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unpredictability and art

Predicting Global Event Attendance in Key Markets

Esra Calvert
Sep 10, 2021 3:39:34 PM

We should always plan for the fact that no plan ever goes according to plan. And, I’ll admit, the volatility and unpredictability I’m seeing in global event patterns are unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my career.  The predictability of what events will remain and what ones will cancel is nearly impossible to gauge at this time. One thing is for sure: travel is still home-bound. Within Zartico’s event data through PredictHQ, event attendance is still just 21% of 2019 levels in key international markets. However, intra-country travel is shaping the recovery of visitor economies around the world before long-haul travel returns. People will go to events, but they’re no longer leaving their home country to travel.

Predictability is not about how things will go but about how things can go.

The unpredictability of the Covid pandemic clouds the international travel recovery in 2021. 

The events industry has contracted dramatically during the global pandemic - even Rio had no carnival to celebrate. Therefore, we evaluated predicted attendance of sports, conferences, expos, concerts, festivals, performing arts, and community events worldwide to measure demand in the U.S. and its key markets as an indicator of global recovery. 

Substantial Losses Indicate Slow Recovery:

The recovery rates of predicted event volume were dismal with a range from -47% to -95% from January through October 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels. While Australia (-47%), China (-63%) and U.S. (-64%) indicate the lowest declines, Germany (-95%), Canada (-94%), Brazil (-91%), and Mexico (-91%) have been hit the hardest. The decreases continue in other markets: Japan (-71%), the U.K. (-73%), France (-82%), and India (-89%). 

Vaccination brought in Glimpses of Hope, but Uncertainty is Inevitable:

The increasing vaccination rates and re-opening of borders were panaceas to cure the long-haul travel early summer. According to WHO, more than half of Canada, the U.K., Germany, France, and U.S. residents are fully vaccinated. However, examining the patterns between recovery of events and vaccination rates or daily Covid cases, we found statistically non-significant correlations indicating uncertainty to signs of global recovery and cost of Covid crisis.


Intra-country travel is shaping the recovery of visitor economies around the world before long-haul travel returns. The recovery of events has been fueled mainly through expos and sports. For example, monthly expo attendance was predicted to be 57% to 84% of 2019 levels in Australia; China, as high as 80%. Significant events - China International Beauty Expo in Guangzhou and the Australian Tattoo Expo in Sydney will likely occur this fall. As for the sports, even though no-fan Olympics took place in Tokyo, sports events will likely take place with safety top of mind.

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