Global opportunities unveiled: A marketer’s guide to key dates in 2024
Marketers, brace yourselves for a whirlwind of global opportunities in 2024! From vibrant cultural celebrations to colossal shopping extravaganzas, the world is gearing up for events that can skyrocket your brand’s visibility. Oban’s Global Marketing Calendar is a curated list of key dates around the globe, which you can use to guide your international marketing campaigns. Here is a selection of dates from the 2024 calendar you won’t want to miss:
Pongal, 15th to 18th January
Where: India and Sri Lanka
Pongal is a multi-day harvest festival in Southern India, celebrated in the Tamil community. Festival celebrations are different each day, ranging from cleaning the house to rid negativity to watching bullfights. The Pongal dish is integral to the celebrations – there are several varieties, but the main one is made from rice, milk, ghee, and unrefined sugar called jaggery. Gift-giving is also traditional – Indian e-commerce sites recommend confectionery, potted plants, and flowers.
Sapporo Snow Festival, 4th to 11th February
The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan’s favourite winter events. Staged across three sites, the capital of Hokkaido glistens with spectacular snow and ice sculptures that wow locals and tourists alike. Some loom as large as 15 metres tall and 25 metres wide. The festival usually attracts over two million domestic and overseas tourists including an influx of Chinese New Year holidaymakers.
Nowruz, 20th March
Where: International – Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkey
Nowruz is celebrated by about 300 million people worldwide to mark the first day of spring. Events include performances, concerts, and tree planting and there is a special focus on neighbourliness and reconciliation. When preparing for Nowruz, also known as Persian New Year, it is traditional for Iranians to spring clean their homes and buy new clothes. It’s typical to visit each other’s houses with gifts such as sweets or flowers – online retailers should consider promotions on these items, as well as cleaning supplies.
Qingming Festival, 4th April
Where: China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam
Most Chinese people enjoy a public holiday for the Qingming Festival. Also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, people commemorate and show respect to their ancestors by cleaning their graves and leaving offerings of food, incense, and paper resembling money. Some carry willow branches to ward off evil spirits. This is a popular time for Chinese locals to visit tourist spots like museums and historical attractions to make the most of time off work. Lockdowns have affected numbers in recent years, but in 2021 over 95 million domestic tourist trips were made during the holiday, with tourists spending around £3 billion. (Source: Global Times China)
Cinco de Mayo, 5th May
Where: Mexico, US
Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla. You may be surprised to know that this is only a minor holiday in Mexico and is a much larger event in the US, particularly in cities with a large Mexican-American population, as it is seen as an opportunity to be proud of your heritage. This is an ideal opportunity for party retailers to optimise their websites for Spanish speakers, reviewed by Local In-Market Experts.
JD618 Shopping Day, 18th June
The expansive mid-year Chinese shopping festival, initially introduced by JD.com as JD618 on the eighteenth day of the sixth month, has now spread to other e-commerce platforms. In 2023, it raked in £92 million in sales for prominent e-commerce players. For e-commerce brands targeting the Chinese market, it’s crucial to incorporate the initial 18 days of June when planning promotional periods, given that Chinese consumers actively shop from the start of the month. In 2023, the competitive arena revolved around pricing, content, including livestream formats, and extending the pre-sale duration. (Source: CNBC)
Calgary Stampede, 5th – 14th July
The Calgary Stampede is the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and attracted 1.4 million visitors in 2023. Every afternoon cowboys and cowgirls show off their skills and determination, with every win building up to Showdown Sunday. There are also parades, concerts, and agriculture competitions to see throughout the event, along with many other exhibitions and attractions.
Boryeong Mud Festival, early/mid July
Where: South Korea
The Boryeong Mud Festival takes place each summer in Boryeong, around 200km south of Seoul. There are several large attractions including a mud pool, mud slides, and mud skiing. The festival was conceived originally to promote the local mud used in various health and beauty products. The festival attracts over two million visitors each year.
The Olympics, 26th July to 11th August
Where: Paris / International
The 2024 Summer Olympics, commonly known as Paris 24, is an international multi-sport event. Over 10,000 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees (as not all committees are countries) will compete in over 32 sports and 329 events.
Father’s Day, 3rd September
Where: Australia and New Zealand
Father’s Day in Australia is the first Sunday in September. As elsewhere, it’s a day for gift-giving and family bonding, through activities such as a beach or park family barbecue. A third of Australians spent a total of $860 million on Father’s Day gifts in 2023, or an average of $112 per head. Food and alcohol are the most popular gifts. 21% intended to buy for someone other than their birth father. 46% of Australian shoppers in 2023 said free shipping is a key motivation for purchasing online. (Sources: Australian Retailers Association, Rakuten)
World Tourism Day, 27th September
Tourism employs one in 10 of the world’s population. Created by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the purpose of World Tourism Day is to raise awareness of the role tourism plays across the world. This year’s event will be hosted by Georgia under the theme ‘Tourism and Peace’. It will address the role tourism plays in promoting international understanding and the importance of peace in sustainable tourism development.
Shichi-Go-San, 15th November
Shichi-Go-San translates to ‘seven-five-three’ and celebrates the growth and well-being of young children. It’s a rite of passage for five and three-year-old boys and for three and seven-year-old girls in Japan. On this day, children and their families visit shrines to pray for good health and prosperity. Family photos are a must, with each age group having its own traditional outfit. Popular gifts include kimono sets, confectionery, toys, and photo frames.
Small Business Saturday, 25th November
Small Business Saturday, created and promoted by American Express in the US, encourages consumers to support local and independent businesses struggling against e-commerce giants. Positioned between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it capitalises on the shopping momentum. In 2022, top categories during Small Business Saturday included clothing/accessories, books, arts and crafts items, toys, and home decor. The initiative also runs in the UK, backed by Amex, offering a significant opportunity for relevant B2B businesses to engage with the UK’s 5.5 million small enterprises. (Source: Statista)
Free Shipping Day, 14th December
The office Christmas party, festive get-togethers, New Year’s Eve… the average shopper has a lot going on at this time of year! Gifts, decorations, and new outfits are all top of mind. Survey data shows that 85% of shoppers prefer free shipping to faster delivery during the holiday season. Brands across the world will be taking part in Free Shipping Day promotions as Yuletide shopping starts to peak.
Make 2024 a year of international expansion for your business
Harness the power of key dates in 2024 to enhance your marketing strategy and reach global audiences. To unlock even more possibilities, download Oban’s Global Marketing Calendar 2024 – with over 140 opportunities in over 60 countries, it’s a comprehensive guide to dates that can shape your brand’s success. Seize the moment and make 2024 a year of international growth.
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To find out how Oban can accelerate your brand’s international growth in 2024, please get in touch.
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