In December 2019, the ThriveNorth program successfully completed its five-year mandate. Managed by Futurpreneur Canada, the program helped young entrepreneurs in Northern B.C. launch and grow their businesses by connecting them with resources, financing and mentorship.
Pop-ups started as a trend but are now becoming increasingly popular across many industries.
Businesses of all sizes are utilizing these events to build brand awareness, increase sales and test new revenue streams. You can also host a pop-up for activities like fundraising.
To bring you up to speed on how you can host your own, we connected with Brianne Miller, founder of NADA Grocery.
NADA is Vancouver’s first zero-waste food market. At NADA, customers bring their own containers to purchase food, which eliminates the need for wasteful packaging.
Brianne and her team are pros when it comes to pop-ups. With its first location opening up in the next few months, NADA has thrived purely through its Vancouver market appearances and monthly pop-up events.
We asked Brianne for some tips on how small businesses and start-ups can make the most of their first pop-up event. Here’s what she had to say:
Before hosting any pop-up event, you have to be prepared. Research your location to ensure it is the right fit for what you’re trying to accomplish. Know your target audience and where they would most likely be. Know your product like the back of your hand. Pop-up customers will likely be unfamiliar with your products and look to you for guidance, so ensure that you and your staff are prepared to answer questions with ease.
Customer service is extremely important when hosting your first pop-up event. After all, you don’t get a second chance at a first impression. If your business runs online, use this opportunity to build valuable, in-person connections. One of the benefits of running a small business is that you can offer a personalized shopping experience. Even going the extra mile of learning an attendee’s name will go a long way, especially if they become a repeat customer.
Whether you go digital or try traditional methods, investing some time into marketing your event beforehand efforts will help ensure a strong turn-out and encourage walk-by traffic to stop by. Social media is a great tool as well. Facebook events have worked really well for Brianne and NADA, but be mindful as to whether or not this channel fits your target audience. For instance, if you’re targeting older adults, posting to a local events calendar might be a better approach.
The more you know about your customers, the better the experience and product you can offer. Learn what your customers are purchasing, where they’re coming from and what they want to see. To gather this information, creating short hand-out surveys and/or tablet-based surveys are great. Also, adding a simple email sign-up sheet at your pop-up can help you build your email list, which can be helpful for future marketing activities.
While these tips can help you prepare, the best way to learn how to run a successful pop-up is through experience. After you host your first event, take time to reflect on how it went and use these insights to make your next one even better!
Written by: Sara Pivato, Social Media & Content Coordinator, Futurpreneur Canada