If there’s anything we’ve learned from Expo so far, it’s that crowd control is clearly a necessity. Expo officials have heard complaints loud and clear, and are now in the process of changing up set ups of some pavilions to better manage crowds and long lines.
From the sounds of it, organizers were caught off-guard with the number of daily visitors (their target income of 6 billion yuan has almost been met) and which pavilions they would visit – Hong Hao, director general of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, admitted they didn’t expect so many people to be queuing at Saudi Arabia or Japan. The tentative plan as of yesterday is to have the lesser-visited pavilions add attractions, and the popular ones get rid of some (the China pavilion won’t be the first to make this move, though).
Expo organizers might also be looking to save some face after the surge of K-pop fans nearly caused a stampede on Sunday. Hong clarified that no one was trampled to death, and stated that organizers are in the midst of coming up with emergency safety plans for when entertainers or athletes make appearances.
However, in order to accommodate the staggering attendance rates (a reported 505,000 people were there on Saturday), and to discourage more creative means of getting into pavilions, organizers recommend buying night tickets as most of the visitors leave at 5 pm. All pavilions have been told to stay open until 10:30 (some were closing at 9 if there weren’t enough visitors).
A friend at the Canadian pavilion seconds this tip: Visit the Expo at around 8 pm. It won’t be as crowded, it won’t be as hot, and heck, it might be even prettier – by that time, all the pavilions will be all lit up.
Picture by Sarah Schneider