The topic for June’s CRAVE Chat was all about the world of pop up shops. And here in Seattle, our speakers had lots of good information and insights to share with everyone.

Urbanspoon hosted the chat, and Urbanspoon’s very own Laura Williams did a wonderful job of moderating and leading the discussion with our speakers, Leslie Mehren of Anima Mundi, Natalie Angelillo of Swink Style Bar, and Jenn Elliot Blake of Scout, who were all open and friendly.

chat

Our attendees were a combination of business owners, some of whom had just started their business recently, and around half were first time attenders to a CRAVE Chat. They had some good questions of their own to throw at our speakers.

pop-up-chat

A Pop Up Shop is when someone opens short-term sales location either in a rented space, hosted and partnered by another business, or even popping up on a street corner. It allows for people, who might not otherwise come in contact with that shops brand, the chance to interact with and touch the product, it allows the brand to expand it’s reach. They can last from anywhere from one to two days, or even a month and longer, depending on the size of the operation and its goals. Some businesses are nothing but pop ups. Never in the same place twice, using social media to spread the word.

chat2

Whether you’re considering a pop up shop as a way to help launch your business or as a way to reach out and expand your customer base, keep these things in mind:

Find a Sweet Spot: Decide if you’re going to rent a space or partner with another business who will host. If you’re renting a space, keep in mind what sort of space you want, but keep an open mind. A space might find you before you find your envisioned spot. Right now there is a high turnover with brick and mortar stores so understand the needs of the landlords. If you’re looking for a host or a partner, keep in mind the potential restrictions of their space and time. And the partnership has to make sense and work for both of you. And in both cases be intentional in what you can offer with your shop, how it will benefit them and the customers.

Get The Word Out: Tell the people who you WANT to be there, family and friends. Tell the people you believe NEED to be there, people who share your brand’s values and goals. If you have a social media following, let them know. Have people you follow? Reach out and ask if they’d be willing to give you a mention about your shop, and make sure you return the favor when you get the chance.

Get Help: We get it. Your business is your baby and chances are you want your pop up shop event to go perfect. No one knows your vision better than you and trusting that vision to someone else can be tough. But that fact is, you can’t do it all. So go ahead and plan, but also ask for help. Delegate what tasks you can for optimal efficiency.

Get Feedback: Both before, during, and after your pop up shop, be talking to people. Tell them where you are going, what you are doing and planning. Ask them what they think. Learn what it is they are looking for so you’ll know what to do to become a shop that people will follow from one location to the next.

Have Follow Up Content: Have someone specifically on hand to take pictures of the event so you have things to post and share the following day. Make posts and ongoing status updates on social media when possible during the event. Again, delegate these jobs as needed.

But the most important thing to take away from CRAVE Chat is that business is becoming a transient thing, made possible by social media, and as the face of your brand you need to be available. And the best way to get someone to care about your brand, is to care about theirs.

Overall, this was another successful Seattle CRAVE chat. We appreciate everyone coming out to discuss this exciting topic. A big thank you to LUNA Bar, Popchips, and Chocolate Shop Wine for providing food and drinks.

How was the CRAVE chat in your city? Leave us a comment below!