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How much does it really cost to do a pop-up?

Businesses are always seeking ways to increase their profile, sales and brand collateral.

One of the many tools within the marketing arsenal is the Pop-up.

What is the real cost of a pop-up?

The pop-up is best categorised as a “temporary retail experience, within a selected utilised environment, usually within a high footfall location, of an unusual, underutilised or/and alternative location’.

Pop-ups are usually but not exclusively dominated by the fashion, food and drink and beauty sector. However, there can be larger pop-ups for cars and other products.

To understand the benefits and the actual cost of a pop-up for the small and growing business, you first need to understand the motivation behind why a pop-up exists.

There are primarily four motivations for an organisation to organise a pop-up:
1. Brand equity
2. Social responsibility
3. Charity Fundraising
4. Accessibility

Once you have ascertained the motivation behind a pop-up, the next thing to calculate is the actual cost of participating in a pop-up.

Outlined below is a breakdown of the things you need to take into consideration:

  • Stock – Do you have enough inventory available?
  • Visual Merchandise – Do you have the equipment and tools to present your products appealingly?
  • Packaging – Do you have enough, adequate packaging available for your customers?
  • Promotional materials – Can external people attend? If so how do you market to them? If this is an internal pop-up, you should not just rely on the internal comms team to promote you. Ask them if you can hand out or deliver flyers in advance? Can you utilise their internal communication platforms?
  • Commuting – How will you get there? Is there adequate parking? If not, what is the cost of parking?
  • Payment systems – Do you have enough petty cash? Can you accept card payments?
  • Time – How many hours will the event take? Do you need additional support staff?

The importance of your business and marketing plan.

Finally, you should always review your business and marketing plan. Does this specific event offer you the potential to achieve your goals and targets?

Although many pop-ups are ‘free’, it can be a costly exercise. Therefore, it is imperative that you calculate the actual cost of a pop-up and decipher its value to you.


This post was written by Nicola Millington. She is the founder of FP Comms, the global PR and Marketing agency.

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