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Pavilion hands out free pins

DENMARK'S Odense Pavilion in the Urban Best Practices Area handed out 10,000 free pins yesterday in an effort to thwart people selling the collectibles online.

Lise Andersen, the goodwill ambassador of the pavilion, told Shanghai Daily that although many of the people were there just for the pins, they were happy because some took the time to look around.

The pins were placed in a cart at the entrance of the pavilion. Each visitor was only allowed to take one pin. But some staffers from other pavilions returned several times in order to get more pins.

Odense Pavilion workers said at least 300 people had returned to get more pins.

A cleaner even wore sunglasses as a disguise to try to get a second free pin. The plan didn't work as the cleaner was spotted and sent off without a second pin.

Most visitors behaved well, said Zhang Quanyou, who was distributing the pins.

Zhang said people often exchange pins with volunteers or employees at other pavilions, making the souvenirs even more popular.

Andersen said they weren't so worried if a few people came back to get a second pin as they were mostly trying to fight back against people selling the pins online for as much as 600 yuan.

The pins sold at high prices because they were previously only given out in limited numbers. Just 10,000 pins had been issued since the beginning of the Expo, but that number doubled yesterday.

However, the pavilion will stop giving out the pins for several days.

They are working on a plan at how to attract people to the pavilion with the pins while ensuring they are not being taken by those who just want to make some quick money, Andersen said.

Previously, employees gave pins to visitors who answered exhibit questions correctly to encourage them to focus on touring instead of collecting souvenirs.


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