The premier resource for exhibition and event industry professionals

Festivalization of B2B Events

B2B event organizers continuously strive to deliver engaging and memorable shows to attendees, and festivalization is a great way to achieve that. Read on for festivalization strategies that organizers can apply to take their events to the next level.

Photo courtesy of Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition
Photo credit: Oscar & Associates

Originally posted on

As an organizer, you understand the importance of hosting successful events that attract and engage attendees. B2B events are always in search of ways to increase attendee engagement and return-on-investment (ROI) for organizers with limited budgets.

It is common knowledge among show organizers that the traditional approach to B2B events may no longer suffice in today’s fast-paced world, where attendees crave a more engaging and immersive experience. This can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to improve your events without breaking the bank.

Fortunately, there is a solution — ‘festivalization’ of B2B events. Here, we explore the concept of ‘festivalization’ of B2B events and the benefits it can offer to organizers with limited budgets. 

From simple and cost-effective strategies to more elaborate and immersive experiences, we’ll show you how to create a memorable event that stands out. Let’s get started!

What Is the ‘Festivalization’ of B2B Events?

This is not a word in Webster’s but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have merit. The festivalization of B2B events is a new trend revolutionizing the world of business events. Unlike the outdated, traditional approach to B2B events, festivalization spices things up by combining different formats to make them more engaging and unforgettable. It’s like turning an ordinary business conference into a fun festival that everyone wants to attend! It is taking elements of B2C shows and user conferences and infusing those ideas into B2B events.

Another benefit to festivalization is that it gives attendees the power to choose. By offering a variety of activities, workshops and immersive experiences, attendees can pick and choose what interests them the most. This approach creates a more relaxed and enjoyable environment, enabling attendees to connect and network more meaningfully.

Studies have found that the idea of festivalization is among the most successful approaches for business-to-business (B2B) events across the globe. For attendees, festivalization provides a unique and exciting experience that helps them connect with others and gain valuable knowledge. 

For organizers, festivalization can lead to higher attendance rates, increased brand awareness, and more significant revenue opportunities. If you want to make your B2B event stand out and be the talk of the town, festivalization is the way to go!

Festivalization for Organizers with Limited Budgets

If you’re an event organizer with a limited budget, you may face challenges in fertilizing your B2B event. These challenges include finding affordable venues and accommodation options, gathering data to inform event planning, managing the registration process efficiently, engaging with the audience, and implementing new technologies within your budget constraints. 

You may also face time constraints while planning the event, as you’ll need to ensure everything is in place before the event date. These challenges can impact the success of your event, which can impact your reputation and prospects. 

Despite these challenges, it’s possible to overcome them with proper planning and a strategic approach to festivalizing your B2B event on a limited budget. You can still create an engaging and memorable experience for your attendees without breaking the bank.

To festivalize your B2B event on a limited budget, you need to be deliberate in your planning. Prioritize elements that will have the most impact. Remember, it’s not about having the flashiest or most expensive elements; it’s about creating a unique and immersive experience for your attendees.

Photo courtesy of Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition
Photo credit: Oscar & Associates

Knowing your audience is key in festivalizing your B2B event on a budget. Think about what they would enjoy and what would make the event more engaging for them. Consider adding games, surprises, and other interactive elements to make your event stand out. 

Additionally, don’t forget about the power of social media. Encourage attendees to share their experiences and create buzz around your event. Being strategic and thinking creatively allows you to create the atmosphere you want  on a limited budget.

Most marketers believe that B2B influencer marketing positively impacts the experience that customers and prospects have with a brand. That’s a significant majority, and it shows just how valuable influencer marketing can be in the B2B world.

Considering this, you should invite influencers in the industry or well-known people in your target audience to participate and encourage attendees to network with them. For example, you can hold a panel discussion with industry influencers and allow attendees to submit their questions beforehand.

Then, during the event, have these experts answer the questions live and share their best tips. The event will be more engaging for everyone involved and help build relationships between your company and other businesses in your industry.

Take your event to the next level by exploring activities beyond the main event. Get creative and add pre- or post-event activities to make the entire experience more engaging and memorable for your attendees.

It’s time to ditch the old-school approach and add some fun and surprises to keep your attendees talking about your event long after it’s over. Your B2B event can become a fun festival with some planning and imagination.

The best B2B events are the ones that allow attendees to experience something new, whether it’s an educational workshop or a networking opportunity. By providing your attendees with educational and entertaining activities, you’ll be able to engage them in a way that brings them back for future events.

It’s not easy to keep people’s attention when surrounded by other distractions. Still, by incorporating fun into every aspect of your B2B event, you can deliver a memorable experience for everyone involved.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Festivalization of B2B Events

It’s easy to make mistakes that can negatively impact attendees and organizers. One common mistake is not meeting the needs of your audience. Remember, festivalization is about creating an immersive and engaging experience for your attendees. Without understanding their needs, it’s easy to miss the mark and leave them feeling unfulfilled.

Another mistake is not promoting your festivalized B2B event enough. You might have the best event planning, but attendance can suffer if no one knows about it. Take the time to create a promotional plan that includes multiple channels to reach your target audience. Social media, email marketing and word-of-mouth are just a few effective channels to consider.

A lack of brand identity is also a mistake that can hinder the success of your  B2B event. Your event should have a consistent brand identity across all touchpoints, including visuals, messaging, and tone. This helps create a memorable experience for attendees and makes it easier to promote your event in the future.

B2B Events for Associations

If you are part of an association and looking to make your events more exciting, festivalization can be the answer. By incorporating various elements such as immersive experiences, interactive activities and personalized journeys, you can create a memorable and engaging experience for your attendees.

The Experiential Marketing Summit is another example of successful festivalization for associations. The three-day event in Las Vegas included workshops, panels and opportunities to learn from respected brands.

The RESET event by the Australian Association of National Advertisers is another prime example of how festivalization can benefit associations. This event brought together CMOs and senior-level marketers from various industries for a unique learning experience.

The speakers at the event were global leaders who inspired attendees to think outside the box and challenge their approach. By making the event more interactive and experiential, attendees were more likely to retain information and make valuable connections.

Embrace Festivalization for Your Next B2B Event

The festivalization of B2B events is a powerful way to create a more engaging and memorable experience for attendees. By incorporating a unique combination of formats and allowing attendees to customize their journey, festivalization can help you stand out from the competition and achieve a higher return on investment.

Organizers and associations should consider festivalization for their future events and avoid common mistakes such as failing to meet audience needs or not promoting the event enough.

Instead, be strategic and follow up with attendees after the event. By implementing these strategies and embracing festivalization, you can create a truly unforgettable experience for your attendees.

Take action and start planning your next festivalized B2B event today! Your attendees will thank you for it, and you’ll surely see a positive impact on your ROI. We can’t wait to see what amazing events you come up with!


The views and opinions expressed by blog authors are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events®. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. IAEE makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. IAEE will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information.

Share Post

Stay Up To Date

Related Posts

iaee blog station logo

Stay Up To Date

Join over 15,000 followers dedicated to learning the ins and outs of the exhibition and event industry!