Event Date Description New Year’s Day Monday 1 January Opportunities around new year’s resolutions. Also ‘morning after the night before’. Dry January All January Last year, according to Alcohol Concern, four million Brits went dry for the month. In that they joined the 10.6 million who are permanently tea-total with millennials the most significant demographic of non-drinkers (ONS).  A great opportunity for anyone selling anything non-alcoholic.
Sad bear slumped in the street
Photo credit: Ged Caroll
Blue Monday 21 January According to Cliff Arnall, then tutor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at Cardiff University the most depressing day of the year. Other scientists have poured scorn on his misery algorithm. Maybe he was just a bit grumpy. In any event an opportunity to promote anything that makes people happy.  Robert Burns Night 25 January Any Scottish connections or products? Anything with a spot of tartan? Super Bowl Saturday 3 February Of interest to at least some of the 180,000 Americans living in the UK along with dedicated Brits who will sit up to watch the very long show. Maroon 5 are rumoured to be pencilled in for 2019 half time show. Pancake Day 5 March Also known as Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday and Mardis Gras. Traditionally the last day before Lent. In any event, an excuse for a party and a clever PR angle.
Valentines day
Photo credit: Design Ecologist
Valentine’s Day 14 February Are you in love with your customers? Are they in love with your products?  Of course, if you are selling flowers, chocolates, romantic gifts or are involved in catering this will be one of your favourite days. Random Acts of Kindness Day 17 February In fact there is a whole week, culminating in the Random Acts of Kindness Day. It stared in New Zealand, there’s a foundation to promote it and maybe a random act of kindness could involve one of your products? Fashion Weeks Most of February, some of March There’s a Fashion Week happening somewhere all the way through from 8 February to 6 March. People are going to be talking about high end fashion, ready to wear and street fashion. so, should you. All of this gives rise to a new event which we would like to propose… New York 8 – 16 February London 15 – 19 February Milan 19 – 25 February Paris 25 February – 5 March Exhausted Fashionista Day 6 March Shhhhh. They are probably asleep. Chinese New Year 5 February This time it’s the Year of The Pig, associated with good fortune and wealth. A hook for B2B and investment products? The Oscars 25 February The annual festival of frocks, weepy speeches and film is talked about for weeks in advance and after. This year we still don’t know who is going to host the event. And where there are conversations to be joined there are PR opportunities.  Maybe a time for your own awards? St David’s Day 1 March All things Welsh or with Welsh connotations should be getting a bit of a lift today.
Supporting image - A girl
Photo credit: Tove Paqualin
International Women’s Day 8 March Celebrating women and their achievements everywhere. How do you wish your customers a Happy Women’s Day? Great for B2B, Fitness, Fashion and everyone else. St Patrick’s Day 17 March The national day that’s celebrated internationally. In the States you are going to get pinched if you forget to wear green. If it’s Irish, if it’s green, it’s an opportunity. Mother’s Day 31 March UK 12 May US Not until 12 May in the US, but in the UK it’s nine months before Father’s Day.  People used to send cards but there’s an opportunity to encourage a spot more generosity than that. And how about mother’s treating themselves/ Great for FMCG, Food and Food Service Industries, Fashion and Beauty. April Fool’s Day 1 April Brands line up to win coverage with spoof announcements and jokes galore. Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race 7 April A rowing race along the River Thames between the same two teams every year. Boring? Maybe, but possibly an opportunity. Easter Weekend 19 April – 22 April – Easter Weekend It’s an important Christian festival but it’s also a time when people talk about renewal, new starts and spring. And it’s a long weekend at home with the kids.  So opportunities for leisure industries, sports suppliers, travel and tourism. And, of course, lovely, lovely chocolate. National Tea Day 21 April Apparently, the people behind National Tea Day recommend four cups a day. Just four?  Are they crazy? And who ever has a cup of tea without a little something on the side? But Great for all sorts of FMCG. Earth Day 22 April A world wide celebration organised by the Earth Day Network. If you are a green, eco-friendly company it’s time to shout about it. London Marathon 28 April Celebrities galore including Sir Mo Farah, serious runners, fancy dress fanatics and more. It seems that everyone knows someone who is running the London Marathon. A great opportunity of health, fitness and gym clothing and equipment companies. Ramadan 5 May – 4 June As Muslims mark Ramadan with a month of fasting, eCommerce retailers need to plan for greater sales towards the end of the month as shoppers prepare for Eid al-Fitr May Day Bank Holiday 6 May The first Monday in May. It’s been associated with all sorts but probably started as a Roman festival marking the end of winter. Someone, somewhere, probably in the fashion industry, is planning a promotion featuring Morris Dancing, one of the two things we were warned not to try by Sir Thomas Beecham. National Vegetarian Week 13 – 19 May The Vegetarian Society will be bombarding us with bus and tube ads this year. An obvious time for FMCG companies to promote meat free products. FA Cup Final 18 May Arsenal, win this more than anyone else, an end of season treat for football fans.   A good one for sports retailers but also FMCG for all those TV viewing snacks and treats.
Chealsea Flower show
Photo credit: Karen Roe
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 22-26 May The Chelsea Flower Show is a four-day event with extended media coverage. According to Horticultural Trades Association 2/3 of Brits visit a garden centre at least once a year and we spend £1.5 billion on plants. But its not just a PR opportunity for the Horticultural Industry. Food, fashion and travel industries can all join in winning coverage using this as a hook. Father’s Day 16 June Nine months after Mother’s Day, apparently. Father’s Day Gift Guides are, indeed a gift for Gadget and ‘Men’s Toy’ companies.  
Glastonbury festival
Photo credit: Crisu Avadanei
Festival Season June – September Glastonbury Festival is back! Stormzy is booked and there are rumours about hard hitting contemporary acts such as including The Spice Girls,  The Cure, Sir Paul McCartney and Fleetwood Mac. Oh well.  Opportunities for camping supplies companies as well as fashion and jewellery. Wimbledon 1 – 14 July Obvious opportunities for tennis and other sporting suppliers but also FMCG. Strawberries and Champaignn anyone? American Independence Day 4 July Celebrated by American’s and their friends but an opportunity for anyone with products with an American flavour, FMCG and Fashion included. British Grand Prix 12-14 July Glamour, money and mechanics all meet in Silverstone. Opportunities for Boys’ Toys, Fashion and FMCG. School Summer Holidays 19 July – 3 September Six weeks of school holidays which either go like a flash or drag on forever. It all depends on your perspective. Actual dates will vary by area. Opportunities for leisure, clothing, sports and anything catering for bored children or desperate parents.
Supporting image - Paul McCartney
Left Handers Awareness Day 13 August Ten percent of the world’s population are left handed, And many, Paul McCartney and Ned Flounders included, are very proud of it. Left Handers Day is a great opportunity for kitchen equipment retailers, musical instrument retailers, anyone who sells scissors and more. Eid al-Adha 11 August – 15 August The four-day festival for Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan.  eCommerce transactions peek for travel, clothing and food. Be prepared. Back to School 3 September Actual date varies. Children’s clothing and sports suppliers will already have this at the top of their opportunities lists but for FMCG there’s something around healthy breakfasts and snacks. Great North Run 8 September The North’s favourite half marathon centred around Newcastle. Not as high profile as The London Marathon but still a great opportunity for Sports Clothing and Equipment retailers amongst others. International Talk Like A Pirate Day 19 September A little obscure but we like the sound of this. According to the organisers, Krispy Kreme used to give free doughnuts to anyone who spoke like a Pirate. An opportunity for make up retailers, fashion industry and who knows, may pet shops? Someone should make more of this me hearties. National Poetry Day 3 October If you’re selling on-line or in store, And you want to achieve much, much more, Click right here, The solution is near, It’s time to talk to ThoughtShift OK, you do better. Ideally in time for National Poetry Day. This year the theme is Truth. Diwali 27 October The Hindu festival of lights is important to communities across the UK but with a focus on the Midlands and London.  An occasion for well targeted promotions.
Photo credit: Go to Anshu A’s profile Anshu A
Halloween 31 October According to Mintel, Brits spent £310 million on Halloween. That’s more than Valentine’s Day. Opportunities for Fashion Industry, Beauty, FMCG, Leisure and anyone who can turn their hand to scary. World Vegan Day 1 November The Vegan Society are planning a whole month starting with World Vegan Day.  We frequently see keywords including ‘Vegan’ out ranking ‘Vegetarian’. Obviously one for food and drink manufacturers, suppliers and retailers but also cosmetics, beauty and fashion. Bonfire Night 5 November With seven in ten UK adults celebrating Bonfire night and spending a spot under £500 million on fireworks this is still a big deal. Opportunities for FMCG and fashion. Armistice Day 11 November Armistice Day 2019 marks the anniversary of the end of World War I. An occasion to be marked with respect and gravitas but certainly one to be aware of. Single’s Day 11 November The figures are almost unimaginable big. Singles Day 2018 saw Alibaba , the company which has taken ownership of the day in China take $30.8 billion. That dwarfs Black Friday, Cyber Monday and every other day. But does Singles Day mater in the UK? Alibaba are talking about taking the day International. And there was a time when Black Friday and, for that matter, Halloween, were seen as the preserve of the USA. Watch out. We would be very surprised if Singles Day didn’t become an important eCommerce retail day in the UK.  International Men’s Day 19 November With a focus on health, International Men’s Day is less of a celebration than International Women’s Day but still an opportunity for Health and Fitness Industry. Thanksgiving 28 November Some Americans take this much more seriously than Christmas. And it’s getting some attention this side of the pond. Black Friday 29 November ThoughtShift’s own research has shown that consumers are search for Black Friday bargains etc earlier and earlier. Retailers who do best are those who have Black Friday Digital Marketing Strategies in place well in advance. Cyber Monday 2 December As Black Friday expands with retailers offering their deals and bargains all weekend, all week or longer Cyber Monday feels like it’s being subsumed into a longer retail, omnichannel and eCommerce opportunity. As with Black Friday, get your strategy in place now. St Andrews Day 30 November Any tartan print or fabrics? Scottish heritage? Scottish products? This should be an important day on your marketing calendar.
Christmas - paper snowflakes
Photo credit: Kelly Sikkema
Christmas Day 25 December Still the most important focus for retailers although more and more shoppers are buying their gifts around Black Friday. Boxing Day 26 December Traditionally a day of sports, more gift giving, visiting relatives and the start of sales. And some high Street names will start their in-store sales today but increasingly the bargains will have been snapped up online without the need to brave the crowds.

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