All invaluable (and excellent networking practice for the shyer ones amongst us. I always used to dread networking until I realised all it really means is talking about what I love - writing - and knowing who I was talking to shared that same love so we could get a really good conversation going. You ask them what they write, they are pleased to tell you, they then ask you etc. Reserve etc breaks down pretty quickly when you're talking about a shared interest like that).
So what festivals does your fictional world celebrate? Are there the equivalent of our literary ones or is it just historical events that are commemorated? Is attendance at a festival "expected" (and if so, who by? What would the consequences be for anyone who defies that?