19 Oct 2015

The concept of a pop-up isn’t exactly new anymore. Having entered the market a while ago most professionals are aware of them, with a number considering using the concept to form some part of their planned experience.

As a recent blog on the Event Magazine website notes, pop-ups are being considered by all manner of businesses; from mobile installations and retail outlets, to semi-temporary set-ups and those with a longer residency in a single location. But, have they become too popular? Does this spell the end of what was once a contemporary, innovative notion?

As Mark Stringer, the founder of PrettyGreen notes: “Pop-ups really came into their own after the financial crash of 2007, when there was a lot more distressed retail space and landlords, agents and marketers saw an opportunity for short term lets.”

Despite the crash taking place a number of years ago now, pop-ups have prevailed and, although some satirists may be keen to criticise the concept, they are still hugely popular. Pop-up services such as Appear Here and Venueseeker Black are thriving, leading to pop-up spaces and unconventional venues “stealing the limelight” from other more established locations, Ben Gamble from Shout About London notes.

It is overuse of the term that is causing issues. Greg Saunders, the creative director at White Label, calls the term “fatigued” but reiterates that the concept is “alive and well.” More often than not, he notes, many things are now simply “positioned as pop-ups” but are nothing more than “a thinly-veiled brand promotion.”

In order for pop-ups to maintain their allure and not become drab experiences, the term needs to be applied correctly and the experience itself must have a flair of “freshness, creativity and urgency”, Saunders advises.

So where does that leave the future of the pop-up? According to Carl Turner, head of creative at DRP, it should be used toward the end of an experience after social sharing and once engagement has already been established. They should be used as part of a wider strategy, and not just as a “tactical opportunity” says Will Glynn-Jones, director of experience at The Moment.

Maybe all that pop-ups need is a new name and image so that they pop back into the consciousness of event planners.

We’ve had a lot of fun installing AV and IT equipment for pop-up experiences all over the country – from an interactive Wimbledon game in branches of a high street bank to interactive touchscreens on a pop-up beauty experience. If you’re looking for help with your next pop-up installation give us a call or take a look at some of our case studies for inspiration.

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