HALF-TIME UPDATE FROM THE GERMAN PAVILION AT EXPO 2020 DUBAI
HIGH VISITOR RATES AND HIGH PRAISE FOR CAMPUS GERMANY
Three months in, the German Pavilion team has taken a look back at the story so far. Commissioned by what is now the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, CAMPUS GERMANY has proved very popular with both visitors and the media. VIP and non-VIP guests alike leave the Pavilion inspired by what they have seen. And the Koelnmesse team responsible for operations at the Pavilion has even more highlights lined up for the remaining three months of the Expo.
When the New Year arrived, Expo 2020 Dubai was already half over, and the German Pavilion had seen 90 days full of fascinating people and events. For the German ministry responsible for the Pavilion (now renamed the “Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action” after the change in government), one of the main aims was to come up with a concept that drew in the crowds and gave them an Expo experience that would stay with them forever. Judging by the high visitor figures and the consistently positive feedback, it seems that aim has been met. “I am still so shocked – in a positive way, because I wasn’t expecting this”, said one guest from Portugal after her visit to the German Pavilion. “It was really amazing – it gave me goosebumps”, said another, summing up the experience.
The German Pavilion has already welcomed a number of VIP guests too. During the first three months of the Expo, the Pavilion team organised almost 900 VIP tours – 565 in English, 156 in German, 62 in Arabic and many more in the other 30 languages the team can offer. Over 100 of these very important guests left messages in the Pavilion’s “book of honour”. Among them were high-ranking politicians from Germany such as Andreas Feicht, Gerd Müller and Niels Annen (all holders of important posts in Angela Merkel’s government), Kristina Vogt, a member of the Senate of Bremen, Michael Müller, the then Governing Mayor of Berlin, and Henriette Reker, Mayor of Cologne. There were numerous guests from the local region too, including Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. Another royal visitor was His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and there were famous personalities such as Charlie Duke (the tenth person to walk on the moon) and German star DJ Paul van Dyk. The level of international interest in Germany’s Expo contribution is also reflected in the nearly 350 press groups that the Communications Team has had the pleasure of accompanying through the Pavilion so far.
In addition to the actual exhibition, visitors have been impressed by the German Pavilion’s cultural programme too. More than 550 cultural events took place between October and December and lots more are planned for 2022. Besides rising stars such as Wolf & Moon, Myle, Listentojoules, Roast Apple and June Coco, there were performances by established bands, including Mad Hatter’s Daughter and Inbetween. Apart from fabulous music from Germany, some of the main highlights on the cultural programme were a live video link to German ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer (just before he took off on a space mission) and the United Nations Intercultural Innovation Awards ceremony. The recurring events, such as the karaoke nights, are also a firm favourite with audiences.
In the new year, the Pavilion’s Culture Lab will continue to captivate visitors with an exhibition of works by artist duo Vrady, performances by the Berlicious show dance group and musicals concerts. In January and February, the “Federal State Weeks” will see some of Germany’s states featured both in the cultural programme and on the menu of the German Restaurant, with more VIPs from Germany visiting to mark the occasion. The German Pavilion team will make sure these guests get a warm welcome – just as every visitor does. Welcoming guests is mainly the job of the approximately 130 hosts and hostesses. With a programme packed full of variety and interesting guests from around the world, their CAMPUS GERMANY experience is quite something too. According to one happy host, “My first three months at the German Pavilion have been a thrill. My job involves interacting with visitors, explaining a range of innovative exhibits to them, representing Germany, and learning a lot at the same time. It’s a unique experience and one that’s bound to prove valuable as I move on in life.”