How to Find your Perfect Pop Up Space

Are you ready to join the pop up revolution?

If so, then you will need to start making a series of decision to ensure success of your pop up venture. Many people, seeing the phenomenal success of some pop up shops assume that they are an ‘easy’ venture to make a success.

UNIQLO pop up shop at Union Square station, NY
photo credit: MTA Photos

It is true that in many cases, pop up shops have been a runaway success and, when you see the many established names and brands that are doing it, you can be forgiven for thinking that it doesn’t take much effort at all.

But, a swan may glide effortlessly and gracefully across a lake but beneath the surface of the water, it is paddling hard! The same is true of pop up shops.

Knowing where to set up your pop up shop and why, is essential in steering your pop up venture to unfettered success, so before you start the cheap poster printing run, take a few moments to work through these steps…

Step 1: create your pop up goals

Pop up shops, despite their temporary, opportunistic nature, still need to have goals, otherwise they will just drift along, losing impetus by the second week. Some established businesses for example, use them as a way of raising brand awareness or introducing a new product; for some start-up or small businesses, it is about ‘testing the water’. Either way, setting goals that can be measured are essential.

Step 2: identify your target customer

Also known as your demographic, you need to work out who you are selling to. If you products are suited to the teenage market, then you will need to choose a location and image that appeals to this demographic. Likewise, if you are targeting the career woman, you will need to appeal to this demographic. Knowing who you are selling to is important for the following step…

Step 3: your pop up location

Knowing where your customers are at is essential; you can start to narrow down locations when you know who your target customer is. Pop up shops rely on one thing: foot fall but opting for a high street on one place may not have the right footfall you need or want. In other words, the thronging crowd carries on walking past your pop up shop…

Research is key when it comes to deciding on the right location. There are many websites that can help in your search for the right locations…

These companies have effectively done a lot of research on your behalf; tapping into their expertise could make all the difference between the right spot, and instant success, or the wrong spot and a retail disaster.

Pop up shop in London
photo credit: Dan Thompson

Step 4: Set your opening hours

Know you have your target customer identified and your location primed and ready, you now need to add a dose of practicality to the whole pop up venture. Some people assume that because the venture is short term, that opening every hour they can is the way to success.

You will find it hard to keep up a 7 day week, 12 hours days for 12 weeks; if you have staff, this is unrealistic too but, don’t forget that for pop up ventures work by creating an ambience about them that borders on the exclusive…. And limiting your shop hours that suit your customer demographic gives you maximum impact, but time to have a life too!

Step 5: TELL people you are there… before and during…

Pop up shops can be hard work, but with key decisions made prior to launch, you can create maximum impact. But, your pop up venture will need marketing, just like any other kind of business or retail venture.

The good news, there are many marketing mediums that are cost-effective and, using the right ones to target the right customers will mean that you get a fabulous return of investment.

Although temporary, you don’t want to look ‘too’ temporary or you will come across as a fly by night. Marketing your intending pop up venture before launch is a great way of stoking fascination and anticipation in your business but you only have short window of opportunity to grab passing trade.

Marketing your pop up venture in one location needs to be a constant consistent process; well-placed posters, along with leaflets and banners in store or around your pop up space are great, inexpensive ways of telling your customers who you are, what you do and how they can buy. Don’t forget to tell people how they can connect with you too…

There is no doubting the very excitement that pop up ventures can generate. They have, to a certain extent, revolutionised the retail landscape of many a city and town centre. Why don’t you be part of this revolution?