With government restrictions easing further from 17th May and events set to return in the UK, we’ve conducted a new study to reveal how delegates really feel about attending events post-COVID.

We’ve delved into whether Brits feel comfortable attending events from 17th May, what events they are most excited to get back to and what event format they would prefer event organisers to run with.

So what did we find out? Find a full breakdown below:


Our new research reveals that only 21% of delegates would feel comfortable attending events in May, with the majority (46%) saying they would only feel comfortable attending from July onwards.

Interestingly, 15% say they would rather wait until October 2021 to get back to events with 6% saying they would prefer to wait until 2022 to attend an event again.

With events set to return from 17th May, we really wanted to hear how the general public are feeling about getting back out there and attending events. This insight indicates that event organisers should maybe hold off any larger scale events until the summer or even from September in order to achieve higher numbers. They should also opt for a hybrid format to avoid deterring any delegates from attending.


Looking at the events Brits are most eager to get back to from 17th May, the top ten events Brits would most like to attend in 2021 are:

  1. Festivals (55%)
  2. Weddings (54%)
  3. Webinars (26%)
  4. Networking events (23%)
  5. Workshops (20%)
  6. Business conferences (15%)
  7. Seminars (15%)
  8. Trade shows & Business awards (14%)
  9. Summits (4%)
  10. Galas/fairs, concerts, Christening, garden shows and theatre (0.4%)

It’s no surprise that the British public are keen to get back out to big events such as festivals and to also celebrate with their friends and families at weddings.

We are however pleasantly surprised to see that nearly a quarter (23%) are keen to get back to networking events and workshops (20%). This is a really positive sign for businesses and event organisers looking to get their postponed events back in the calendar for 2021.


The restrictions caused by the ongoing pandemic meant that over the past 12 months, event organisers have had to adapt their event formats. Virtual events became the norm as lockdown rules and regulations meant that in person events couldn’t happen. But what event formats would people prefer in 2021?

Our new study reveals that 48% of Brits would prefer to attend in person events only, with a third (33%) preferring a hybrid format so they can choose whether to attend virtually or in person. A fifth (20%) of those polled said they would prefer to attend virtual only events.

The way delegates engage with events has changed over the past 12 months and these stats prove that the best format for events in 2021 is a hybrid structure. By opting for in person or virtual only, event organisers run the risk of alienating large proportions of their audience.

Looking at preferences per age group, over a quarter (27%) of under 30’s would prefer to attend hybrid only events alongside 38% of 30 to 49 year olds and 36% of those aged 50+.

Interestingly, those living in Greater London are most eager to see hybrid event formats moving forward (67%) and residents in Wales and the East Midlands (71%) most likely to prefer in person events. Furthermore, a third (33%) of those living in Northern Ireland are the most likely to prefer virtual only events. We’ve broken this down further for you below:

  • Regions most likely to prefer hybrid events:
  1. Greater London (67%)
  2. East of England (57%)
  3. Northern Ireland, West Midlands & South East England (50%)
  4. Scotland (46%)
  5. Yorkshire and Humber (44%)
  6. North East (43%)
  7. North West (32%)
  8. South West (30%)
  9. Wales & East Midlands (14%)
  • Regions most likely to prefer in person events:
  1. Wales & East Midlands (71%)
  2. South West (50%)
  3. Yorkshire and Humber (45%)
  4. North East (43%)
  5. North West (37%)
  6. West Midlands, Greater London & South East (33%)
  7. East of England (29%)
  8. Northern Ireland (17%)
  9. Scotland (8%)
  • Regions most likely to prefer virtual only events:
  1. Northern Ireland (33%)
  2. North West (32%)
  3. Scotland (23%)
  4. South West (20%)
  5. South East & West Midlands (17%)
  6. Wales & East Midlands (14%)
  7. North East (13%)
  8. East of England & Yorkshire and Humber (11%)
  9. Greater London (0%)


It’s really positive to see that there is an appetite to attend events in 2021 from festivals, to weddings and networking events and we are really looking forward to events returning once again!

It’s important for event organisers to pay attention to delegates from when they would like to get back out to events and how they would prefer to attend. We hope our insight is useful to anyone looking to organise an event in the upcoming months. We’ll be sharing further insights across the next few weeks so be sure to keep checking our blog to find out more.

If you have any queries or are looking for advice on running an event in 2021, get in touch with our team of experts today.