Use pop-ups to show off your host city to your attendees. The idea of the pop-up is not new, but it allows consumers to get a taste of new products and experiences. You can use the pop-up idea for your next event.
With attendees increased desire to get a taste of the city they are in, pop-ups can deliver while still keeping them onsite and engaged with your event.
Here a few ways it could work:
The pop-up restaurant has become a great way for chefs to test out the feel and tastes of a new restaurant before actually launching. But in this case, think of what already exists locally.
You can partner with a local eatery and give the event space the look and feel of the actual restaurant. This will offer a bit of the local flavor your attendees are looking for and put a great twist on a banquet.
Another option is to have several booths around the room with tasty offerings from different local eateries. The Cincinnati USA CVB did this for its annual meeting, and it allowed attendees to sample red velvet waffles from Taste of Belgium, spirits from New Riff Distillery, desserts from Sweet Petit and many more. It can almost be a crash course in the local food. This can be particularly useful for attendees that bring their family and extend their trips.
You don’t have to confine the experience to just food, though. Why not add a pop-up market with a taste of local shops?
Take a look at the demographics of your attendees. Are they younger or older? Do they tend to be female or male? Do they have children or grandchildren? What are their interests outside of your industry? Find the predominant themes and then work with the host city’s convention and visitors bureau to identify local shops that would be willing to do a pop-up that aligns with your attendee’s interests.
For example, Piston Society has done pop-up shops for many events because motorcycle enthusiasts can be found in almost every group. With its apparel and other unique motorcycle items, the pop-up gives people a sense of the actual store. And that, in the end, gives your attendees a quick sample of a Cincinnati boutique shopping experience.
This year, Cincinnati has been showing meeting planners across the country a pop-up experience of what it’s like to walk the streets of Cincinnati with virtual-reality video. Because 360-degree video technology is developing so quickly, creating your own virtual-reality experience is getting easier and easier. But that is only one kind of pop-up experience you can offer.
You can also bring an experience to your attendees that they might not get otherwise. Perhaps that’s working with the Cincinnati Art Museum to bring a few pieces of art to display at your conference. Or maybe it’s a ballet class with the Cincinnati Ballet and a real-life ballerina. The Cincinnati USA CVB even produces its signature Vibe Events, which help amplify the region’s culture through art, entertainment, and immersive multicultural experiences. Whatever it looks like, it should be one-of-a-kind and something only your event can bring to your attendees.
How are you using pop-ups at your events?