The gift of unusual event collaborations


In the world of event planning, creativity and innovation are often the keys to success. Event organisers constantly seek new ways to engage their audiences, deliver unique experiences, and make their events truly memorable. While traditional partnerships and event formats can be effective, there's an extraordinary realm of untapped potential waiting to be explored through unusual event collaborations.

Let's first delve into five unconventional - yet remarkable - event collaborations that have broken the mold and captivated the imaginations of participants. Then I'll suggest two b2b event ideas that you could make your own spin on this holiday season. Come, let's embrace the extraordinary.


Exciting collaborations that inspire event organisers


1. NASA & LEGO: Merging space and play

When we think of space exploration, LEGO isn't typically the first thing that comes to mind. However, NASA's collaboration with the beloved toy company challenged these preconceptions. In 2011, NASA launched the Juno spacecraft on a mission to Jupiter. Among its cargo was a LEGO minifigure of the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei, as well as a representation of his 17th-century telescope design.

NASA, the pioneer of space exploration, teamed up with LEGO, a brand known for inspiring creativity in children through building blocks. The aim was to make space exploration engaging and accessible to a younger audience. By sending a LEGO figure and telescope to Jupiter, this collaboration brought a playful element to an otherwise serious scientific mission.

Event organisers' takeaway: This partnership is a reminder that creativity knows no boundaries. It encourages you to think beyond the industry's conventional boundaries and consider unexpected partners. By introducing an element of fun and nostalgia, you can make your B2B event more engaging and memorable, even in the most serious of sectors.



2. CERN & Louvre Museum: Bridging art and science

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Louvre Museum in Paris might seem like an unlikely pairing. CERN is known for particle physics, while the Louvre boasts a renowned collection of art. However, these institutions came together for an art-science exhibition that showcased the unexpected connections between their two worlds.

CERN and the Louvre collaborated to create an exhibition titled "Enter the World of the Higgs." The event, held in the Microcosm garden at CERN, featured artistic interpretations of particle physics, demonstrating the intersection of science and art. Visitors got to explore the intellectual common ground between these two seemingly disparate fields.

Event organisers' takeaway: This collaboration highlights the power of cross-disciplinary thinking. When planning a B2B event, consider how you can merge seemingly unrelated topics to create a unique and thought-provoking experience. Bringing different perspectives together can spark innovative ideas and inspire attendees to think beyond their usual boundaries.


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3. Red Bull & Felix Baumgartner: Stratospheric brand stunt

In the world of extreme sports and advertising, Red Bull is a well-known player. Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver and BASE jumper, is equally famous for his daring feats. In 2012, these two entities joined forces for an extraordinary stunt that captured the world's attention.

Red Bull sponsored Felix Baumgartner's historic freefall from the edge of space. This collaboration sent Baumgartner nearly 40 km above Earth, and he became the first person to break the sound barrier without an aircraft. The event was live-streamed globally and garnered immense attention.

Event organisers' takeaway: Red Bull and Felix Baumgartner's collaboration teaches event organisers the value of a jaw-dropping spectacle. While most B2B events are not as extreme, consider how you can introduce an element of excitement and surprise. Unexpected, thrilling moments can leave a lasting impression and draw a bigger audience.


4. Google & Abbey Road Studios: Virtual tour of iconic studios

Abbey Road Studios in London is a hallowed place in the world of music, forever associated with The Beatles and numerous other legendary artists. Google's partnership with Abbey Road Studios in creating an interactive online tour showcased the potential of technology in preserving and sharing cultural heritage.

Google worked with Abbey Road Studios to create an immersive online tour of the iconic recording studio. This partnership allowed users to explore the historic studio virtually, giving them a behind-the-scenes look at the place where music history was made.

Event organisers' takeaway: This collaboration emphasises the power of technology to expand the reach of an event. For B2B events, consider how you can use virtual tools to provide an immersive experience to a wider audience. Whether it's a virtual trade show or an interactive tour, technology can make your event accessible and engaging.


5. IKEA & Paris Fashion Week: High fashion meets home decor

IKEA is known for its affordable home furnishings, while Paris Fashion Week represents the epitome of high fashion. When these two worlds collided in 2016, it resulted in a unique and unexpected collaboration.

IKEA partnered with Paris Fashion Week to launch a limited-edition collection called "EFTERTRÄDA." This collection brought a touch of high fashion to IKEA's accessible home decor, allowing people to incorporate runway style into their daily lives.

Event organisers' takeaway:  The IKEA and Paris Fashion Week collaboration demonstrates the appeal of exclusivity and the unexpected. For B2B events, consider how you can infuse exclusivity into your offerings, whether it's limited-edition products, access to high-profile speakers, or unique experiences. Creating a sense of exclusivity can attract a more sophisticated audience.


Unconventional collaborations for a memorable B2B holiday event

The holiday season is a perfect time to infuse your B2B events with creativity, warmth, and a touch of the unexpected. Drawing inspiration from the unusual event collaborations discussed earlier, here are two ideas of how you can create an unconventional and memorable holiday event for your B2B audience.


Idea no 1 - Music and Corporate Social Responsibility: Charity concert

Combining the power of music with corporate social responsibility can create a heartwarming and impactful B2B festive event. Partner with a local or renowned musician or band to host a charity concert for a cause that aligns with your company's values or a pressing social issue.

The Unusual Collaboration: Collaborate with a musician or band to host a live concert that doubles as a charity event. The musician's performance becomes the focal point of the evening, and the event can raise funds or awareness for a charitable cause, such as supporting a local NGO or providing educational resources to underserved communities.

Event Elements:

  • Live musical performance by the artist or band.
  • Fundraising activities, such as a silent auction, donation stations, or merchandise sales.
  • Presentation or speakers from the supported charity to highlight their mission and impact.

Event organisers' takeaway: This partnership emphasises the importance of giving back during the holiday season. By using music as a vehicle for social good, your B2B event becomes more than just a celebration; it becomes an opportunity to make a positive impact in the community.


Idea no 2 - Art and technology fusion:  Digital Christmas Wonderland

For a unique B2B Christmas event, consider a collaboration that bridges the gap between art and technology. This approach can create a digital Christmas wonderland, appealing to a tech-savvy audience while infusing the event with holiday charm.

The Unusual Collaboration: Partner with a digital art studio or interactive tech company to create a visually stunning Christmas experience. They can develop immersive digital installations, such as interactive light displays, projection mapping, and virtual reality experiences, all centered around a holiday theme.

Event Elements:

  • Interactive light displays that respond to attendee movements.
  •  A virtual reality experience that transports attendees to a digital winter wonderland.
  • A giant LED Christmas tree that responds to real-time social media interactions.

Event organisers' takeaway: This collaboration underscores the power of technology to create captivating and interactive experiences. By embracing cutting-edge digital art, you can immerse your audience in a festive atmosphere while appealing to their fascination with technology.




These unusual event collaborations serve as a testament to the power of creativity and thinking beyond the boundaries of convention. For event organisers, especially those focusing on B2B events, they provide valuable insights on how to make events more memorable, engaging, and impactful.

Incorporating unexpected partnerships, cross-disciplinary thinking, thrilling spectacles, technology, and exclusivity can transform your B2B event into an unforgettable experience. By embracing the extraordinary, you can break free from traditional event formats and captivate the imagination of your audience.

So, the next time you're planning a B2B event, remember that inspiration can be found in the most unusual places. Think beyond the ordinary and create events that redefine what's possible. 

This holiday season, take inspiration from the extraordinary collaborations we've explored and create a B2B holiday event that stands out, leaving attendees with a sense of wonder and a renewed appreciation for the magic of the season.


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Photo credits
Hero: Edgar Soto
In-text (Lego): Marco Montero Pisani