The Two Most Popular Types of Pop-Up Experiences

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Pop-Up experiences are characterized not only by affordability and high impact, but also, versatility and flexibility. There are no hard and fast rules regarding theme, size or scale of a pop-up—often a concept is morphed to fit a desired location. Pop-ups range from invitation-only events for VIP customers to public product trials, from small regional launches to national campaigns. Size and scale range from 100 sq. ft. kiosks to 10,000 sq. ft. multi-level structures. Two types of pop-up experiences have proven most popular:


1. Those that sell product.
A pop-up store is a temporary storefront with an unique, attractive design that appears in existing, underutilized or unused retail space as well as high-traffic public areas. The store is focused on a particular brand and its most popular or innovative products. It serves as a hub to learn more about the latest product developments or to make a purchase. Consumers are often encouraged to further engage with the brand through associated special offers, coupons, regional events, and a drive to social media.


2. Those that generate brand recognition and buzz among influencer consumer sets.
Activity-themed environments with trained brand ambassadors in high-traffic areas focus on benefits or authenticity of the brand, product or service creating a unique, seamless experience. Customer and influencers are invited to participate in demonstrations that fully illustrate product capabilities. Guests are invited to share their excitement about the experience, brand or products on social media, pointing to the location of the pop-up experience or a retail store to make a purchase. VIPs and brand influencers—and their friends and family—are often invited to exclusive evening events where the brand caters to their shared lifestyle and interests.


Great pop-up experiences generate media buzz and brand exposure to a larger audience. It’s an effective way to introduce new brands and products to targeted consumers groups. Pop-ups are a good compliment to traditional marketing; a means to deliver brand messages and make an impact on the front lines where consumers are already shopping, playing, working, or traveling. A great way to quickly generate consumer urgency in a targeted city or neighborhood.


Pop-up experiences are measured using the same methods as standard event marketing. Success is achieved in a variety of ways: word of mouth, foot traffic, sidewalk traffic, sales, sample giveaways, coupon redemptions, on site surveys, as well as media impressions and spikes in online hits.


Ideally, a pop-up store will generate both sales and buzz which ensures a “longer life” for the temporary experience. A memorable experience for visitors, customers and influencers is the key to accomplishing both.




Check out pop-up experiences and brand activations designed and produced by Sparks.


Posted by Kristy Elisano | Request as a Speaker

Caffeine dependent Jersey girl. Northeast powder hound. Inspired by creative risk takers and underdogs. VP Marketing, Doodle owner and cocreator of my daughter.