Pride 2021 and the Pent-Up Demand for Experiences

Published on March 23, 2021

With vaccinations underway across the country, there’s light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. As the nation begins to tiptoe out of quarantine, we wonder what life will look like on the other side – especially in regards to consumer spending and Pride, which will mark the first major event of a summer in which many will be vaccinated and eager to re-enter the social and travel world to at least a limited degree.

To gauge this sentiment, we surveyed Q.Digital readers to check on their Pride plans, post-pandemic dreams, and everything in between. Based on responses from over 3200 members of the LGBTQ community, one thing became abundantly clear: There is a major pent-up desire to return to traveling, shopping, and socializing.

The survey also indicated that virtual events have become a celebration staple, with many readers planning to attend digital shows both this year and long after the pandemic ends.

Here’s what else we found:

The Bridge Between Pride and Summer Desires

Pride season and the pent-up demand for connection are about to collide in June, making it a perfect time for brands to align with LGBTQ consumers who are excited to get out and about again:

  • A whopping 92% of respondents said that advertising to LGBTQ people during Pride has a positive impact on how they view the brand
  • 88% say that advertising specifically through LGBTQ media improves brand perception
  • 3 out of 4 surveyed added that companies selling Pride products should also have pro-LGBTQ internal workplace policies

Pride at the End of a Pandemic

While this year won’t represent a “post-pandemic” Pride, a return to a sense of normalcy is certainly much closer than it was last June. Created in 2020 to accommodate for the desire to shelter in place, virtual Pride events have become a great way to celebrate the diversity of events across the globe without having to leave home.

  • 72% of readers surveyed prefer virtual Pride events in 2021–a 3% increase from last year that highlights the way digital events were normalized during the pandemic
  • 89% plan to share Pride content with their friends as a form of connection
  • 83% would attend an in-person Pride event this year if it was safe to do so
  • 74% feel comfortable attending small Pride gatherings at a friend’s house

A Pent-Up Demand for Summer Spending

It should come as no surprise that people are itching to get back to social life, especially as winter gives way to warmer weather in most of the country. Our survey showed just how significant the demand is for getting out this summer to make up for lost time (and the willingness to spend in order to achieve that goal):

  • 91% of readers surveyed will feel comfortable taking road trips this summer
  • 87% will be comfortable with in-person retail shopping
  • 84% will be ready to stay in hotels again
  • 68% will feel comfortable getting on a plane
  • 61% will feel safe returning to movie theaters

The survey results make it clear: LGBTQ people are ready to mingle safely in one form or another this Pride season while at the same time embracing the trend of virtual celebrations.

Brands that are able to show their support for the community through authentic advertising are most likely to resonate with this audience as we move into life on the other side of the pandemic.