” the theme of the expo and although it was a masterpiece, the theme was not quite well explained as to how we were dealing with conservation of the ocean. During the judging period, each BIE member spent no more than two minutes at the booths.
Also, each booth operator should have had business cards by which they could be contacted.Many visitors have requested our contact information and it had to be written on scraps of paper. Visitors also had to write information on paper for us; even some were lost due the busy day to day operations from the booth. When a laptop was available, immediate responses went out to any queries. Those who requested information on De la Grenade product were handed out cards that were provided from Ms. La Grenade.
One other slight hindrance was the slow response to information requested from Grenada. Albeit the difference in time. Feedback on important information was necessary for a smoother flowing operation.A thorough checklist should have been done for the required items needed for booth operators If Grenada is to participate at another expo, our Ministry should bring in the perspective booth operators earlier to assist with preparations including theme development and checklist for required activities.
Foreign Affairs should contact any diplomat representing Grenada in the Country in which the expo is to be held. Honorary Consul Lee was very disappointed that no one contacted him. He had to find out from the organizing committee if Grenada was represented at the Expo and contacted us directly.Before our Commissioner of section left an appointment was made to meet with Consul Lee. During the “meeting” at the MVL Hotel, he expressed his disappointment concerning the situation and informed Mr.
Charles and myself that he was not there on official government business since he was not informed of our participation through the right channels; but wanted to meet with us to talk about the expo and Grenada. Conclusion I worked well with the number of visitors to the booth and offered our “Grenadian warmth and welcoming smiles” to all. Questions were answered and relative information shared on manufacturers, tourism and Grenada.We shared our countries rich heritage, cultural diversity and openness for doing business with the Korea and the rest of the world Overall, I do believe that the Expo Committee met its objectives in bringing the world together to highlight, promote and to create awareness of the important role that the ocean plays in every aspect of human lives The Organizing Committee of Expo 2012 must applauded for the way in which it delivered its messages about climate change, maritime resource development, and maritime environment preservation to the public in a fun and accessible manner.Our Government, especially the Environment, Ministry of Foreign Trade, and export development must also be commended for taking on this initiative for participating in Expo 2012