Have you ever dreamed of opening a storefront for your e-commerce business? Pop-up events can give you a taste of what’s to come when it’s time to take your business to the physical world. By opening a pop-up, you’ll be able to see the effects of what in-person foot traffic can do for your business and gain a better understanding of what it takes to run a tangible store. Taking the leap to find a location, establish your motivations, and advocate for your pop-up event can put your business on the path to expanding and possibly even creating a future storefront!
Find Your Space
The search for an event space for your pop-up can take up a large portion of the planning process. While the seemingly endless property options can feel overwhelming, researching your target demographics can help you narrow down your search. If you’re expecting a large crowd, make sure the location you select allows plenty of space for inventory and elbow room for shoppers to browse comfortably.
You may come across retail spaces that allow you to rent a property for a specific amount of time, so before you sign, you’ll want to consider your pop-up timeline. Leases can range anywhere from a few days to a few months; so make sure you don’t overextend your timeline if opening a shop won’t be sustainable for long-term selling.
Finding a space to set up your pop-up is only half the battle. Make sure to consider the cost of product displays and the memorable environment you want to create for your shoppers. Opening a line of credit can assist you in offsetting the costs of creating even a temporary storefront. Whether it’s providing food and drinks, bringing in outside entertainment, or having a point of sale system in place for smooth transactions, each cost needs to be anticipated to allow you to develop an accurate budget for the event.
Establish Your Motivations
The goals you’ve set for your e-commerce business should look different than your goals for expanding into your in-person business, as both means of selling come with different sets of challenges. If you go into a pop-up event without clear goals in place, you may not achieve the level of success you’re looking for.
The process of transitioning your customers offline can be a challenge, but it’s important to remember that you’ll be the first face they’ll see when they arrive. Shoppers want to see that you’re passionate about your products, so maintaining personal and informative interactions with those who attend your event can go a long way.
Making connections is a powerful tool when trying to gain word-of-mouth networking. Network marketing and creating digital relationships for an e-commerce business is often easier to achieve via social media. But, putting in the extra work to create strong bonds with people in your local community will set you apart from your online networks. These relationships can lead to more support and meaningful conversations about the growth of your business.
Advocate For Your Event
Taking a leap of faith to open a pop-up isn’t enough to guarantee a successful launch. If this is your first in-person event for your business, you may not know how to approach outreach in planning.
Here are a few ways for you to approach manageable beginner outreach for events:
Generate a Poll on Your Social Media Pages
Before you commit to renting a booth or storefront to hold your pop-up event, get an estimate of attendance numbers from your existing following. A poll can determine how much of a push you should make in advertising and dictate how much inventory you should have on hand at the event.
Create a Content Calendar
Give yourself plenty of time to create a call to action. Plan to promote your event at least a month beforehand and have content lined out that creates anticipation leading up to the big day. You’ll want to give people time to plan their attendance and give sneak peeks at what’s to come. Creating a set content calendar will give you time to focus on other event logistics and make brainstorming content easy to achieve.
You may still consider yourself a small business, and that’s ok! Finding another small business you can partner with that’ll mutually benefit both parties’ needs can give you a boost in attention, not only in the business space but also in expanding your customer base. Partnerships with another business can also bring down the cost of renting a pop-up space to a more profitable level. Collaboration with other business owners can foster new ideas and lasting relationships.
After searching for a location, nailing down your motivations, and advocating for your pop-up, you shouldn’t be afraid to fully immerse yourself in the experience you’ve created for your event. Pop-up events can be a trial-and-error process, so don’t be discouraged if your first event doesn’t lead to outstanding results. Getting the word out and gaining experience will give you more insight into the temporary event space and prepare you for the future of taking your business to a tangible level!