Inside This Year’s Best Holiday Pop-Ups

Pop-ups can be guerrilla or grass-roots, corporate or ultra-luxurious – but in the main, they all offer an interactive experience that allows the customer to participate. For brands, the festive period is the perfect time to engage consumers through creative pop-ups, providing a cost-effective way to test a concept and gauge customer response before fully committing to the investment.


Here are some top tips on why brands should consider pop-up events and the benefits they can bring.

Why should you choose a pop-up event?


Pop-up events are a great way of creating excitement through the idea of having something that is here today and gone tomorrow, encouraging people to embrace the moment. They are a chance to take creative risks and reach your target consumer through alternative outlets.


They are also an excellent opportunity to promote your brand and gain valuable face-to-face interaction, from which you can get useful feedback directly from customers, potential or actual.

How to make your Christmas pop-up event stand out


An effective pop-up will be both creative and innovative. To stand out from the competition you have to be original.


You should cater to your target demographic by creating something influenced by the things that excite them, in an area that is accessible to them, such as The Great Nordic Feast, which took place in early October 2017 at The Southbank Centre. This festival saw visiting culinary talents from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland, including Titti Qvarnström - Sweden's first female chef to receive a Michelin star. Not simply a food festival, it incorporated music, talks and even showcased local flora. The Nordic nations are informing some of the most important food, design and wellness trends at the moment and this celebration results in something that is unique, seasonal and available for a limited period of time - creating buzz and attracting consumers.


A pop-up event is also a great platform for introducing new products, stores or services and can also increase brand recognition of current offerings.

How to attract people to your pop up event


The key here is to offer something that is different and exciting with an unmistakably festive theme. Offer limited-edition items, work with of-the-moment talent and incorporate an element of surprise.


Also consider teaming up with a complementary brand to offer a complete experience - like the Mac & Wild pop-up on Devonshire Square, which saw the hugely popular Scottish game restaurant open a heated winter terrace - first in 2016 and returning again in 2017 - dishing out its award-winning venison chateaubriand, as well as new dishes such as suckling pig and rare-breed hogget.


Social media platforms help create a buzz and get people talking.


Which brands are doing a good job this year?


When it first launched in December 2016, Pergola on the Roof excited Londoners with its mission of taking unused spaces and transforming them into viable destinations. Their Nordic winter forest atop the Television Centre in White City captured the spirit of the holidays with its white-bark floors, 18-foot spruce trees and clusters of ivy and holly hanging from the walls. As well as renewing the iconic venue – they partnered with lauded restaurants from across the capital, such as Islington’s Le Coq and Chelsea’s Rabbit. This winter they’re launching new culinary partnerships, the likes of burgers from Patty and Bun and steaming-hot ramen by Tonkotsu.


Not dissimilar to Pergola on the Roof, Jimmy Garcia created his first winter pop-up in Balham in 2014. Now having fine-tuned the idea – using a shipping container to create a 30-seat alpine lodge and a cluster of private-dinning pods or “snow globes” – he’s moving to the Southbank for 2017. The menu follows the theme of cosy and comforting, featuring raclette burgers and hot dogs, served alongside piping-hot mugs of mulled wine.


And now, there’s an incredibly good reason to visit the Tobacco Docks in Wapping this winter – to experience Skylight, London’s first rooftop skating rink. Moving the dial on winter skating rinks, they’ll also be offering the extra touch of seasonal cocktails, mulled wine and fondue.


Finding new and inventive ways to reach your target market is a great way of increasing awareness of your brand and Christmas pop-ups offer an excellent opportunity for doing this. They create the chance for you to be bold and brave and allow interaction with your audience in an environment that appeals to their appetite for the festive period.

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