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Universal Exposition or Expo (short for "exposition"), also known as the World Fair and World's Fair, is the name given to various large public exhibitions held in different parts of the world.The first Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, in 1851 under the title “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations”. “The Great Exhibition”, as it is often called, was an idea of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, and was the first international exhibition of manufactured products. As such, it influenced the development of several aspects of society including art and design education, international trade and relations, and even tourism . Also, it was the precedent for the many international exhibitions, later called “World’s Fairs”, which were subsequently held to the present day. In Acapulco, New Spain (Mexico), annual fairs took place for several centuries where countries from Asia exhibited their products brought to the New World by the Spanish Royal Navy Nao de China.
The main attractions at World's Fairs are the national pavilions, created by participating countries. At Expo 2000 Hanover, where countries created their own architecture, the average pavilion investment was around €13 million. Given these costs, governments are sometimes skeptical about participation as benefits are often assumed not to outweigh the costs. Tangible effects are difficult to measure; however, an independent study for the Dutch pavilion at Expo 2000 estimated the pavilion (which cost around € 35 million) generated around € 350 million of potential revenues for the Dutch economy. It also identified several key success factors for world exposition pavilions in general.
Since the signing of the 1928 Convention on International Exhibitions, the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE; English: International Exhibitions Bureau) has served as an international sanctioning body. BIE-approved fairs are divided into a number of types: universal, international or specialized. They usually last between three and six months.