How to design a pop up shop for your small business

 
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A few months ago I was approached by Kevin, an events organiser for The Gentleman's Grooming and Lifestyle show.

It's a new show (I think this year was their second), and in their words it's the "UK’s premier exhibition exclusively dedicated to men’s grooming & lifestyle."

The show's audience was really similar to Mr Jones Watches' customers, there were also buyers and press planning to visit (I manage the branding and marketing for MJW).

So it was perfect advertising for the unconventional watch brand. Kevin agreed and we started planning.

Gentleman's Lifestyle and Grooming Show

Gentleman's Lifestyle and Grooming Show

 

How to plan for a pop up shop

You need to visit trade shows and see other pop ups.

From this you'll get a good idea of how people interact with the stands, what draws their attention and who is getting the most sales.

I spent some time researching display materials and looking over my enormous collection of photos from previous trade shows I've visited.

Then I made a mood-board. I thought about who I was trying to sell to, and what I was trying to sell. How can you make your audience interested in your product?

Mood-board created during the planning process

Mood-board created during the planning process

 

Yes, this could have been more creative. It was more of an ideas-board, but it contained all of the main elements of the display and was a good starting point.

The most important elements:

  • The products: these were most suited to the customers attending the show. The XL watches - the most masculine of the MJW collection.

  • The colours: the neutral black and greys represent the modern brand, and don't distract from the bright and colourful product.

  • Lifestyle photos: these show the brand image and match the style of the consumer

  • The brand tagline: Timekeeping for the unconventional

  • Elements I wanted to include in the display: the magnifying glasses and the plinths - unusual elements not usually seen in pop up shops.

Planning the space

To save on costs, we opted for the cheapest (and smallest) space, which was 2x1m. This is tiny, so it was important to sketch it out to get the best use of the space.

I measured the materials and sketched it to-scale, using Google SketchUp - a free, super easy tool to use for 3D drawings.

Using 3D software made it quick and easy to move things round and try different layouts.

Google SketchUp renderings of the space

Google SketchUp renderings of the space

Google Sketchup different view

Designing a banner

I used Illustrator to experiment with different layouts, images and phrases. The banner is something that can be re-used, so it was important to get it right.

Space plan with a banner

Space plan with a banner

Looking at the space with different images, from different perspectives

Looking at the space with different images, from different perspectives

The finished pop up

The finished Mr Jones Watches pop up shop

The finished Mr Jones Watches pop up shop

Close up of display
 

The watches are mounted on stands, on top of the plinths.

All products have a magnifying glass above, these show you the details in the watches. And they're also pretty unusual to see in a pop up - which attracts people to the stand.

The spacing of the plinths meant people could walk around the stand, and it looked completely different to all of the other exhibitors (most went for tables or shelving).

The pop up was a real treat to design, and a big success in terms of attracting new attention to the brand. It's definitely something MJW will look to do more of in 2018.

Have you done a pop up shop before? Did you plan it differently? Let me know in the comments section below...