Scaling a Global Wellness Festival: With Ludovic Rossignol-Isanovic

By Welltodo
Apr 18, 2018
Scaling a Global Wellness Festival: With Ludovic Rossignol-Isanovic
Returning to London in May for its second year, Balance Festival is upping the ante as it continues on its quest to connect health-conscious consumers and industry professionals with the brands shaping the future of the wellness industry.

Expected to welcome an audience of 16,000, through the sharing of credible and evidence-based knowledge, the event “has the power to catalyse incredible growth across food, fitness, wellness and travel, ultimately elevating the standards of the industry as a whole,” argues Founder Ludovic Rossignol-Isanovic.
And the entrepreneur, who set out to create the world’s most exhilarating fitness and wellness festival, believes it can do so on a global scale. According to Rossignol-Isanovic, Balance Festival has the potential to inspire individuals around the world to live healthier, happier, more mindful and fulfilling lives — so with that in mind, it’s heading overseas with the Belgian-born Events Manager firmly in the driver’s seat.

Ahead of the festival’s first international launch, Rossignol-Isanovic sat down with Welltodo to discuss the vision behind the event, its impact on the wellness industry, and the challenges of scaling globally…….

On the original vision behind Balance Festival……..

 I dreamed big from day one. The vision behind Balance was born out of a desire to make wellness more accessible and approachable to a wider audience. 

The health, fitness and wellness movement is still only in its infancy and it’s exciting to have launched a festival that embodies the “live fit, healthy and happy” movement, as wellness captures the zeitgeist of our era. However, for our industry to grow and positively impact the world, we need wellness to become much more mainstream. 

On getting the concept off the ground……

I first had the idea of creating an all-encompassing lifestyle fitness and wellness festival in 2014. The brand name came first and then it took around six months to develop the brand identity, define our four pillars (Food. Fitness. Wellness. Travel) and design the visitor experience.

I started the business plan on my way back from my honeymoon in 2015. We carried out the market research for over a 12 month period and we launched the brand with The Balance Journal in April 2016.  A year later in May 2017, the very first Balance Festival took place at The Old Brewery, bringing together over 9,000 progressive Londoners for a three-day celebration of the thriving fitness and wellness movement. It’s been quite a ride!

On partnering with The Allegra Group……..

Jeffrey Young, who founded The Allegra Group twenty years ago, has been my mentor and business partner for the last decade.

Although Balance Festival is a standalone business with a different team, the operational and marketing expertise we gained running coffee festivals across the globe has been hugely beneficial. It has enabled us to skyrocket Balance Festival and become an established market leading event in the UK, within less than a year of trading.

Working alongside our sister company Allegra Strategies – a data-driven management consultancy focused on consumer behavioural change – has also been extremely beneficial in validating our initial assumptions and strategic decisions.  

In retrospect, our key to success stems from a combination of passion, knowledge and expertise, a killer team and most importantly a relentless optimistic drive to win.   

On second-year growth…….

We are expecting twice the number of visitors we had last year (over 16,000) and even greater industry representation. We can only expect even more happy vibes emanating from The Old Truman Brewery over the three-day celebration.

As we continue our quest to inspire people to achieve a more fulfilling life balance, visitors can expect double the amount of boutique fitness studios, a stronger emphasis on yoga and mindfulness (with the launch of our dedicated Sanctuary and Meditation Dome) and a substantially larger Lab space, featuring an enhanced educational programme delivered by thought leaders and world-renowned wellness experts. 

On impacting the wellness industry………

 As a hybrid festival (both trade and consumer), aiming to positively impact the wellness industry and its stakeholders have always been at the core of the festival’s DNA. 

Again, this year, the Friday industry day has been designed to help industry professionals discover new innovative products, explore new supply chain opportunities and gain access to razor-sharp market insights.
On top of 150+ revolutionary brands to explore, the educational programme itself comprises The Health + Wellness Summit – a half-day think tank for key industry operators; The LAB – which more informally caters for startups and entrepreneurs; and The Welltodo Career Clinic which is the go-to-place for individuals in search of a career change into the wellness world.

On scaling globally……..

We will be launching Balance Festival Amsterdam in September this year. 

It will be very interesting to see how the concept is welcomed in Amsterdam as the city is like a mini London.  There is an emerging boutique fitness market popping-up and the city itself is extremely outdoorsy, populated by sophisticated urbanites who are becoming increasingly health-conscious. 

After Balance Festival London, growing Balance TV and our Journal as a global consumer media will be a key priority. We will then take our next big step across the pond, as we launch Balance Festival in LA and NYC.  As with any global event, the main challenge will be to scale quickly, whilst maintaining a strong local feel and embracing cultural nuances.

Want to see what Welltodo do best? Catch them in the Career Clinic at the festival this year, giving the best wellness career advice out there! 

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