15 Dec Create the ultimate promotional calendar for 2021
Here is our ultimate promotional calendar for 2021 to plan your marketing themes and dates for the year. We have all been there, when suddenly it’s Valentine’s Day and you haven’t developed a romantic special offer for your customers. Or created a social media graphic to commemorate Anzac Day. Or perhaps identified when it’s International Donut Day (Friday 4 June) as a hook to sell more donuts! Of course after 2020 we need to remember that all good plans can go out the window, and being adaptable is important.
Keep in mind there are more than the standard celebrations, holidays and observances we celebrate in Australia. Typical ones such as Easter, Mother’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. There are other commemorations, broader religious holidays, Indigenous observances, seasons/time-related dates, education occasions, sporting and environmental events, and International days, weeks and years.
There is no need to overdo your yearly promotional calendar. As with all of your branding and marketing, your messages and reason for supporting, promoting or celebrating a day or event needs to be genuine, not tokenistic. There are many fun and silly celebrations, and they will only work well for some brands and not for others.
So the message here is to find celebrations and commemorations relevant to your business and that will resonate with your customers. For example, this calendar of mental health and wellbeing events and days would be useful for a business supporting mental wellbeing.
Below we provide you with a range of ideas for developing your promotional calendar for 2021. We encourage you to think outside the box and research further opportunities. Google is a great resource to research themes you are interested in exploring. However, as with any internet research, ensure the information is reputable and verify dates if you need to.
International days, weeks and years
The United Nations observes designated days, weeks, years and even decades, each with a theme or topic. These special observances help promote international awareness and action on these issues. Find out all of these for 2021 on the United Nations website.
2021 International Year
In 2021 we celebrate four international years:
- International Year of Peace and Trust
- International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development
- International Year of Fruits and Vegetables
- International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour
National holidays and observances (Australia)
National public holidays 2021
- New Year’s Day: Friday 1 January
- Australia Day: Tuesday 26 January*
- Good Friday: 2 April
- Easter Sunday: 4 April
- Easter Monday: 5 April
- ANZAC Day: Sunday 25 April
- Christmas Day: Saturday 25 December
- Boxing Day: Sunday 26 December
- Christmas Holiday: Monday 27 December
- Boxing Day Holiday: Tuesday 28 December
Other public holidays such as the Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day are individually declared by the state and territory governments. Check out dates for these here.
* It’s important to note that Australia Day is a contentious celebration. January 26 marks the anniversary of the First Fleet’s arrival in Sydney, and to many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it represents the beginning of the loss of their land, people and culture. It is important to be aware of this if contemplating promotions around Australia Day.
Common celebrations and commemorations in Australia
- Valentine’s Day: Sunday 14 February
- Remembrance Day: Thursday 11 November
- New Year’s Eve: Friday 31 December
Cultural celebrations and religious holidays
There are many different religious holidays recognised by Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and other religions. These include Passover, Easter, Rosh Hashana, Ramadan and Christmas to name a few. There are also various cultural celebrations.
- Chinese New Year: Friday 12 February, Year of the Ox
- Harmony Day: Sunday 21 March
- Rosh Hashanah: begins in the evening of Monday 6 September and ends in the evening of Wednesday 8 September
- Ramadan: begins in the evening of Monday 12 April and ends in the evening of Tuesday 11 May
Some key observances related to our Indigenous Peoples include:
- National Sorry Day: Wednesday 26 May
- National Reconciliation Week: Thursday 27 May–Thursday June 3
- Reconciliation Day: Monday 31 May
- NAIDOC Week: Starts 4 July 2021
- Mother’s Day: Sunday 9 May
- Father’s Day: Sunday 5 September
- International Women’s Day: Monday 8 March
- National Volunteer Week: Monday 17–Sunday 23 May
There are many sporting events to tie your promotions to. Starting with tennis and cricket across the summer, AFL and NRL football across the winter, basketball year-round, and many more. Another big one is horse racing, particularly the Spring Carnival (Melbourne Cup is Tuesday 2 November). There are World Cup events, as well as local community sports events.
Don’t forget the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo were postponed because of the pandemic and are scheduled for 23 July–8 August 2021.
Seasons and time
Other than promotions tied to our four seasons, there are other dates you may like to plan promotions around:
- March equinox: Saturday 20 March
- Daylight savings ends: Sunday 4 April
- Winter solstice: Monday 21 June
- September equinox: Thursday 23 September
- Daylight savings begins: Sunday 3 October
School terms and school holidays can be useful hooks for promoting some businesses. The dates vary in each state. Use this link for details on each state. Some other dates for inspiration include:
- Book Week: Saturday 21–Friday 27 August, theme – Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds
- National Science Week: Saturday 14–Sunday 22 August
- Ride2School Day: Friday 19 March
There are many events in the annual calendar related to the environment. Some of these are:
- Clean Up Australia Day: Sunday 7 March
- Earth Hour: Saturday 27 March
- World Environment Day: Saturday 5 June
- Landcare Week: Sunday 5–Sunday 12 September
- Keep Australia Beautiful Week: Monday 16–Sunday 22 August
- National Wattle Day: Wednesday 1 September
- National Recycling Week: Monday 8–Sunday 14 November
For more ideas, visit the Australian Government environmental events calendar (note that the dates may still be listed for 2020, but there is a comprehensive list of events).
Your own milestones
Don’t forget to mark in your promotional calendar milestones and anniversaries to celebrate and commemorate relating to your business. It could be the anniversary of when you started the business, or took over. You may even have special promotions around your birthday.
Searching a date
If you have a particular date you want to celebrate, you can reverse engineer finding something by using a website such as This Day in History. Similarly, this is a great option for social media on the fly!
Promotional calendar for 2021 template
You can download our 2021 promotional calendar below and start plotting your promotions.
Good luck creating your ultimate promotional calendar and best wishes for a prosperous year ahead in business!
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