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POP-UP ACTIVATION and Why They're So Popular

Spark brand interest, excitement, and engagement with in-person activations

Create a halo of exclusivity around your brand 

Immerse people in captivating brand moments and environments

Find new customers, create community, and drive revenue

Become a brand people want to experience

Differentiate yourself in competitive environments with creative pop-ups


Pop-Up Activation Marketing: What You Need To Know

The allure of real-world, one-of-a-kind, limited-time brand experiences is undeniable. That's where pop-up activations come in, offering companies a way to generate buzz, create new customers, engage their community, host influencers, and drive social buzz.

Pop-up marketing activations have one common feature: they last for a limited time, usually one day to three weeks. An additional characteristic of pop-ups is exclusive brand experiences, merch, and activities (e.g., makeovers, celebrity meet-and-greets, food and drinks, workshops, etc.) for the public. A pop-up can be used to launch a new product or simply as a surprise and delight.

Pop-up activations come in all shapes and sizes:

  • Storefront Popup: This is the classic pop-up activation strategy; lease a retail space or partner with an established business to bring your concept to life. Perfect for limited-time brand cafes, restaurants, and shops. 

  • Sidewalk Popup: Bring your brand to city neighborhoods with a food truck, showroom vehicle, or coffee cart activation. This approach is activated with city permits allowing you to host brand activities and displays on the sidewalk. 

  • Plaza, Pier, & Park Popup: If you need more space, a pedestrian plaza, park, or pier is the answer. In New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, securing these outdoor locations takes more time and budget, although it's worth it as you'll have ample space and a beautiful setting.

  • Event Popup: Tap into existing events such as festivals, conferences, and stadiums to leverage their spaces, themes, and audiences.

  • Outdoor Mall Popup: In cities like Los Angeles, Dallas, Tampa with limited footfall, outdoor malls are popular pop-up activation locations, especially ones designed as lifestyle centers where people dine, live, and attend events.

  • Guerilla Popup: Show up in cities with activation tactics that don't require permits. Think nimble - street teams, sampling bikes, and promo vehicles.

Pop-up activation strategies are leveraged by all industries, including beauty, entertainment, tech, and B2B companies. 

Popup activations range from $25,000 to $250,000, depending on size, scope, and duration. For example, if you'd like to transform a retail space in Soho, New York City for a stint during the holiday season you're looking at the higher end while a small sidewalk pop-up activation costs a lot lower.

Your pop-up activations can generate onsite sales, but the real return-on-investment is the brand value creation - spike in interest, engagement, popularity, and energy they generate. For this reason, brands enhance their pop-up activities with lots of promotion, creators, influencers, social media, and press coverage.

Food brand pop-up activation in Boston

Pop-Up Activation Marketing Services

It takes a lot to create a successful pop-up activation. Some of our creative strategy pop-up marketing services listed below to provide a bit of insight.

  • Crafting pop-up experiential concepts that resonate with your target audiences and drive results

  • Strategic planning and experiential design

  • Event assets production (e.g. vehicles, giant product replicas, signage, etc.)

  • Activity production and staffing (e.g., photo booths, makeover stations, prize wheels, etc.)

  • Pop-up producers with experience in major cities across the US

  • Sourcing and booking pop-up locations

  • Obtaining city and venue permits

  • Managing pop-up asset storage, transportation, and installation

  • Recruiting and training brand ambassadors

  • Producing outfits and props

  • Pre-production and rehearsals

  • Providing liability insurance certificates

  • Ensuring event safety, accessibility, and security

  • Sourcing talent - videographers, performers, the press, celebrities, creators, and influencers

  • Production of marketing materials and swag

  • Creating site plans and run-of-show schedules

  • Tracking impressions, engagements, feedback, KPIs, CPIs, and other key metrics

  • Post-production, pop-up recaps, and recommendations

Festival Pop-up Activation - Dallas, Texas

Insights for Optimizing Your Pop-Up Activation:

1.) Define Your Objectives: Clarify your goals - whether it's boosting brand awareness, generating leads, or driving sales.

2.) Understand Your Audience: Identify your target demographic and tailor your activation to resonate with their interests and preferences.

3.) Right Type: Select a pop-up style that aligns with your budget, objectives, and brand ethos.

4.) Location Matters: Choose a strategic, high-traffic venue that aligns with your target demographic's habits and preferences.

5.) Craft an Unforgettable Experience: Create an immersive, interactive, and visually striking experience that leaves a lasting impression.

6.) Structure engagement: While most pop-ups offer free stuff, require your guests to take action (e.g. app install, share, newsletter sign-up, etc.) to receive.

7.) Monitor Performance: Measure key performance indicators such as attendance, dwell time, type of engagement, and conversions to gauge your activation's effectiveness.

8.) Capitalize on Seasonal Opportunities: Seamlessly integrate your pop-up with seasonal events to leverage existing foot traffic and enhance visibility.

9.) Think Outside the Storefront: Consider unconventional venues like rooftops, parks, or historic landmarks to create an unforgettable and memorable experience.

10.) Navigate Legalities: Ensure compliance with permits and regulations well in advance to prevent logistical setbacks.

11.) Embrace Local Trends: Incorporate elements of local culture, trends, and events to make your activation feel timely and relevant.

12.) Foster Collaborations: Forge partnerships with complementary brands, artists, and organizations to expand for mutual benefit.

13.) Encourage Social Sharing: Design your pop-up to easily be shared on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.

14.) Prepare for Contingencies: Anticipate unforeseen challenges, such as inclement weather and city regulations, so have a flexible pop-up presence and plans.

15.) Extend Reach Virtually: Offer exclusive online experiences or promotions to engage with those unable to attend in person.

16.) Minimize waste: Opt for eco-friendly materials, reusable elements, and local sourcing to reduce your environmental footprint.

17.) Enhance with outdoor advertising: Spread the hype with wild postings, digital ads, and subway takeovers.

18.) Continuously Improve: Analyze performance metrics to glean insights and refine your approach for future activation dates to ensure ongoing success and growth.

CPG Pop-Up Activation Marketing

Pop-up activations are more than just temporary shops; they're powerful tools to achieve a range of marketing goals, from sparking initial interest to driving sales. However, more than simply setting up a pop-up is required. Here's the recipe for success:

  1. Align your pop-up with your brand and objectives. What message do you want to convey? How does this event fit into your overall marketing strategy? Tailor your activation to resonate deeply with your target audience.

  2. Immerse, engage, and amaze! Design an experience that's visually appealing, interactive, unforgettable, and valuable. Encourage participation, capture imagination, and create moments worth sharing.

  3. Create impact beyond the space. Utilize social media, partner with influencers, and connect with the press to maximize visibility and engagement. Make your pop-up a digital phenomenon alongside a real-world event.

Remember, although pop-up activations require investment, the potential return is exponential. Following these tips can transform your pop-up into a memorable brand experience that delivers lasting results.


Share your brand goals for a complimentary pop-up activation proposal.