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Hosting a pop-up shop is kind of like throwing a party: You need to spread the word about it, or no one will show up.

Ensure a memorable, successful event by creating a three-stage marketing plan for before, during and after your pop-up shop event.

Stage 1: Pre-launch

Use both digital and traditional marketing methods to spread the word about your pop-up shop. Send a press release to local media inviting them to opening day. Reach out to social media influencers your target audience follows to see if they’ll attend.

Use social media to generate excitement about your upcoming pop-up shop. Share behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your preparations, drop hints about products you’ll be featuring, or invite people to enter contests and win prizes.

Create a social media hashtag for your pop-up shop to use in all your social media marketing. Concentrate on the social media channels your target customers use most. Set up a Facebook Event Page for your pop-up shop so you can send people invitations and notifications. Enhance your social media outreach with paid promotions on your chosen social media channels.

Reach out to customers on your email marketing list. Treat them like VIPs by offering a discount, freebie or special access to entice them to attend.

Choose the right staff. The ideal pop-up shop employee is enthusiastic, energetic and friendly. Remember, they’ll be the face of your brand for the duration of the pop-up shop. Use branded T-shirts, funny hats, or colorful attire to help them stand out in the crowd.

Plan plenty of events. A pop-up shop should be fun, interactive and engaging—more like a party than a typical store. Hold events customers can take part in such as contests, prize drawings, makeovers or product demonstrations. Provide entertainment such as live music, fashion shows or artists painting the walls. Appeal to the senses with opportunities to touch and try products, music that keeps the event lively, and a visually appealing environment that entices customers to take photos.

Ensure your pop-up location has good Wi-Fi. Set up a guest Wi-Fi account so customers can use social media and share selfies with no lag time.

Stage 2: During the pop-up event

Attract passersby to your pop-up shop. You can use outside signage such as balloons, inflatables, sandwich boards or chalk easels. Post easels, flags or signs along the route to the shop to direct customers. (Get approval from local zoning officials for any outdoor signage.) Station employees outside the shop to entice passersby inside with samples or discount coupons. Set up a live window display with employees demonstrating products or artists performing.

Stay active on social media. Designate at least one employee to manage your social media presence during the pop-up shop and post photos, videos, updates and livestreams of what’s happening. They can also answer social media followers’ questions and persuade people to come down to the pop-up.

Engage with customers. Urge customers to share their own content on social media. Set up a “social wall” designed for selfie posing. Offer prize drawings for customers who share their posts using your event’s hashtag. Collect contact information from pop-up shop visitors so you can market to them after the event. Ask them to sign up for your email list or follow you on social media.

Create a sense of urgency. Remind customers this is a limited-time event by counting down the days until the pop-up shop closes. Promote a different product, event or giveaway every day so there’s always something new to experience.  

Stage 3: After the pop-up shop

Reach out to the customers who gave their email addresses. Contact those who visited with marketing emails and promotional offers to entice them into your store or to your website.

Use the information you gathered from this pop-up shop to fine-tune your plans for the next one. What customer demographics attended? What products were hottest? What events worked (or didn’t)?

Build excitement for your next pop-up event. Ask your social media followers to share their favorite photos or videos from the event and share your own. You want people who didn’t attend to feel like they missed out so they’ll be sure to attend next time.

By marketing your pop-up shop before, during and after the event, you’ll draw a crowd of customers and achieve your pop-up shop goals.

couple shopping at a bazaar