How to organise a pop-up event.

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Pop-up events are rising in popularity, and they have been for some time now. With all sorts of businesses trying to get in on the action, from start-ups to established brands launching new products. These exclusive and temporary events are a fantastic way to attract an audience and create a buzz in the marketplace, even on a limited budget!

How to organise a pop-up event

The benefit of a pop-up is that it can create an experience – a restaurant, a music venue, a retail outlet, a children’s activity – for a short time in a location that can showcase to a huge crowd. Think airport lounges, market squares, and side streets – even motorway services!

If you are thinking of embarking on a pop-up event, there are a handful of things to organise beforehand. These will make sure that your experience is not only the best it can possibly be, but resonates with your audience and sends your message sky high – making all that hard work worthwhile.

Here are some excellent pointers for organising the perfect pop-up:


Identify your audience

An important place to start when organising any event is to ask yourself. What is the purpose of your pop-up event? Is your goal to sell products, to gain awareness, to announce a rebrand or just to stay fresh in consumers’ minds.

Whatever goal you set out on, it’s important to keep your target audience in mind while organising your pop-up. Your target audience can be whatever sits best with your brand: families, children, males, females, alcohol drinkers, music lovers, foodies, make-up enthusiasts. No audience is too broad or too confined.

Say, for example, your target market are travel enthusiasts and you want to introduce them to a new holiday destination you are promoting. You might want to set up your pop-up event in an airport, where you have an audience to inspire, that you know are ready and willing to travel. You could use VR headsets to whisk your audience away to your holiday destination in an instant and get them planning their next trip away as soon as they land back in their home country.


Stick to your budget

It’s very easy to continue to buy items for your pop-up event, and it’s such an exciting time that it can spiral out of control! Create a list of all areas that need to be covered before you get out that credit card – marketing, signage, press coverage, all materials, and events insurance. This will help to decide how much you can budget for each section – and hopefully have some extra for some last-minute necessities!


Here are a few budget friendly pop-up event tips for you:

  • Collaborate with other business owners to share the costs and double your audience reach
  • Get sponsorship – this can be a great way to boost your budget and align with likeminded businesses
  • Research the footfall of your chosen pop-up event location at the specific time you will be running the event – this can help you prepare any stock you might need and prevent over-ordering
  • Be targeted with your marketing – don’t waste budget marketing to the wrong audience; use social media advertising platforms for incredibly targeted advertising, and have an advertising campaign running which targets people within 1 mile or less of your pop-up event as it’s happening!


Choose a location

Picking a location for your pop-up event is one of the most vital decisions you will have to make, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. There’s an array to choose from. First consider where your audience will be, shopping centres, train stations, highstreets, or other public places?

Speak with your local council or any potential venue manager and shopping centre managers as they can help you with a quote but they can also tell you the peak times for highest footfall and even the demographics usually seen at their venue. This can help you make a more informed decision.

When picking a location, think about how the design of your pop-up event stall etc. will work within the space. You want it to stand out and be photogenic, as this will encourage people to take photos, share on social media and spread your message far and wide. For example, if your event is in the middle of a town centre, you might want your stall to contradict the surrounding environment of concrete buildings, so perhaps bring a taste of the jungle to your local Highstreet? Or, try to be cheeky with it and set up a camouflage stall with a sign that says ‘I’m invisible’. If you’re promoting a new gym, for example, set a pop-up gym up outside of a fast food restaurant with a drill sergeant ordering people to exercise with him. Using the environment around you and your stall setup to get noticed is going to be key to the success / popularity of your event.

Most importantly, don’t rush into making a decision, make sure you gather enough quotes to weigh up your options. If possible, visit the venues yourself so you can envision your pop-up event.


Licensed to thrill

Don’t forget to invest in a licence, especially if you’re thinking of serving food or drink at your pop-up event. There are loads of licences required when dealing with a public event, from live music, to lighting, decorations and serving alcohol. Do your research thoroughly so you don’t get caught out!


Don’t chance your finance

It’s recommended to manage your finances thoroughly with a pop-up. Keep receipts, have a balance sheet of outgoings, and keep card payments to one account, while logging everything in a spreadsheet for ease of management. If you are also dealing with selling goods or a service at your pop-up, make sure to keep plenty of cash in your float – and perhaps put one member of staff in charge of payments; this means that there is less chance of any confusion or mistakes.


Health and safety at all times

It’s easy to forget about potential hazards; the Health and Safety Executive very much understands this, so makes adhering to it extremely easy with their risk assessment tool. Health and safety is of utmost importance for your staff and members of the public. You may need extra help in the form of an health and safety assessment, but it will be worth it.


Event Insurance

If you are going to run a pop-up event, the most important investment is quality event insurance. Public liability insurance can guarantee to cover you and your business if anyone is accidentally harmed while attending the pop-up event, or on the premises. Product liability insurance will cover all your equipment at the pop-up event. Therefore, if any of your property is damaged it will be insured.

Most pop-up events only require one-off event insurance which is quite easy to obtain.


The fun side

We’ve covered the business and legal side of what you need to consider, but pop-up events aren’t all budgets and health and safety. They’re meant to be fun, and how can they be enjoyable to attend, if they aren’t enjoyable and exciting to set up?

A lot of creativity goes into running a pop-up event, from decorations for dressing up your stand, to invites and graphic design work. Two great platforms to source inspiration from on this are Pinterest and Etsy – here you can see real life examples of other pop ups too.

For example, this is a pop-up shop event ran by the cosmetics company Benefit, which is very on brand to their target audience but at a glance you can see the passion that went into the decorations, props and aesthetic.

Pink Pop up

This is another example of a beautiful and inspiring pop-up, done in such a simple way.

Brighton Pier 1

This pop-up event is from Hendrick’s gin and is actually a touring pop-up event. While only simple it is still an impressive and highly photogenic scene. Inside this telephone box there are wall to wall mirrors and sensory experiences. This was done as a PR piece for the new product release of the Midsummer Solstice Gin and if you venture into the phone box you are awarded with a sample of the new gin alongside a flower.

Not only is this pop-up event inspiring creatively, following its tour schedule around the UK, you might even find inspiration in terms of the locations, as you can see – this event is on Brighton Pier which boasts 11 million tourists annually.

Are you organising a pop-up event? From market traders insurance, fireworks insurance, hole in one insurance, hot food insurance to performers insurance and one-off insurance, we’ve got you covered! Call Event Insurance Services today for a quote. Organise your exciting pop-up event safe in the knowledge that you’ve ticked all the boxes.

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