The Pop-Up Experience
“Here today, gone tomorrow”
Well we’re definitely here to stay but not always as a physical space.
We launched Artagasm as a pop-up shop in Chennai on the 10th September 2017 following which we participated in many pop ups. For some of you who are new to this term, a pop-up shop is a temporary retail event through which people get to see your products in a physical space. It has definitely been a great experience for us and has opened up quite a few avenues for us to connect with our potential customers.
Pop-up events are becoming quite popular in Chennai yet there are quite a few who are still very new to this concept. We realised that once we started getting calls the next day saying “We’re sorry we missed the launch, so where exactly is your store?”. So we thought we’ll share what we learnt through this experience & hope it would be helpful to people aspiring to hold pop-up shops in the future.
Disclaimer : These points are purely based on our learnings & not copy pasted.
You gotta have a plan first to improvise, right? It’s quite obvious that things always don’t go according to plan, but never ever EVER not have a plan! From what we’ve learnt, planning a pop-up at a physical space has 3 stages.
Stage 1 : Fixing the space & date.
Stage 2 : Promoting the event.
Stage 3 : Planning the layout & checklist of what you need for the same.
It is extremely crucial to pick the perfect place & time. Even if you have the best set of products, you have got to make sure you’re at THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME. The important things to consider for this is,
Location : Is it central? Accessible? Easy to locate? Parking?
The Space : A lot of pop-up spaces/organisers these days have their own audience. Ensure that the kind of people they reach out to fall under your target audience. This would directly impact your sales. Showcasing yourself amidst people who might not relate to your brand would only end up an expensive visibility exercise. We had to learn this the hard way.
Date & Time : Since we’re new, we just have a few insights on this point. Public holidays need not necessarily be the best day to have an event. Sundays & month beginnings are great!
Unless you have a gazillion tickets to sell and probably expect a turnout of more than 10000, I’d say the basic social media marketing and non paid forms of promotions are more than enough.
Use social media as much you can in a non-spamming way. It’s a bonus if you do know a few social media influencers who would do a post/story for you. Posters in a few high traffic (we mean human traffic :P) locations would add to the visibility as well. The most important part here is the content you’re promoting. Keep it very simple, catchy & to the point.
- Make an inventory of all products you’re going to be displaying with their pricing.
- Pack & load up the car previous night or if you cannot, pack the products up in trolley bags. This way, you avoid a lot of last minute tension.
- Figure out the payment method. If you have a POS machine, great! If not, figure out an alternative way for cashless payments. Just cash as a payment option would easily reduce your sales by 50%.
- Take enough cash change. Make a note of how much change you’re taking.
- Figure out how you’re going to do the billing & packaging. It’s important to have this done under a minute.
- Based on how big your pop up is going to be, figure out how much help you need & fix this at least a week before. Fix their roles in advance as well.
- Decor - Even if your products are interesting enough, do not ignore the decor. For example, even simple fairy lights around the place would make a difference. However, make sure that the decor you choose can be fixed quickly.
- FOOD! These events mostly go on throughout the day & you simply cannot survive on energy drinks (Trust me on this). Pack some energy bars, rice boxes or anything you can eat without messing your hands.
On that day,
You’re going to have a lot of “I am losing it” moments. Just take a deep breath & go with the flow (Do not yell at the person next to you :P).
Even if you’ve got everything planned, the actual day of the event would come with various new challenges. Just try and stick to the original plan as much as possible & improvise wherever necessary. Get to the place early so that any crisis can be dealt with before customers walk in. Keep smiling, even if you’re flustered. Make sure every person who walks into your store gets your card especially when it gets crowded. What didn’t convert then might convert later.
Try & engage with your customers whenever possible. Let them know your story. It has proven to be successful when a person can associate a face to a brand.
Lastly, keep putting up live updates of your event on social media. Have your visitors put up social media posts if possible. This would make sure the event is impactful and creates an impression on people who are watching you.
Hope this blog post is helpful to everyone out there who’s planning a pop up out there! :)