The Image of the 2010 World Expo: Residents’ Perspective
Keywords:mega-event, impact, Structural Equation Model (SEM), World Expo, Shanghai
Cities are now playing an increasingly important role in today’s world. The concept of city branding is widely promoted and exploited now. Organizing and hosting mega-events has been one of the most effective means for city branding. In recently years, many Chinese cities are competing to hold an array of large-scale international events in order to improve the image of the city and expand the city’s international reputation. This paper uses the 2010 Shanghai World Expo to exemplify how mega-events affect city branding and urban marketing. It also explores how mega-events impact on residents’ perception of their city through analyzing statistical data from questionnaires and how the public think of the Shanghai World Expo concept via studying statistical data of the mean, variance, coefficient of variation, which further demonstrates the establishment of a structural equation model and an index system of how mega events affect the urban culture, environment, economy, science and technology. The results of the study illustrate that hosting the World Expo causes positive impacts on developing a multicultural city, improving the urban environment, enhancing economic strength as well as innovating science and technology. It also proves that the Shanghai World Expo has played a positive role in the city marketing and city branding of Shanghai. But it is difficult to say that mega-events can impact on the city's competitiveness and urban influence, which has not been validated by the Structural Equation Model. And such key issues as the urban-rural disparity, social relations more concerned by Chinese government are difficult to be resolved through one-time mega-event.