What Moves You – A First Look at Expo 2020 Dubai

World’s Fairs (also called exhibitions and expositions in other countries) have a long and storied history, and with good reason. Designed to showcase the achievements of nations, they’ve inspired such structures as the Eiffel Tower, the Ferris Wheel and Seattle’s Space Needle. The world was first introduced to the X-Ray machine, IMAX Movies, and early versions of the fax machine and video chatting at World’s Fairs.

A Winning Bid

It’s no surprise then how excited we were, after multiple competing nationwide proposal submissions, to be selected as the key partner driving the exhibit and experience design for Pavilion USA at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.  None of this is possible without the Big Things Group, led by Fred Bush and Greg Houston who brought together the key technology, architectural, construction, cultural, sponsorship marketing, communications and academic partners who along with GPJ form the Pavilion USA 2020 Collaborative Consortium.  We also get to partner with Project Worldwide sister agencies G7 Entertainment Marketing and Spinifex Group lending their expertise to bring the rest of the US showcase into reality.

Developed by GPJ, the pavilion’s theme, “What Moves You” will focus on the power of US-born mobility innovations to improve the lives of citizens all over the world, increasing and creating opportunities for all. The backdrop to this story will be the wide diversity of our culture that makes it all possible.   We have a first look at some of the ambitious designs of the messaging, creative, and experiential activations planned for the months-long exposition.

First Impressions

To set the right tone with attendees, every detail incorporated into the design and journey plays a role in the viewer’s experience.  From the main pavilion’s facade, evoking gentle kinetic waves, to the use of LED screens & projection-mapped displays, the entire structure aligns to the idea of movement.  It was important to the design team and selection panel to build the pavilion incorporating sustainable and environmentally responsible materials, underscoring the importance of the future and beyond.

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Inside, visitors will be treated to large-scale interactive exhibit experiences that touch on concepts of moving people, moving consumer goods, moving ideas, moving lives, and moving beyond, each stop along the path delivering immersive storytelling.  As people are ushered around the main atrium on escalators and a multi-level ramp, they will have the opportunity to interact through a variety of experiential formats including: working models, AR, VR, holographic imagery, video and social media.  The seamless integration of technology and AI throughout the pavilion will also give every user a unique journey.

The main focus will be on the future and how it will be enabled by mobility innovations, both physical and digital, and how that enables social mobility for all, set against a historic timeline that traces America’s spirit of mobility from our earliest times to the present.   One pivotal part of the story is emphasized with a group simulation of the Virgin Hyperloop One, currently in development for next generation jet-speed on-the-ground transit.

The story doesn’t end on Earth, however.  Going beyond cars, planes, drones, and virtual mobility, a key attraction is the Mars Experience, where our team will bring to life some of the most important concepts being innovated now to enable manned exploration of the red planet in the future.  Highlighting current and proposed Mars missions, attendees get a taste of life on another planet.  By the end of their journey, attendees will have seen the best of America’s contributions and get a sample of what’s to come.

Connecting Minds, Creating the Future

In step with the overall theme at Dubai 2020, team Pavilion USA 2020 will begin an international outreach campaign that engages citizens of the US and the world in an awareness journey that will extend the duration and reach of the physical in-Pavilion experience. In the months leading up to the Expo, consumers and business people around the world will be engaged via social media, content marketing, and potentially, traditional and non-traditional TV to reach and excite millions beyond those who walk through the Expo gates.

GPJ’s work is being led by Senior Vice President of Pavilion Activations, David Rich, and Vice President and Executive Creative Director, Paul Hemsworth.  GPJ is no stranger to the world stage, creating experiences with our Cisco clients at the recent London and Rio Summer Olympic games, the Shanghai 2010 Work Expo, and going as far back as the 1964 World Expo in New York, partnering with Chrysler.  The growth and potential that comes with an event of this scale is incredibly exciting, and we cannot wait to share the journey with everyone involved.  To read more about the big announcement, our partners, and to stay connected with future updates, please visit:


Official Press Release

Examples of our Expo Work