How Far Are Consumers Traveling to Events in 2021?

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Before March 2020, the majority of events attended by consumers were in person, no matter the event type. The coronavirus pandemic caused many in-person events to be canceled, put on hold, or go virtual. Due to the increase in vaccination rates, in-person events are making a comeback, and consumers are traveling to their favorite events once again.

How far are consumers willing to travel for events in 2021? Are consumers traveling farther to events in 2021 compared to 2019? To answer these questions, we compared the median distance traveled to events in the U.S., such as nightlife, sports, and music events, in 2019 vs. 2021.

Nightlife and Music Events

In 2019, consumers traveled farther to attend their favorite nightlife and music events, compared to 2021. In 2020, people watched DJ sets and concerts on Instagram Live or via YouTube streams, which may have contributed to the downward shift in consumer travel to nightclubs and music venues. The significant decrease from 2019 to 2021 may indicate that consumers today will only travel far for music and nightlife events if they are must-see experiences.

Art, Sports, and Business Events

After postponements and cancellations of events in 2020 due to coronavirus precautions, consumers are willing to travel farther to attend art, sports, and business events in 2021. Consumers are once again visiting galleries, museums, and exhibitions. Some business events are back to being in person. Sports fans returned to stadiums and arenas. But, why would people travel farther to go to these events? It may be that consumers have pent-up demand for these events after being unable to attend in 2020, and they are willing to spend the money and time to engage with these types of experiences.

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The Future of Events

If anything can be taken from the data that we’ve gathered, it’s that people are traveling farther to attend certain types of events, including art, sports, and business events. This could be due to the smaller number of events overall taking place today compared to before the pandemic, since so many events went virtual and may be staying that way for some time. Another reason could be that people are finding more value in the events that they used to take for granted and are excited to attend these events again.

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