4 Hopefuls Betting on 2021 Gatherings

COVID-19 vaccines are out and about, which means there’s a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel!

As Chief Trends Strategist Matthew Carr has said, the biggest disruption of 2021 will be the return to normalcy. And that’s exactly what the event-planning industry is betting on.

Weddings, conferences and birthday parties – even regular old family dinners – are expected to resume by midyear if the vaccine rollout continues as planned.

As much as 75% of brand marketers believe in-person events will resume in the spring, according to data from Freeman’s COVID-19 Event Marketer Sentiment Research survey. And nearly 90% of those surveyed believe in-person events will be back by fall.

When will in person events resume chart

Additionally, 65% of corporate planners have events booked for 2021, according to the i-Meet Planner Confidence Index survey.

With all that optimism front of mind, there are a few event-planning stocks that investors should have exposure to if they want to profit on the return to normalcy.

The first two companies that stand to benefit from 2021 gatherings are Six Flags Entertainment (NYSE: SIX) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS).

I predict hyperactive children and their exhausted parents will flood theme parks as soon as it’s safe to do so. Last year’s lockdown called for some creative parenting. But nothing tires out stir-crazy kids like a hot day in the sun and a belly full of park food.

Plus, Six Flags is currently drumming up some positive publicity by turning its Maryland amusement park into a mass vaccination site.

Both stocks have recovered from last year’s market crash but have yet to really take off… which means better entry points for us. Six Flags has increased more than 200% from its March lows but is up only single digits over the last 12 months, as of this writing. Disney has doubled since March and is showing one-year gains of around 30%.

Next, investors should keep an eye on Pinterest (NYSE: PINS). The online platform is the go-to place for inspiration of all kinds – from recipes and room decor to workouts and weddings. The website houses everything one would need (and then some) to brainstorm and organize an event, big or small.

Pinterest stock has recovered by around 525% since March and is up more than 225% year over year, as of this writing.

The last post-coronavirus play to watch is Party City (NYSE: PRTY). This retailer is a one-stop shop for all celebration, holiday and party-planning needs.

Plus, plenty of themed merchandise sold at Party City benefits Disney too. Think Mickey Mouse, Star Wars, Disney princesses and Marvel superheroes.

Contrary to many analysts’ predictions, Party City has been on a tear lately. Its stock is up almost 225% over the last 12 months… as well as an amazing 1,500% from its lows set in March.

I’ll personally be visiting Party City in the coming months to stock up for my son’s first birthday party and a postponed bridal shower for a dear friend. And I – like many other shoppers – will be making up for lost time.

Optimistic investors should prepare for the return to normalcy and the ensuing gatherings throughout the second half of 2021. These parties might even pay for themselves if we ready our portfolios correctly.

Good investing,

Rebecca