Things may look a bit bleak for UK businesses with an increase in overheads and consumers tightening the purse strings for the same reasons. No doubt desperate eyes will look for cost-saving opportunities, with the marketing budgets in the firing line.

But the smart move is to diversify those new customer channels to generate more business. With Social ads harder than ever to get results, and SEO always a competitive space, running a Pop-Up event might be exactly what you need.

fashion show in pop up event
Fashion show showcasing new seasons collection at a pop up event

Why run Pop-Up Events?

It doesn’t matter on the industry, every firm or sole trader is reliant on customers who are either buying a product or service. Companies survive on repeat business, and grow with visibility to new clients. This fresh growth can only come from word of mouth recommendation, pro-active marketing to increase brand awareness, or reactive visibility in search engines or the phone book.

Successful pop-ups falls into the pro-active category, and can help you expand your customer base through footfall which is likely not a medium you currently use. Done correctly, this should yield the most successful results as it would be an untapped resource. For example, if you run an online ecommerce store you can promote your product’s quality to impulse buyers who might deliver life time value by becoming a loyal repeat customer.

It’s also an opportunity to gain feedback directly from your potential clients on your product and direct market research. This can be critical for a business rebrand where you can target a new audience and gain valuable feedback at the same time. It’s low commitment to test the receptiveness of your brand and what you offer, and the short time frame if promoted helps generate hype and exclusivity, especially if you are selling limited addition items.

What is a pop-up event?

A pop-up event is a temporary concept, similar to a pop-up shop in a short-term retail location, or a pop-up restaurant as a food stall at a festival. It’s smaller scale to an Expo, and in some cases could be invite only and exclusive.

pop up event at an art gallery
Art Gallery’s make a great pop-up venue as they are spacious

How to pick the right location

Understanding and knowing your target audience is crucial. It needs to be accessible and relevant, preferably attracting the right demographic in local foot traffic too. For example, if you are a luxury clothing brand launching a new collection or an artist exhibiting their work, you want to look at art venues for hire in London and not an old cement works in the middle of the countryside. Match the venue with your audience for the best success.

And you will need to advertise to generate buzz, either with posters and fliers or through digital advertising. You can create an event on Facebook which you can advertise in the local area which will help you gauge interest and number of event attendees. And raise word of mouth via your own existing customers through newsletters and social media posts. To get numbers up you can invite friends and family who can also help keep the mood buoyant and fun on the day.

vintage food van
A van is the ultimate mobile pop-up food stall and samples are a great way to gather interest

Make it memorable

If you are planning a pop-up event, then you want to ensure it’s talked about for a long time. You should deliver something memorable, either by the fantastic experience or through giveaways. The product or service quality will hopefully do the talking, but people buy people so being energetic is a must. If that’s not in your locker, consider hiring some help to cover that but ensure they are super knowledgeable about the product too.

Games are a fantastic ice breaker, and free samples pique interest enough for that vital first step in your direction. Where relevant, alcohol is a very useful tool to overcome inhibitions and loosen things up, but should be used wisely.

If you want to take the pop-up event to the next level, you will want to use a B2B Public Relations company who will have high level contacts with your local business community. This not only can help with finding a good venue, but can help get you a strong guest list of attendees.

So in summary, the key to a successful pop-up event is planning, location, promotion and execution.