Festivalisation of Events: Understanding the Experience

 In Industry Advice, Uncategorised

First things first

What is the meaning of festivalisation of events? The global workforce population is shifting as both millennials and generation Z become the majority of workers, and this demographic is driving an enormous change within the event industry.

Festivals create an atmosphere that cultivates a community feeling and allows visitors to discover content in a non-traditional way. These events result in higher levels of engagement.

This trend, growing since 2017, tries to adapt regular events and mimic the festival experience to make these events more compelling, interactive and memorable. It essentially transforms into an event that the audience wants to attend.

It’s important to notice that festivalisation and its fun and interactive nature may not be appropriate for all types of events. It takes proper research of audience needs and a substantial investment.


Bridging the gap with personalisation

Festivalising an event means creating a bridge between creativity, entertainment and business that will result in an overall richer experience for the audience and subsequently the success of an event.

Variety, personalisation and execution: are the three main ideas to achieve to inspire a personal connection with the attendee. These ideas can be achieved by providing various organic ways to engage with the audience through careful execution. It translates into a more immersive event, where attendees leave feeling their experience was more authentic and related to their interests.

Conferences, such as Canada’s C2 Montréal displays the sort of connection between creativity and business that isn’t normally present in traditional meetings.




Tell a story

Creating a story and telling it provides an essential sense of community between the audience and helps close the gap between business goals and entertainment. Applying a narrative fosters an emotional response on the attendees and creates a richer and long-lasting experience for both sides of the event. 

Providing unique or once-in-a-lifetime moments that attendees will never forget or has the potential of going viral across the internet and increases engagement. This attracts and engages a wider audience.

Digital communication is an enhancement of real-world interaction and helps attendees discover more information about the event, such as new content and networking opportunities.




The use of technology

Attendees sharing their event experiences on social media helps keep the event alive and provides a digital footprint for it. But not only as technology also plays an important role in multi-sensorial engagement. 

Creating varied interactive content is essential when ‘festivalising’ an event. Gaming elements, apps or internet-based activities enhance the experience of collaboration between attendees on online events. Offline events can incorporate experiences such as virtual reality or wearable tech.

SXSW Online XR 2021 is a great example of a twist offer to attendees that couldn’t travel to Austin but wanted to be part of the conferences. A partial, virtual reality recreation of the streets and venues that host the interactive, film, and art event allowed, along with VRChat, to create an online version of the event.

These experiences generate conversation between the audience and enhance the storytelling process, ultimately employing the power of communication and get your attendees to help promote your event.



These are all factors to aim to generate powerful experiences and elevate a brand. Festivalisation of events is becoming a major player in the event industry as it provides thrilling tools to overcome online events undeniable obstacles. Using technology and telling a compelling story makes the audience feel they are part of something big and exciting in both online and ‘in-person events.

Creativity is a major key factor when engaging with your audience, by creating multi-sensory and interactive experiences that will result in meaningful connections, a sense of community and create long-lasting memories.

Not all events are suited for festivalisation, so good research of the target audience and creative outputs without compromising your message is the best approach.

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