Must-See Tips to Create Buzz at Pop-Up Events

The popularity of pop-up events is a big business. A 2018 survey conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that 93 percent of business executives believe their company puts a high priority on hosting events. The retail pop-up market was worth $50 billion in 2016.

Pop-ups combine novelty, exclusivity, and fun to create memorable experiences that are both shareable. Pop-ups can generate excitement for consumers that is long-lasting and wide-reaching, even for those who weren’t there. Pop-ups offer great opportunities for market research, brand engagement, and product awareness.

Pop-ups work in almost every industry, from banking to dining to dog toys to handicrafts. These tips and examples will help you plan a pop-up event that is memorable and stands out.

Make your event goal precise.

Pop-up success starts with establishing a clear, specific goal. The pop-up’s specific goal will guide the creative design and venue selections, as well as how to measure success.

Your pop-up goal will likely overlap with larger business goals, such as:

  • Increase product awareness and brand awareness
  • Attracting new customers
  • People will pay for an experience they enjoy
  • Market research

The most memorable and shareable pop-ups are even more special. Take Dohtonbori in Japan, which is well-known for its Okonomiyaki, a traditional Japanese savory pancake made with organic vegetables. Although the company wanted to be a healthy fast-food option for customers, research revealed that Okonomiyaki was not nutritionally balanced.

It’s easy to make the pop-up event reachable.

Pop-ups must reach their target audience. So meet them where you are! The company set up the pop-up in the Dohtonbori neighborhood of Tokyo, known for its young population frequented fast-food restaurants.

Consider the lifestyles of your customers or target audience. Where do they go to work? What about where they eat? How social are they? Do they walk around the business district during rush hour? Students who go to several restaurants near a college campus for lunch are called “college students”. Children’s parents take their children to the library for storytime. Find your event near their favorite activities and routes.

You can use community partnerships and brainstorming businesses to increase your reach to expand your reach.

If your client’s target market overlaps with another company, but they are not direct competitors, you might consider a pop-up partnership. A pop-up event that offers a sports massage can greatly value both the business and its customers. Consider offering the same event in place of a massage at a gym, but with herbal tea and blankets for those more interested in wellness-based massage.

Sponsoring a swim-and-live music night at your local pool is a great way to reach families if your client has a large audience. The pop-up gives your client exposure and creates positive associations. Parents can relax while their children have fun. You can set up a tent to give out industry-specific giveaways, such as water bottles, pencils and lip balm, as well as lollipops and other items kids love. One example is a plastic piggy bank to support a credit union.

Make sure you plan the logistics for your pop-up well in advance.

After you have chosen your location or venue, focus on logistics. This is not the most exciting part unless you have a 300-foot venue. However, pop-up logistics can be complicated and can lead to disaster.

Start by researching the requirements of your municipality, such as insurance and permits. Make sure you have all your paperwork in order before the event.

Spread the word (and beyond!) on social media

Pop-up success is based on conventional wisdom. Social media is essential for spreading the word and driving interest. Schedule save-the-date social media posts and teaser photos in the weeks leading up to your event. If you want to add an element of surprise, make these photos and captions mysterious. Your pop-up can be made a Facebook location so people can check in on the event’s progress. Don’t forget to include a memorable hashtag.

If it is appropriate for the event goals, notify the media via press releases.

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