What if we told you that there is an event marketing strategy that has the ability to get a consumer to walk into a space and fully experience your brand with all of their senses? Well, it’s true, pop-up events offers this exactly. They present a unique opportunity for consumers to get up close and personal with brands in an immersive setting. Pop-up events are temporary in nature. And it’s the exclusivity they offer that you want to capitalize on. Now, we bet you’re thinking, this sounds expensive. And, as with anything, these can be scaled up. However, just as we can scale up, we can easily scale back. Therefore, we want to show some love for start-ups and small businesses. So, if you are looking for big, splashy budgets, you’ll have to wait for a part two because today we are exclusively discussing pop-up event ideas for small businesses.
As with any marketing activity, you should establish a clear objective for what type of event you want to execute. For instance, when it comes to pop-up events for small businesses, we will start you off with three key objectives: increase product or brand awareness, gain new customers or conduct critical market research. All three of these objectives have a clear goal, can be measured against KPIs, and have a specific call to action.
You can effectively increase product and brand awareness through pop-up event ideas for small businesses. You can achieve this by simply getting your brand and/or product names out there. To do this, we recommend utilizing clean, eye-catching creative content and branded assets. Now, this does not mean that you should plaster your logo onto every surface. Branded assets need to make sense and reinforce key brand messaging. Your creative content should work for you, not against you.
Now, we know creative content can get expensive, but hear us out. There are a ton of reasonably priced yet experienced freelance designers on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. However, if you’re a little more design-oriented, there are free design tools like Canva that you can use to DIY. And finally, this objective is a perfect opportunity to partner with another brand or product that complements yours. Maximize the opportunity by splitting costs or taking over an existing space. For instance, create a branded lounge or photo moment area. Alternatively, consider something a little more modular! Who said a pop-up event had to be stagnant?! While trucks & trailers can become costly, if you are strategic in planning your route and are able to visit multiple cities, the ROI can be ten-fold. Creating a street team strategy can widen your awareness and really get your name out there.
Next, let’s discuss how you can gain new customers by utilizing pop-up events. Besides the obvious, that your pop-up event (whether stagnant or mobile) will be eye-catching to consumers. How else can you attract and gain new customers? Well, we’re glad you asked. There are a few strategies that we advocate for our clients. For instance, offering a live demo is one of the best ways to gain new customers. It is an organic way of starting a conversation that can then create a connection and lead to a conversion. The reason this technique is so effective is because it eases consumer anxiety over trying new products. If they can experience for themselves that it works, tastes good or smells amazing, etc., then they are more apt to reach for it again in the future.
This pairs hand in hand with another strategy, the limited-time offer. For example, BOGO offers, and discount codes work extremely well in getting consumers to take that extra step versus abandoning their online shopping cart. If they’ve trialed it, loved it and can obtain their first purchase at a discount, the re-purchasing process becomes a no-brainer. In addition, this creates loyalty and return customers. Because brands can limit the margins on offers and have access to samples at cost, these options are quite budget friendly and worth the investment to small businesses.
Wrapping up our pop-up event ideas for small businesses, we want to look at this from another angle, and that is conducting market research. Now, you can do this solo or combine it with any of the above objectives, but brands tend to forget about this one event though it’s so important.
Marketing research and competitive analysis are worth their weight in gold. To be frank, nothing should be executed, especially in the event marketing and experiential industry, without key industry insights backing it up. So, how can we achieve this, especially for small businesses? Well, we recommend starting by going where the people are. You want access to mass amounts of diverse consumers, found in busy places such as malls, transit hubs and/or office towers. This can be done cost-effectively, as it doesn’t take exhaustive budgets to do this. Start with a mobile team, some branded gear and some iPads. Surveys and a digital game, such as a spin-to-win, will go a long way. The beauty of this is that the critical research you obtain can help to shape larger pop-up events in the future.
If we can add any additional advice to help our small business clients cover costs when it comes to pop-up events, we would recommend building partnerships and/or opportunities for collaboration. And if you take anything away from today’s blog, remember that centering your pop-up event around a clear objective is the way to go. If you have an opportunity to both surprise and delight onsite, in addition to sampling and/or selling a product, then pop-up events can be especially worth your while.
Are you a small business? What are some of your favourite pop-up events? Connect with us in the comments, on our social channels or click below to get in contact with us for your next event!