Reader Rant: When a pop-up isn't a pop-up

MCM Creative Group owner Neil Crespin takes a look at the trend for pop-ups at events and argues if you can't do it properly, don't do it at all.

When a pop-up isn't a pop-up
When a pop-up isn't a pop-up

Pop-ups - they just keep on popping up! Granted, they're often an innovative engagement tool - one that can return fantastic results - and given how fashionable they've been with consumers, it's hardly surprising they've found their way in to the B2B world.

Done well, an experiential pop-up style event in a corporate environment can be a playful and interactive way to engage with staff. Done really well, it can create a 360-degree experience and atmosphere for exchange, far more so than traditional methods such as video or email.

However, there's no point calling something a 'pop-up' and assuming people will understand it - it needs more than just setting up a couple of tables and a marquee in an office foyer. I've seen a whole range of B2C campaigns guilty of this - 'popping up' because they're the current trend, but with no real consideration for the essential: Why? Who? And how?

They need thought, planning and strategy to work. By definition, they need to bring something 'out of the ordinary' to an audience's day. They need to stand out for the right reasons, be convenient for people to attend, have an incentive attached, and not disrupt people's days once they walk away from it. Perhaps most of all, they need to be relevant. There's a fine line between a pop-up being a success or an irritating obstacle, but get it right and there are great benefits to be had.

What's important is how you go about it. Don't just jump on the bandwagon. If you're going to do it, do it properly, with the right creative to support.

Don't just call something a pop-up and hope people get it - call it a pop-up and make sure they get something different.

Neil Crespin, creative director and owner, MCM Creative Group


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