Unconventional Marketing: Leveraging Pop-Up Events to Drive Business Engagement

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Posted on September 14, 2023

Unconventional Marketing: Leveraging Pop-Up Events to Drive Business Engagement

Nowadays, you can’t go a day without seeing advertisements and promotional content. This is causing people to become desensitized toward certain marketing methods.

Ask yourself this. Do celebrity endorsements or highly produced ads really convince you to buy a certain product or service the same way they did 10 years ago?

In today’s digital landscape, the audience is much harder to convince. People want to feel a genuine connection with a brand and see the value its products or services provide them. 

Businesses are adopting unconventional marketing methods to cut through the noise and establish memorable connections with consumers. One such strategy that many businesses are turning to is the use of pop-up events.

In this post, we will dive into how businesses are leveraging pop-up events to drive business engagement.

What is Unconventional Marketing?

Unconventional marketing, also known as guerilla marketing, refers to strategies that differ from traditional methods. Typically, this includes unique and unexpected experiences that resonate with customers on a deeper and emotional level.

Instead of relying solely on traditional advertising, unconventional marketing aims to captivate audiences by delivering messages in creative ways. These methods often include an element of surprise, horror, shock, or interactivity to generate buzz and engagement.

These unconventional campaigns can involve unexpected locations, unique visuals, interactive aspects, or viral content that encourages audiences to participate and share their experience.

Unconventional marketing is especially effective these days where people are consistently bombarded with ads on all platforms. 

Getting creative and deviating from the norm, offers businesses an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on their consumers and build a strong brand.

What is a Pop-Up Event?

A pop-up event is a temporary gathering that aims to capture people’s attention by providing a unique experience or product for a limited time. 

Some popular types of pop-up events are:

  • Retail store: Brands often set up temporary retail stores in areas where they do not have an actual store. This can help them build a brand presence, drive sales, as well as test the market to potentially open up a store in that area.
  • Food and drinks pop-up: Restaurants, chefs, and food brands often organize pop-up events in unexpected areas. This could include things like a pop-up cafe in a park or a themed dinner in an unconventional space.
  • Workshops or classes: Business owners organize workshops and classes as pop events to expose their business to a whole new audience. For example, a yoga studio could host a yoga class in a park and try to get paying clients through the event.

Pop-up events go much further than the ones we mentioned but you probably get the idea. Usually, the main objective of a pop-up event is to create a memorable experience for the attendees and gain more business through that. 

How Pop-Up Events Can Drive Business Engagement

Pop-up events have proven to be a great marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. It is a great way for businesses to build a direct connection with their audience and establish a brand.

Such events can generate a significant amount of interest. Especially nowadays when remote work is so prevalent, people look forward to attending in-person events.

Some of the key ways pop-up events can help drive business engagement are:

  1. Creating Buzz: By design, pop-up events are meant to be around for a limited period. This creates a sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) within your audience. This anticipation can result in media coverage, word-of-mouth, and social media posts creating a buzz around your brand.
  1. Personal Connections: In-person events allow you to interact with your customers and build a genuine connection. Personal connections can be very valuable for a business as they can you gain long-term customers.
  1. Networking and Lead Generation: Pop-up events are a great opportunity for business owners to network with potential customers. Digital business cards can be a great way to share contact information and capture leads.
  1. Social-Media Push: People attending such events often post about it on social media. Given that your event is post-worthy! It can greatly help increase your brand’s reach and visibility. User-generated content like this also serves as a great testimonial which helps build trust.
  1. Increase Revenue: Pop-up events have a ton of intrinsic value to a business. But they can directly influence your sales and help you get more customers. 

Planning and Executing a Successful Pop-Up Event

Most of us have seen some amazing pop-up events that left a mark on our memory. These events can be tricky to organize and could require a ton of work. However, they are a great opportunity to promote your brand. 

Here are some key things to consider when planning pop-up event:

Setting Clear Objectives

When you are planning a pop-up event, it is important to know what you are aiming to achieve. This will help you plan the logistics and the experience better to get the desired result.

For example, if you are looking to sell a product at an event, you want to showcase your products in a captivating way to make them look desirable and encourage people to buy them.

Or, if you are looking to capture leads, you might want to optimize for networking and getting people to share their contact information.

Know Your Audience 

Knowing your target audience will help you with all of the other aspects of planning and executing a pop-up event. Having a deep understanding of the demographic you are catering to is extremely valuable. 

It is important to conduct market research, leverage existing customer data, create surveys, and conduct competitor analysis to understand your target audience persona

Location is Key

Picking a strategic location can be a game-changer for your event. A location with high foot traffic that aligns with your audience is key.

The location also plays a part in the overall experience the attendees will have, the visibility you’ll get, etc. It is also important to consider the logistical impact of the location you end up choosing.

Create an Engaging Experience

Different pop-up events aim to achieve different goals. But most successful events have one thing in common. They offer an engaging and memorable experience to the attendees. 

You want to leave a lasting impression on the people attending your event. Organizers utilize different techniques to offer an engaging experience. Some ideas to consider to make your event engaging:

  • A theme and concept
  • Interactive elements
  • Memorable visual and audible elements 
  • Picture-worthy moments

Promotion and Marketing

Effectively promoting and marketing your event is essential. You need to pick the right channels and put out the appropriate content to attract the audience you are looking to target. 

The strategy that best suits your event will depend on many factors such as the location, target audience, resources available to you, etc.

Some of the most effective strategies are:

Staff Training

The staff you have at your pop-up event will play a significant role in the experience your attendees will have. It is critical to provide them with proper training so they can represent your brand and business appropriately.

Your staff should have in-depth knowledge of your products/services, should be trained on how to interact with customers, should understand your brand messaging, and be able to think on their feet!

Measuring the Impact of Pop-Up Events

Measuring the success of a pop-up event will look different for everyone. 

The metrics you want to look at to measure the impact will depend on the objectives you have with your event. Some of the key metrics that can help you get a clearer picture are:

  • Attendance and engagement: This is probably the most important metric when it comes to measuring an event’s success. It can be beneficial to get into the weeds and track different aspects such as foot traffic, time spent in different areas, and interactions with interactive elements.
  • Social media engagement: The social media buzz for an event is also a great metric to measure overall interest. Tracking mentions, likes, shares, and comments will give you a clear picture. You can take this a step further and analyze this engagement to understand your audience’s sentiment.
  • Lead generation: If you are aiming to capture leads, tracking the leads will be beneficial. It is also important to monitor the number of leads that are converting into customers. This analytics can help you improve your sales strategy.
  • Sales: Any direct impact on sales is a great indicator of the impact of your pop-up event. Measuring the immediate and sustained impact on your sales will give you better insight into how effective your event is.
  • Feedback and surveys: A little old-fashioned, but asking your attendees for feedback is one of the best ways to gauge their experience and get input on where you can improve. InEvent offers a great solution to easily send your attendees surveys to collect feedback.

Final Thoughts

Pop-up events can prove to be a great tool in your marketing arsenal. It offers a refreshing approach to engaging potential customers in a time when marketing mostly resides in the digital space.

Events allow you to create personal connections through memorable experiences, which can help you nurture long-lasting business relationships. 

Pulling off a successful pop-up event may require a significant amount of work. However, incorporating pop-up events in your marketing campaigns can pay significant dividends for any business. 

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