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10 Tips for Planning the Ultimate Pop-Up Events

78% of Millennials say that face-to-face interactions will make them more inclined to become part of a brand.

In the era of social marketing, the trend of opening pop-up, or short-term, sales and dining spaces is booming. Young people love to develop personal relationships with business owners and feel like they are a part of an exciting new enterprise.

Designed to be inspiring, one-of-a-kind happenings in impressive venues, pop-up events can take the form of mini-restaurants, retail spaces, craft circles, or flash mobs introducing new brands.

How can you make your pop-up pop? Here are ten great ideas.

1. Know Your Goal

Before you plan your pop-up event, it is important to define your marketing strategy. You may want to network, build up a buzz for your product, or create a regular customer base. Discover more on setting goals and marketing before you start your event.

2. Set Your Price

Some pop-ups, such as retail stores, are free unless customers wish to purchase something. Others, such as dining spaces, are paid and sometimes ticketed.

Keep in mind that diners often see pop-up events as deserving of a few extra dollars. They are paying for a unique, exclusive atmosphere, and not just a great meal. You want to make them feel like high-end customers splurging on a stylish experience.

3. Choose Your Theme First

Start by selecting a theme that will honor the uniqueness of your brand or cuisine. Create a Pinterest account and keep pinning photos that inspire your vision. Soon, you will have a focused picture of the kind of space you want to enchant your customers with.

After you have designed your exceptional concept, begin searching for your venue. It may be easier than you think.

4. Shop for Your Space

There are some real estate agents who specialize in pop-up events. They can help you find the perfect non-traditional space for your affair. Real-estate agents can help you locate unusual locations to pop in, such as cruise ship ports or dining-in-the-sky locations.

You may need licenses, permits, and insurance to utilize certain spaces. An agent can help you get the right paperwork so you won’t have to devote hours to research and phone calls.

5. Use Social Media

Building customer loyalty is increasingly a function of your fingertips. Use visual sites like Snapchat to create a behind-the-scenes look at your event before, during, and after its debut. The best part about Snapchat is that contact with customers is immediate and close.

You can use a Facebook group to invite contacts, their contacts, and their contacts to your event. If you spend a few dollars for their paid promotion feature, you can use audience and location targeting for the ads you create. Facebook will even allow you to analyze data and collect email addresses.

Instagram is a highly visual platform, and it can allow you to become visible across a number of other sites.

Linkedin can help you to create a group page for your event. You can post information, announce updates, and communicate with any potential attendees. If you are planning on having a special guest, they can personally upload updates and profiles to keep the buzz going.

6. E-Blast

Send personal emails to friends and family, and have them spread the energy of your event with their networks, too. Post on your blog and send out press releases.

Compile an email list while folks are buying tickets or browsing your wares. After the pop-up closes, use it to send updates or announce appealing products or specials.

7. Serve a Feast

If your pop-up is a dining experience, consider a prix-fixe banquet meal with no substitutions rather than a traditional menu. That way, you will know exactly what you need and can prepare ingredients ahead of time. You can streamline it the night of the event.

Accommodating special requests can slow service down, especially if you are operating with a smaller prep space. And a fixed menu gives the aura of a festive event with exclusive offerings.

8. Stick With Your Budget

If finances aren’t your jam, consider two separate spreadsheets where you keep track of expenditures and income. If your event is ticketed, you will know the money you have to work with ahead of time. You can use a pop-up tool kit.

You should aim to spend no more than 25% of your budget on food, and no more than 25% on labor. For many entrepreneurs, the goal of a pop-up is to build an excited clientele, and their financial goals are satisfied when they break even.

9. Assemble a Team

You may want to consider working with another chef, a local artist, or an alcohol partner. Reach out to other businesses whose brand seems to fit yours, and offer specific ways to get them involved. Let them know how their business can profit from the unique marketing opportunity of partnering with you.

10. Ask for Feedback

Get a little feedback from customers after your event, even if it’s answering one question on a card and dropping it in a mason jar. While criticism can be a little tough to swallow, especially if you are dearly committed to your brand, you may get some ideas that prove very lucrative in the future.

Plan Your Pop-Up Event

Pop-up events will consume hours of time and energy. Yet, with the right team, strong advertising, and a classy experience, you will be on your way toward developing a customer base that will grow for years to come.

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