Pop-up shops and restaurants are an effective way to improve brand engagement - but recently pop-ups have been playing an ever-growing role in the events industry, with more and more brands opting for this form of event. Corporate pop-up events are increasingly being used to engage with brands' audiences, and there is now a strong demand for pop-up events among corporates, as well as consumers. Here, I take a look at why brands should consider pop-up events and how they can maximise their benefit.
Why choose a pop-up event?
Pop-ups are all about celebrating the now - something that is here today and will be gone tomorrow; the idea of embracing the moment or risk missing out completely. This concept has a fresh appeal to it - it fosters innovation, invention and creativity. In contrast to the static nature of some traditional corporate events, the dynamic proposition of pop-ups more easily engages an audience and cultivates connections.
Keep your brand values, key messages and primary objectives in mind
When it comes to seeking inspiration for an event, the choice is huge - from theatre, film and art, to music, fashion, travel and literature. These themes should influence your outlook and spark creativity, but to ensure a relevant and authentic pop-up event experience it's important to start with your brand values, key messages and primary objectives, then see where they take you. It's then time to consider what ideas those values and messages evoke and which aspects are particularly compelling. You can then refine these ideas and turn them into a solid platform for a unique live event experience.
Pop-ups allow brands to raise awareness and deliver messages
All event are unique and every brand has their own particular set of objectives. You need to be clear about what makes your brand stand out from the crowd, and the resulting event must express this sense of identity and purpose. Pop-ups are often an opportunity for brands to show flair and an extra dimension of personality, allowing them to move beyond their usual brand confines to create something entirely new. As an extension of this, pop-up experiences are also great platforms for raising awareness of something new that your brand wants to talk about - from launching new products or a new store location, to driving audiences to a new social media account or encouraging them to interact with a new campaign hashtag.
How do you measure the effectiveness and response of pop-ups?
It does depend on the nature of the experience. For some events, it's possible to measure the response through quantitative data, such as how many people visited the space or made a purchase. Digital figures can also be harnessed, such as whether online traffic has increased since the pop-up was launched, or by looking at campaign likes, account follows, or hashtag mentions. However, many experiences are more focused on creating emotive connections with their audiences and these are harder to measure. In these instances, it's valuable to collect feedback from guests regarding how the experience makes them feel. If you can shout about this positive feedback through press coverage and word of mouth reviews you're on the right track.
Keep your pop-ups fresh and unique
The pop-ups that have been most successful in the past are those that have been original, enjoyable and well-conceived experiences. To emulate this success, brands should carefully consider their messages and purpose of their event and ensure the experience they create captures this in a fresh, sincere and entertaining way. The best pop-ups also tend to be bold and brave -don't be afraid to do things differently and try to break new ground.
Should there be a celebrity at my pop-up event?
Celebrities can be a useful way of raising awareness through press attention and social media engagement. However, it's important to ensure the celebrity you work with is relevant and complements the event concept and messaging. They should enhance the story rather than compete with it.
A successful pop-up should primarily be focused on experience - so whilst a celebrity could be a useful way of showcasing the event, it's important to ensure their presence doesn't distract your audience from your objectives.
The dos and don'ts...
A strong pop-up will be original, exciting and well delivered. The idea needs to be striking to capture attention, but attention to detail is also critical to ensure the experience is enjoyable and memorable for all the right reasons - every element should echo and enhance your brand concept.
Don't just follow suit, don't cut corners and don't throw money at a concept you haven't fully developed. The essence of the idea can be quite simple, but the delivery of the event needs to be thorough and consistent, leaving a positive lasting impact with your audience and target market.