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BESTIVAL a festival where more than 1,000 people got to know Berlin

BESTIVAL a festival where more than 1,000 people got to know Berlin

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Paula Rey
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Given the saturation of fam trips, the third edition of BESTIVAL, organised by visitBerlin, was an original way of presenting the destination, in which 1,000 attendees from the MICE world were able to get to know and experience Berlin over two days. They call it "the MICE and Travel Business Festival", a festival of MICE. And the truth is that the concept of festivalisation has been a trend in recent years, although we are not talking about good music and food trucks but about something more complex: instilling emotion and generating a sense of belonging and bonding among the attendees. More variety, many types of actions and activities to choose from. This is the "spirit" of a festival. Let's see how they have done it at BESTIVAL, which, by the way, has significant public support.

BESTIVAL was organised by visitBerlin together with the associations visitBerlin Partnerhotels, BEN Berlin Event Network and INTOURA. More than 180 Berlin-based companies from the sector took part in this third edition. According to visitBerlin, BESTIVAL has achieved a reach of more than 3 million business contacts… Clearly an example that if you want to promote your destination, the most useful thing to do is to organise an event.

Festivalisation means breaking the format and reinventing the space

The idea of festivalisation is is to offer choice to the attendee. Do not tie him/her to a strict programme, but rather propose a more flexible programme according to his/her needs. Everyone is looking for different things and we must provide them with various itineraries, various paths that generate their own experiences.

At BESTIVAL the more than 1000 attendees could choose between 5 “worlds of experience” reflecting the different facets of Berlin: “Sustainable Berlin”, “Berlin Lifestyle”, “Berlin Culture”, “Berlin Community” and “Berlin Innovation”. Each world of experience had its own lectures, panel discussions and live performances. Berlin Senator for Economic Affairs Franziska Giffey opened the evening at the SAGE Club with networking, live music and a DJ.

On the second day of the event, each participant had the opportunity to discover the diversity of Berlin the way they wanted to: on a guided tour, by revisiting a world of experience or in other partner activities that were organised in parallel. And then talk about it at the “Long Night of Hotels”, the time for dinner and networking.

An industrial style venue and a beach club

The Heeresbäckerei in Berlin Kreuzber more than 100 years ago had a warehouse and a bakery, between which wagons with flour and grain ran on rails. It now functions as a venue while maintaining its industrial style.

In true festival style, this venue was reinvented and conceived with different zones. There was a marketplace with a food court and networking points where catering and informative partner networking points were combined with a nice lounge area for informal exchange.

Another part of BESTIVAL took place at Sage Beach Berlin, a beach club in Berlin, which is located directly on the banks of the Spree. The club offers a relaxed atmosphere with a sandy beach, sun loungers, palm trees and a bar.

Significant public support

The event is part of the “Restart” programme for the Berlin tourism and events industry and was sponsored by the Senate Department of Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.

Franziska Giffey (Senator in charge of Economic Affairs, Energy and Public Enterprises) announced at a press conference at the start of BESTIVAL that, over the next two years, they will continue to support events and work to promote sustainability.

Berlin’s events sector is strong and brings a lot of wealth to the city

According to visitBerlin, the number of face-to-face events in Berlin has developed positively: 64,813 face-to-face events were held last year. This is more than three times higher than in 2021 (+205 per cent compared to 2021, 21,222 events) and almost equals the pre-crisis level of 2019 (-3 per cent compared to 2019, 66,850 events).

The events and their attendees contributed approximately €1.31 billion to the city in 2022 (2019: €2.0 billion).

Carbon footprint offsetting

The organisation of BESTIVAL follows the criteria of the “Sustainable Meetings Berlin” initiative of the visitBerlin Convention Bureau in Berlin as well as the ISO 20121 standard for sustainable event management. The complete CO2 compensation is carried out by the certified supplier “Atmosfair” according to the Gold Standard. According to visitBerlin, all suppliers are very committed. The aim is to make BESTIVAL climate neutral in the long term.

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