Upcoming events in the United Kingdom: Leading Demand Indicators as of June 2021
We had an earlier edition of this report that we were ready to send out the very day it was announced England’s long-awaited lockdown lifting was postponed. But as soon as the extension was announced, the event landscape across the United Kingdom began changing with significant knock-on impacts for demand and business.
Any demand forecaster can empathize with this challenge. Last year, so many painstakingly refined models were rendered obsolete almost instantly, and while this enabled creativity and risks previously untenable in data science forecasting teams, it created enormous stress.
The good news is while the lockdown won’t ease until late July with Scotland going first in mid-July, the UK’s vaccination rate has put the country on track for a recovery and its event trajectory, which we know is an important leading metric of economic and social recovery. So although it has been impacted, it looks set to recover based on our data at this stage.
Since the announcement of the lockdown extension in England, 449 events have been postponed in the last week including:
16 sports games
Despite this delay, events across the UK still increased by 14% this month, especially performing arts and concerts in London, but also sports and community events across the continent. Notably, there are still pilot events (restriction-free events) going ahead such as:
The British Grand Prix with 140,000 fans between July 16th - July 18th
The Open Championship with 32,000 fans a day between July 15th - July 18th
Wimbledon Finals (Championship weekend) between July 10th - July 11th, which will be at full capacity.
The impact of the English lockdown extension on event recovery in the UK
Analyzing the thousands of events being scheduled in the UK compared to the swathe of postponements, the impact is important in the short term but has not made a serious dent in the longer term upwards trajectory of events.
For example, here are the event scheduling trends for London and Leeds this year. Prior to the announcement, these were consistent lines heading up and to the right. The lockdown has flattened London’s recovery rate with events postponed or on-hold with no new dates, and placed a dent in many other cities such as Leeds, but also Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Cardiff and more, which have a similar pattern to Leeds.
No one tracks events more closely than PredictHQ. It’s what we do across 19 impactful categories. Because event data is so dynamic and varied, we have built more than 1000 machine learning models to track, verify and enrich events, as without these steps, event data will break your forecasts.
While we are working with a range of UK and international businesses operating in the UK, we know how important it is for companies to be tracking events that act as demand catalysts from our work in the US, which is further into its economic recovery journey. We know it is important, so we are publishing these regular reports to enable anyone to track the general outline of the UK event recovery trajectory.
Our UK team is ready to assist companies with operations in the UK and Europe to identify their most relevant event categories and understand all upcoming events that will impact your demand.
Combined predicted attendance at all events in total in the UK from January 2020 to October 2021
Despite the lockdown extension dip, the event recovery and associated demand recovery is still tracking well with thousands of events being scheduled this month for later dates. Above is a graph that shows the total attendance at events in the UK at a daily level, to give an indication of the event impact recovery across the continent.
The ability to know how many people will be attending events both at aggregate and for every event in PredictHQ’s system is powered by our proprietary machine learning models that predict attendance for attendance-based events. These models are updated regularly as the pandemic restrictions ease and are based on factors including:
Historical attendance at similar events (we have seven years of historical event data)
Popularity of performers or teams
COVID-19 restrictions such as caps on maximum attendance and spacing restrictions to ensure social distancing
A number of consumer confidence markers
What kind of events are being scheduled?
So far, performing arts events and sports are returning the fastest, with 4,885 performing arts scheduled across the next three months already.
Which cities are scheduling the most events?
This report is tracking the return of attended events, which is seven categories. London, as the UK’s largest city by far, is of course leading the pack when it comes to an overall new event total.
London is dominating the event total, with a good mix of conferences, concerts and sports and more. But what is more interesting is that it’s not leading by so much, or at all, in every single category.
For example, Scotland’s Glasgow was this week scheduling community events faster than any other city. Community events can range from small markets through to major fun runs. They are often not the most impactful events on their own, but they regularly compound the impact of other events, creating perfect storms of demand.
For example, one of the most impactful categories is sports, where the gap in new events scheduled in the last month between London’s volume of new events this week and other cities is a little tighter than the overall snapshot.
This report outlines the general trajectory and trends of event recovery across the United Kingdom. To make the most of events in your forecasting, you will need to use programmatic solutions given what dynamic and large datasets event data can be.
PredictHQ is supplying our customers with impactful events across the world, both verified and standardized, from 19 categories in one API. To find out how leading companies such as Uber, Domino’s, and major hotel chains are using this data, explore our use cases.
We will be releasing monthly editions of this Leading Demand Indicators report. Sign up to receive it in your inbox as soon as it’s published.