With attendees wanting more of a taste of the city they are in, pop-ups can serve as a way to give that to your attendees while still keeping them on-site and engaged within your event.
Here a few ways that we think it could work:
The pop-up restaurant has become a great way for chefs to test out the feel and tastes of a new restaurant before actually launching. But in this case, think of what already exists locally.
You can partner with a local restaurant and turn the event space into the look and feel of their already existing restaurant. This will give a bit of the local flavor your attendees are looking for and a great twist on a banquet.
Another way to do this is to have several booths around the room with tasty offerings from different local eateries. We did this for our annual meeting and it allowed our attendees to get a taste of red velvet waffles from Taste of Belgium, spirits from New Riff Distillery, desserts from Sweet Petit and many more. It can almost be a crash course in the local food. This can be particularly useful for attendees that bring their family and extend their trips.
You don’t have to confine the experience to just food though. Why not a pop-up market with a taste of local shops?
Take a look at the demographics of your attendees. Are they younger or older? Do they tend to be female or male? Do they have children or grandchildren? What are their interests outside of your industry? Find the predominant themes and then work with the host convention and visitors bureau to identify local shops that would be willing to do a pop-up and align with your attendees interests.
For example, the Piston Society has done pop-up shops for many events because motorcycle enthusiasts can be found in almost every group. With their apparel and other unique motorcycle items, they give people a taste of what it’s like to be at their actual store. And that, in the end, gives your attendees quick sample of a Cincinnati boutique shopping experience.
This year, we have been showing meeting planners across the country a pop-up experience of what it’s like to walk the streets of Cincinnati with our virtual reality video. With how quickly the 360° video technology is developing right now, creating your own virtual reality experience is getting easier and easier. But that is only one kind of pop-up experience you can offer.
You can also bring an experience to your attendees that they might not get otherwise. Perhaps that looks like motorcyle rentals with the Piston Society and showing your attendees what it’s like to ride an electric motorcycle. Or maybe it’s a ballet class with the Cincinnati Ballet and a real-life ballerina. Whatever it looks like, it should be one-of-a-kind and something only your event can bring to your attendees.
How are you using pop-ups at your events?