75,000 square metres, 8 pavilions, the FeHoVa PLUS International Weapons, Fishing and Hunting Exhibition, the OMÉK Hungarian Agriculture and Food Industry Exhibition and Fair, and a host of other locations. The biggest nature exhibition of 2021 will cover hunting, the protection of nature, aquatic habitats, nature conservation and its future, biodiversity, and the sustainable use of nature. It will also cover, for example: falconry; poaching, our common enemy; gastronomy; and innovation.
Dioramas, films, displays of live animals, world records and special trophies will help to raise awareness of the extraordinary range of our planet’s wildlife. In Hungary’s largest exhibition aquarium, for example, visitors will be able to see fish up to 2 metres long weighing 110 kg. There will also be equestrian and hunting dog shows.
International Hall: The space for exhibits by our foreign guests, where countries and organizations that have accepted Hungary’s invitation can showcase themselves on their own stands. We can view the whole world with just one walk! This will also be the location for one of the Exhibition’s important initiatives, the World Conservation Forum. This series of events is a unique opportunity for professional and non-governmental organizations to form a true image concerning the future of disciplines which are close to nature (hunting, fishing, forestry, etc.) and nature conservation, which rest on shared foundations. In addition to international participants, Hungarian exhibitors such as Hungary’s state forestries will also be present in the pavilion. There will also be a VR play of almost 1,000 square metres. In the latter, visitors will be able to test their own skills as hunters in a virtual environment, and to experience the special atmospheres of the worlds of the European forest or the African savanna.
Commercial Halls: Two trade fairs will also welcome visitors during the World Exhibition. FeHoVa (the International Weapons, Fishing and Hunting Exhibition) was cancelled in 2021 due to the global COVID pandemic, and so the FeHoVa+ fair at the World Exhibition will be even more important. In addition to presenting hunting, angling, various items of equipment and weapons, the fair will place great emphasis on topics related to hunting dogs and equestrianism. The OMÉK Hungarian Agriculture and Food Industry Exhibition and Fair is Hungary’s largest and longest-standing agricultural trade event, and it has proud traditions. It will provide representatives of the Hungarian agriculture sector and food industry – as well as a host of foreign exhibitors – with the opportunity to showcase their goods and services.
Conference Centre, Innovation Showroom: Within the World Exhibition a total of six world conferences, with a large number of international speakers, will be held in Budapest. There will be presentations, congresses and general assemblies focusing on the above-mentioned topics. The specialist programme of the World Exhibition will be coordinated within the World Conservation Forum.
We are proud to host the following: the annual general assemblies of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) and the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE); the 35th congress of the International Union of Game Biologists (IUGB); the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW) Wildlife Forum; and the 8th Meeting of the Parties to the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). In addition, we are the chief organizers of the International Hunting and Game Management Conference, which will highlight the enduring character and sustainability of hunting, and the utility it offers on the basis of its ancient traditions. Our distinguished speakers will address the issue from a practical perspective, drawing on decades of professional experience.
In addition to the various conferences, the Future of Nature Innovation Showroom will also be located in this pavilion. The goal of this timely initiative is to provide an opportunity for the presentation of Hungarian startups, companies and developments which, also at an international level, create value within the fields of sustainability, hunting or nature conservation. In the showroom’s creative space, which is open for twenty days, exhibitors will be presented interactively, creating a lasting experience for visitors.
Fish, Water and Mankind: The Fish, Water and Mankind pavilion will showcase Hungary’s characteristic water habitats, in order spectacularly present the country’s still and flowing waters and aquatic habitats. In Hungary’s largest exhibition aquarium, for example, visitors will be able to see fish up to 2 metres long weighing 110 kg.
The visitor’s route takes you from the history of net fishing through to line fishing, which today is becoming increasingly popular. The exhibition area is an excellent place to learn about different fishing methods, with hundreds of square metres replicating natural aquatic environments containing wildlife, offering a unique backdrop for presentations by renowned professionals and successful sport anglers.
A large part of the vast exhibition area is covered with water, and is in fact a monumental aquarium system. We can walk alongside this and see close up the Carpathian Basin’s native fish fauna of the past and the present. The spectacle is rendered more realistic by the following: unusual, water-filled, naturalistic dioramas; live waterfowl; giant muscular sturgeon; thousands of tiny fish; special, rarely seen protected species; taxidermy specimens; nature films projected on the back wall; panoramic printed photographs.
In numbers, this means hundreds of square metres of living water, nearly half a million litres of aquarium volume and 2,000 individual fish from almost 50 species. It is safe to say that never before in the history of the Expo has the public seen a unique aquatic display like this. There can be no doubt that this is the place for all anglers – not only as exhibitors, but also as visitors!
Traditional Hunting Methods: This will be the venue for an exhibition introducing traditional hunting methods: sighthounds, falconry, archery and muzzleloader hunting. Presentation of the relationship between horses and hunting will also take centre stage. There will be continuous heritage displays outside the pavilion.
Hungary’s “youngest” traditional hunting method is the use of muzzleloader weapons. The historical background is provided by the former workshop and store of József Kirner, a member of a dynasty of craftsmen who achieved major success with their products in the 19th century. Every branch of hunting will have its own community space, and here there will be a 10-metre indoor firing range, enabling visitors to try out muzzleloader weapons in safe conditions, using indoor target-shooting percussion ammunition and special anti-ricochet rounds.
To find out more about bowhunting, we will be able to step into a 10th-century village from the age of Prince Árpád. Here there will be presentations of the preparation and use of the traditional Hungarian bow. And we should not forget hunting with horses: we will be able to learn about modern techniques and equipment, as well as those from the period of the Magyar conquest of the Carpathian Basin. In open-air presentations linked to the hall, a host of equestrian shows will provide an insight into the past and future of hunting with horses.
In relation to hunting with sighthounds, we will be “jumping back in time” to the late 18th and early 19th century, to the age of romanticism, and to the hunting park of the Kismárton Hunting Mansion. We can find out about falconry with a glimpse behind the scenes in a mediaeval knight’s castle, where we will be able to visit the garden, the farmhouse and the kitchen. In addition to this, fantastic dioramas will provide visitors with a special experience.
Hungarian and International Trophy Exhibition, 12th Open European Taxidermy Championships, Hunting in the 21st Century Exhibition: The Hungarian and international trophy exhibition is expected to be extremely popular. In addition to the best Hungarian trophies, especially valuable and rare pieces from around the world will also be on display.
International trophy judging will be an important part of the presentation, which will occur in two ways. In a specially dedicated part of the hall, the public will be able observe in real time how points are awarded. We will also be able to witness a unique novelty: exploiting the possibilities of virtual reality, we can become part of the judging process in an unprecedented way, using a VR headset!
Another of the Exhibition’s internationally important events we should highlight is the European Taxidermy Championships. This will also be held in this pavilion, in cooperation with the European Taxidermy Championships® (ETC) in its capacity as an independent organization.
The pavilion will also be home to the Hunting in the 21st Century Exhibition, which will focus on hunting rifles. Famous historic makes such as Mauser, Rigby, Sauer, Blaser, Minox and Limke will be showcased in a spectacular exhibition space covering 2000 square metres.
Central Hungarian Exhibition: The location of the central Hungarian exhibition. This multilingual exhibition will take visitors on a thousand-year walk around the Carpathian Basin, during which we can experience how the history of the Hungarian people has been made “one with nature” through disciplines that are close to nature. Taxidermy specimens presenting Hungarian large game will be showcased in the pavilion over an area of almost 1,200 square metres. We will be conjuring up the various eras using videos, art and applied art installations – for instance, through creating sculptures of Hungary’s twelve most famous hunters and nature lovers.
Treasures of the Carpathian Basin: The exhibition space will have a floor area of 180 square metres. When viewed from above the plan will resemble a cross, which is both a reference to Saint Hubertus – the patron saint of hunters – and to the four points of the compass. In essence there will be four linked hunting cabins with shingle roofs, each facing one of the four cardinal points. These evoke the mountain hunting lodges so beloved of famous Hungarian hunters such as Zsigmond Széchenyi, István Fekete, Kálmán Kittenberger, Herbert Nadler and many others.
The concept of the exhibition will be developed and realized by a team of creative experts and professionals who specialize in interactive museum exhibitions, using Hungarian hunting memorabilia from eight countries, including in the Carpathian Basin.
A cavalcade of events outside Budapest: In addition to the capital city, several provincial venues – Hatvan, Keszthely, Vásárosnamény, Gödöllő, Pécs, etc. – will also be part of the World Exhibition. The Somogy County Consortium, which has demonstrated its outstanding unity, is also preparing a colourful programme.
The Széchenyi Zsigmond Hunting Museum in the Grassalkovich Mansion in Hatvan also awaits visitors. For the year of the World Exhibition, the exhibits of our national hunting museum have been updated in line with 21st-century standards. In Keszthely, the Helikon Palace Museum in the former Festetics Palace features around 200 game species from five continents and hundreds of trophies, introducing visitors to the world’s natural treasures and the importance of hunting as an activity promoting sustainable conservation. The hunting exhibition at the Hunor Hotel in Vásárosnamény is the only one of its kind in the eastern part of Hungary to showcase the game species of five continents. Visitors can learn more about the habitat, occurrence and hunting of the exhibited game through interactive methods.
In addition to the Central Exhibition at HUNGEXPO, there will be cultural events at several venues in the capital and around the country.