Organizing a Pop-up Event

Pop-up events have been around for some time, especially in the retail sector and recently pop-ups have become increasingly popular among restaurants and art galleries. Pop events are very popular and interest is spreading.

More and more, corporate event and meeting planners are using pop-up events for meetings, product launches, and even hybrid events. When they are well executed, pop-up events can create excitement and have a high impact in a short time period.

What are pop-up events?

Pop-up events are temporary, unexpected events in unique spaces. They pop up and, after a few hours or days, they pop down. By definition, most events are temporary. It is the element of surprise in unexpected locations that distinguish pop-up events.

Pop-up events can be:

  • Face-to-face
  • Virtual 
  • Hybrid 

In this post, we’ll explore the keys to a successful pop-up event:

  1. The Right Venue
  2. Smooth Logistics
  3. Event Technology
  4. Strong Marketing to Create Buzz

Pop-up events can take place in temporary venues like event domes, igloos, and marquees or permanent structures like retail spaces and resorts. To surprise employees, companies can set them up on-site overnight in the parking lot, corporate green spaces or even the lobby.

Temporary pop-up event venues are a perfect fit for guerrilla marketing events as they generate a lot of buzz by seemingly appearing out of nowhere. Temporary event venues do create special challenges; decor, electrical outlets, sound, lighting, AV, WiFi, and bandwidth must all be brought in. With a little imagination, it doesn’t take much to create a temporary event structure.

At one time, hotels were concerned that pop-up events might compete with their offerings. Yet more and more properties are coming to the realization that pop-up events do not necessarily need to take place in a pop-up venue. They can take place on hotel property or in a function room. The advantage is that all infrastructure is already in place.

Technology like iPad kiosks, video walls, touch screens, and digital signage can deliver great impact at pop-up events.

  • Technology for Creating the Right Ambiance:  The right ambiance is part of what attract people to pop-up events, New brand activations, and 3D projection mapping can go a long way to creating the right ambiance. Fortunately, technology has made 3D projection mapping more affordable and accessible.
  • Engaging Participants Through AV: Whenever possible, AV should be compact and move beyond mundane projectors and screens. 360° degree screens, wireless presentation systems like Montage, and interactive screens are effective approaches for capturing the attention of participants. Here are a couple of examples.
  • Wifi Connectivity and Bandwidth: Enough bandwidth to support all exhibitors, AV and presentation technology is a must for pop-up events. Participants also expect free WiFi hotspots.
  • Temperature and Guest Comfort: During the winter and on cooler days in the fall and spring, keeping guests warm can be a challenge. Portable glass enclosed fireplaces with realistic flames are on the horizon.
  • Food and Beverage Service:  For pop-up events, keeping the environment clean and hygienic, and ensuring that food and beverages are served at the optimal temperature is essential for the safety of all guests. Dometic as well as Evaptainers have developed new, low tech approaches to keep food cool at remote locations.  Here is how one agency approached these challenges.
  • Cashless Payment Systems:  Cashless payment technology handles payments quickly and ensures accuracy. There is a wide range of mobile apps available such as Fastbar which replaced expensive and problematic POS systems with plastic wristbands.
  • Videography: Recording pop-up events and posting them on YouTube is one way to extend the longevity of the events. More tools are coming onto the market to make this easier.

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