Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reinvent the Toilet Fair
Over 2.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe sanitation. The Foundation provided grants to help solve this problem and challenged innovators around the world to create a toilet prototype that could function without water pipes, a sewer connection or outside electricity. This was a unique tradeshow-style event, highlighting inventors and grantees from around the world to showcase their toilet prototypes. This event brought scientists, engineers, investors, scholars and members of the press together to view the exhibits and also to network and discuss how to further build sanitation in developing countries. The event included the announcement of the four prototype winners by Bill Gates.
In a nutshell:
- Held at the new Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Conference Center and outside courtyard in Seattle.
- 37 exhibitors and 265 attendees from over 30 countries.
- The audience was comprised of scientists, engineers, investors, scholars, press, and high-level attendees that include dignitaries, Prime Ministers and the host, Bill Gates.
- The event consisted of an exhibitor fair to showcase the prototypes, along with a reception and workshops.
- Managed all components of event including logistics, registration, travel arrangements, internal and external communications, shipping/customs, venue layout, and security.
- Transformed the outside courtyard into a complete exhibition area, which included adding a separate power grid, a fully functioning water system and tented exhibits.
- Managed shipping of 30 prototypes from 12 countries, many of which were ready only a few weeks prior to the event.
- Managed exhibitor requests ranging from requesting space for a 30 foot crate to load in, live worms and 50 gallons of synthetic feces the CRG sourced from Japan.
- The fair received international press coverage, appearing in all the major wires, and trending number six on Yahoo. This was the largest amount of coverage for an on-campus Gates Foundation event ever.