Christmas Markets Won’t Be Beaten By Brexit
- New research by Eventbrite crowns Winchester UK’s most loved market
- Alternative formats prove popular, but classic continental takes top spot
- Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland ranks fourth for England, eighth in the UK
New research has found that our love affair with Christmas markets remains in fine fettle, with the UK crowning Winchester’s idyllic Cathedral market its favourite, beating Cardiff and Belfast into second and third place.
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And while we still look to the continent for our favourite style of market, winter wonderlands and alternatives without a Santa in sight are almost as popular as their classic counterparts. A comprehensive survey, carried out by leading ticketing and event tech platform Eventbrite, also discovered that some traditional elements, like mulled wine or even an outdoor setting, are not as important as you may think.
A third (32%) of Christmas market goers visit two to three times a year, while four out of five (82%) of visitors would travel up to 50 miles. Every fifth respondent (22%) has travelled abroad for the continental experience. The three top reasons for going to a Christmas market are 1) to get into the festive mood, 2) eat and drink, and 3) buy presents. Presumably it’s that third reason causing one in twelve market goers (8.4%) to spend over £100 and a third of parents who bring their kids to fork out between £51 and £300 per visit.
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What market fans hold ‘deer’
Visitors rated Winchester’s German-styled market the highest overall. Across 19 categories that varied from ice skating to gingerbread, it ranked top for quality of goods on offer, setting, authenticity and overall experience. Cardiff and Belfast came in second and third, with the latter taking the ‘aesthetically pleasing’ crown, winning on best look of stalls and decorations.
The nation’s favourite style of Christmas market is German / continental (70% say they like them), which narrowly pips the traditional Victorian variety to the post (67%). However, non-traditional markets do fare well, with over half (56%) of us liking or loving winter wonderlands. One of the best known at London’s Hyde Park, entered the UK top 10 in eighth place and was ranked fourth among English markets.
Meanwhile, only 28% of market goers prefer the traditional outdoor experience to an indoor event, with the majority (58%) happy either way – great news for markets that struggle with dropping visitor numbers during spells of bad weather, or mud, as was the case in Bakewell recently.
Not everyone’s cup of mulled wine
While eating and drinking are the second most popular reason to attend, one of the hallmark features of an Xmas market, mulled wine, is surprisingly unpopular – almost half of all market-goers claimed to not even drink a cup of the festive tipple when they visit.
What’s the wurst that could happen?
Visitors also named their top five dislikes. Fifty percent of people condemned Christmas markets for being too crowded, 32% thought that there weren’t enough toilets and a quarter (26%) felt that they were just too commercial. Sheffield led the chase for having the ‘most space to move’, while Oxford scored the highest for ‘availability of toilets’ and ‘quality funfair rides’.
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One in three parents keep their kids away, with 38% of them saying this is because festive markets are too stressful, and 35% blaming their crowded nature. And though ticketing may be an option for controlling the deluge, only 15% of all respondents would pay an entrance fee.
While we’re not prepared to cough up to get in, Christmas markets are still hot tickets. Our attitudes are broadening, whether that’s eschewing traditional aspects like mulled wine, or being willing to try indoor varieties. Market goers will no doubt attend in their droves this year as they look to shake off the year’s troubles and get into the Christmas spirit.
Said Marino Fresch, Marketing Director, Eventbrite UK & Ireland, “Our research demonstrates Christmas markets’ ongoing popularity, with traditional continental and Victorian styles pipping newer variants to the post. While some of the more stereotypical features are not as important as you’d think, their ability to get us into the festive mood drives our attendance. Special mention goes to Winchester for beating competition across the UK to claim its crown as the nation’s favourite.”
This survey was commissioned by Eventbrite and conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of Eventbrite. 2,782 people responded to the survey across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Responses were weighted for gender and age according to the 2011 census.
Eventbrite is the leading global ticketing and event technology platform. The company has processed over $5 billion in gross ticket sales since inception and powers more than two million events around the world each year. Built with a focus on reliability and scale, the platform serves hundreds of thousands of event organisers. In the UK, these include Showmasters, Telegraph Events, The Guardian, WOMAD music festival, and many more. Organisers use Eventbrite to help boost ticket sales, promote and manage events, and analyse results across multiple sales channels: web, mobile, point-of-sale, and a growing distribution platform. Tens of millions of consumers also use Eventbrite every year to discover a variety of live experiences and get tickets on a safe, easy-to-use platform – from photography classes and obstacle runs to large concerts and festivals with tens of thousands of people. Founded in 2006 and headquartered in San Francisco, the company has a team presence in eight countries including the UK and processes tickets in 180 countries. Investors include Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global and T. Rowe Price. Learn more at www.eventbrite.co.uk
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