Minnesota Wants a World’s Fair and It is Crowdfunding On Indiegogo to Make It Happen

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Innovative use of crowdfunding aims to shape bid for America’s first World’s Fair in nearly 40 years.

How do you bring the World’s Fair back to America in the Internet Age? Minnesota sees crowdfunding as the perfect answer, so it launched the first ever Indiegogo campaign designed to win a World’s Fair, and it’s asking contributors for ideas to help bring its Expo 2023 bid to life.

The campaign can now be found online at: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/expo-2023-the-minnesota-world-s-fair.

The next available opening in the official Expo schedule is in 2023 (after Milan in 2015, Astana, Kazakhstan in 2017, and Dubai in 2020), and by then it will have been nearly 40 years since a World’s Fair was hosted on American soil. But getting the U.S. back into the game after so much time will take a special effort, according to Mark Ritchie, Minnesota’s Secretary of State and Advisory Chair of Expo 2023.

“This needs to be a World’s Fair bid like no other before it,” states Ritchie. “We’ve been working hard behind the scenes, but now is the key moment where we need our community to gather and show tangible support for this vision. Indiegogo gives us the perfect platform to create that community and invite them in.”

In exchange for supporting the Indiegogo campaign, Expo 2023’s “Inaugural Contributors” are personally invited to share their ideas for defining elements of Minnesota’s bid, including the fair’s theme. For $23, they’ll also reserve their spot at a private preview opening of Expo 2023 (pending the selection of Minnesota to host the event). That’s the first chance anyone will have to see the first World’s Fair in America in generations. Additional perks with more immediate benefits include dinners with EXPO 2023 team leadership and tickets to Minnesota attractions and events.

The Indiegogo campaign’s $200,000 goal, which it’s seeking to reach before the September 18 end date, is based on the cost to produce economic and community impact studies needed to anchor the Expo bid. If successful, those studies will be able to reference the size and global reach of the Indiegogo campaign to illustrate widespread support for bringing the World’s Fair to Minnesota. This harnesses crowdfunding’s ability to raise money while creating market proof at the same time.

“It’s easily one of the most ambitious and inventive approaches to crowdfunding we've ever seen,” says Marty Wetherall, Director of Innovation at Minneapolis advertising agency Fallon. Wetherall runs Fallon’s StarterKit, the agency’s proprietary creative services offering for crowdfunding projects and the minds behind Expo 2023’s provocative Indiegogo campaign.

“None of the remarkable things that Expo 2023 will become known for exist yet,” shares Wetherall, explaining Fallon’s creative approach. “Its theme, its logo, the breakthrough technologies it will showcase, and more are all just waiting to be born on the back of a napkin somewhere. That’s what captivated us most about the project, and we’re using this once-in-a-lifetime window of opportunity to inspire others.”

The Indiegogo page also features a personal video message from Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman, Carlson Companies Inc. and Expo 2023 Advisor, who says, “The Expo 2023 committee is seeking your ideas, your creativity as we, as a community, envision the unique contribution and inspiration a Minnesota World’s Fair can offer the world.”

This crowdfunding campaign is part of an overall global engagement effort timed around Expo 2023’s official public launch next week at the Minnesota State Fair, which runs from August 21 through Labor Day, September 1. There, fairgoers can visit the Expo 2023 booth to share ideas and explore early-stage innovations that may just be coming of age nine years from now, including technologies being developed in Minnesota.

“Too often we Minnesotans think of ourselves as insular and isolated,” offers Ritchie. “The truth is we are one of the most globally minded places on Earth. Our educational, civic and cultural institutions, as well as many of our businesses, large and small, are international. We are a major player around the world.”

“And now we have an opportunity to invite the entire world to our back yard and to share our remarkable story,” he continues. “That opportunity is Expo 2023, the Minnesota World’s Fair.”

About Expo 2023
Expo 2023 is a campaign to bring the 2023 World’s Fair to Minnesota. We are a citizen committee that has enjoyed the support and volunteer effort of thousands of Minnesotans and other global citizens. For more information, visit http://www.expo2023.info or join our #expo2023 community on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

About Indiegogo
Indiegogo is a way for people all over the world to join forces to make ideas happen. Since 2008, millions of contributors have empowered hundreds of thousands of inventors, musicians, do-gooders, filmmakers—and many more—to bring their dreams to life.

Indiegogo is democratizing the way ideas get funded and become reality. We have a simple mission: to empower everyone to change the world one idea at a time. Some Indiegogo campaigns are small and personal. Some are large and mainstream. Each campaign is moving forward because it is supported by a community of people with a common goal. Learn more at http://www.indiegogo.com.

About Fallon Worldwide
Fallon Worldwide is one of the world’s most critically acclaimed creativity companies, delivering inventive business solutions for some of the world’s leading brands. Fallon Minneapolis is a division of Fallon Worldwide, a part of Publicis Groupe S.A., based in Paris. Fallon Minneapolis’ clients include: Travelers, Arby’s, Brown-Forman’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon and Herradura Tequila, H&R Block, Comedy Central, IFC, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Additional information can be found at http://www.fallon.com.

About Fallon StarterKit
Crowdfunding isn’t just about raising money. It’s about telling the story of your idea and inspiring people to want it. This has reordered the way ideas get made and moved good storytelling to the front of the line, which is why Minneapolis advertising agency Fallon launched StarterKit to create crowdfunding campaigns for promising projects. For more information, visit http://fallon.com/starterkit.

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Expo 2023
Wendy Meadley
Strategic Communications Lead

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Wendy Meadley
Expo 2023
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since: 02/2014
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