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Why pop-ups are so popular with event marketers

February 5, 2019 | Insights

Consumer buying habits are changing. The decision to make a purchase has become more dependent on the buying experience you create than on the product or service you sell.

Why? Because today’s customers value experiences as much as (if not more than) things. So they buy based on how you make them feel, not just on what you have to offer.

This experience-over-things mentality has contributed to the rise of the pop-up—and the pop-up’s popularity with event marketers. Here are four reasons why you should consider adding a pop-up to your next marketing campaign.

1. Pop-ups are temporary

By definition, pop-ups are a unique brand experience housed in a temporary structure. And with the rise of online shopping, pop-ups are ideal for brands looking for a new way to reach their audience directly without significant expense.

Pop-ups provide the face-to-face benefits of a brick-and-mortar space without the long-term investment in rent, utilities and resources. The temporary nature of pop-ups also allows you to go where your customers are instead of making them come to you.

2. Pop-ups are anytime and anywhere

When you exhibit at a tradeshow or event, you are limited to when and where it takes place and confined to their rules and regulations. Pop-ups give you greater control over your experience, including the time, place and space.

Do you have customers who are fashion-minded or sports-oriented? Pop-ups give you the flexibility to create an experience during fashion week or a shop close to the stadium. Or, you can satiate your customers’ need for convenience and instant gratification by popping up where they live, work, play and shop.

3. Pop-ups are experimental

Pop-ups are meant to be disruptive. When consumers walk onto the show floor, they know what to expect. But pop-ups literally pop up, breaking into your customers’ daily routine to establish a more relevant and memorable connection.

With their lower commitment level, pop-ups allow you to go bolder and try something out of the ordinary. They are the perfect testing ground for a new campaign or product and a low-risk way to push your brand outside of its box. They can also be used to influence more immersive experiences or permanent installs in the future.

4. Pop-ups incite FOMO

Pop-ups are hype machines. People know if you want to experience a pop-up, you have to go now because it could be gone tomorrow.

The short-lived and transitory nature of pop-ups amps up the fear of missing out (FOMO) factor. It also creates an air of exclusivity. And exclusivity breeds big turnouts and lots of social press.

While pop-ups are temporary, they’re also lot of work.

Here’s how to get started.

  • Define your goals. Work with your team to figure out what your goals are and how a pop-up helps you achieve them.
  • Design something different. Look at your marketing program and determine where there are opportunities to push boundaries and create a fresh concept.
  • Find a new audience. Think beyond people who already interact with your brand. Pop-ups are a great way to create brand awareness, launch a new product or demonstrate your social work (which is particularly attractive to that much-coveted Millennial audience).
  • Make location a priority. Find a location that is accessible and has heavy foot traffic. Weigh the pros and cons of indoor versus outdoor spaces and the benefits and risks of popping up in an unexpected location.

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