Creating a Successful Pop-Up

Illustration by Raquel Winiarsky

With summer around the corner, I wanted to write a blog post on how to create a successful pop-up event. Pop-ups are a great tool to build brand awareness, increase revenue, and ensure an interactive experience for your consumers.

Pop-up shops are emerging everywhere. Many have seen pop-up events, whether viewing events on social media, fashion magazines or Instagram accounts or have possibly attended a pop-up shop. If you’re reading this you’re probably asking yourself, “how can I create an amazing pop up for my brand?”

Anyone could do it. Whether you are a small business, e-commerce store, emerging brand, or a well-established company, pop-ups are a great tool to grow your business. The unique feature of a pop-up is that it is short-term. With that, it is subsequently less risky and allows for experimentation, creates a sense of urgency, affordable, and a better chance to hone in on a specific goal.

Step 1: Set a goal.

The first step in creating a successful pop-up is to target a specific mission. This is a chance to take a risk, generate sales, collaborate with different brands, launch a brand or brand extension, target a different demographic, share the voice of the brand, and so much more.

Understand the purpose of the event. The temporary timeframe will leave a lasting impression on consumers, press, and bloggers. The benefit of focusing on a specific aim is that the message will be engrained in the event and the possibilities are endless. Once you’ve identified the purpose, consider partnering with other brands to launch the pop-up. View this link to explore your possibilities of partnerships.

After setting up a goal, consider how long you would like your pop-up for and how you’ll measure success. Figure KPI’s such as conversion rates, increasing AOV, expanding on customer database, amount of followers on social media, increasing the number of click-rates on your website, an amount in foot traffic, etc. With clear measures of success, this will help further your initiative.

Step 2: Location and Date.

Location, Location, Location. This is everything. Be sure to pick a location that resonates with your brand objective and demographics. Some questions to ask when searching for a location include: How much is rent? Is there a POS available? Is there WiFi or working internet connection? Are you allowed to paint the walls and/or customize the space? Can you add window decals or light fixtures? What kind of insurance do you need to get? Is there a bathroom, storage, store-front windows? Is there a deposit? Is there a floorplan or blueprint that you could take a look at? What is the difference between licensing (borrowing the space where landlords can enter as they please) or renting the space? What is the occupancy limits? Do you need a permit from the city? What are the terms for cancellations and refunds?

We’ll help answer all these questions for you. By going on our website, we eliminate the extensive research process and help find the best location for your pop-up. We’re here to help.

Step 3: Budget.

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Money. Brands should have a realistic goal for their pop-up. When figuring out a budget, brands should keep in mind how many square feet they would need, understand that locations and cities vary in price, if they would like to host their pop-up in a booth or a truck, how much is the company willing to spend on decor, etc.

A cost-effective way to save is to partner up with brands, co-retailing. Sharing the space with another brand(s), as mentioned prior. The benefits of a shared-space include increasing customer bases, expanding exposure, new perspective on the directions of your business growth, gaining reliability and trust, a spike in the number of sales, supporting network, and, of course, lower costs.

Step 4: Design, Layout, and Merchandising.

There are so many elements and customization to create a unique approach to your pop-up.

Suggestions: grab the floorplan you asked for earlier, and understand where you would like the focal point of space lies. Start playing with different ideas and decor to allow for an immersive experience within your pop-up store. What makes your pop-up different?

It is critical to understand your demographic and persona. Have your consumers in mind throughout the process. Ask yourself, what do they like? What is the best selling item? What are their habits and trends? What embodies their lifestyle? What does your consumer eat, drink, do in their free time? What colors, story, merchandise do you think they would like? Translate those questions into creating the ultimate brand story using fixtures, paint, photographs, plants, and props.

Armarium Pop-Up Shop

Step 5: Window Decals and Store Signage.

For any successful pop-up, the idea is to drive traffic. Bypassers are curious, so don’t cover your windows allowing for a mystery. Instead, your windows are perfect for focal points (best sellers) and great signage, attracting the traffic outside to come on in. Essentially, windows are the hook to your store. Signs should include the name of your pop-up or title, times and dates the pop-ups are open, the price of tickets (if applicable), and your website and social media handles. Make sure your signage is clear, legible, and pop.

Choose Love by Help Refugees Pop-Up Shop

Step 6: BUZZ: Marketing and Promotion.

Creating a buzz around your pop-up shop is imperative. Do some market research. Invite bloggers and influencers that your consumers follow, host events with different sponsors, invite other brands and companies that share the same message, create a hashtag or Instagram handle for your pop-up, keep posting (never stop posting).

Use Instagram to better delineate the story through pictures, Facebook for events, LinkedIn for blog posts, and Twitter for those one-line updaters. Social media is such a great tool to keep your consumers engaged and in-the-know at all times. The more your post, the greater assurance the message will get through. Also, be sure to like, retweet, follow those who are fans of your brand.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Step 7: Evaluation of the Success.

Photo by Patricia Serna on Unsplash

It’s the end of your pop-up. It’s time to go back to Step 1 and check the KPI goals that you set for yourself. Look at the average order value, the number of products per order, the most popular product, conversion rates, foot traffic, the number of e-mails collected, check social media and your followings, how many people mentioned you on social media.

Look at the information that consumers have given you, what did they say, what adjectives did they use, did they love your store, any feedback is good feedback for your next pop-up stores. You now have a list of people that enjoyed your store and purchased your merchandise. It is your chance to reach out, show your appreciation to those who mentioned you on social media, maybe they get a feature in your blog or a discount.

The idea of the pop-up is to create a store that exudes human-to-human interaction. Trust me, after your first pop-up experience, you’ll never go back to the old way of retailing.

“Sharpshooter” Written and Performed by The Danks. Courtesy of Hidden Pony Records.

Feel free to read more of brands success stories (website).

Want to feature your event or pop-up shop on our blog? Visit our website or e-mail us.

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popshop is an online platform for short term retail bookings as well as a global community for brands to interact, collaborate, and even share spaces.