By Christina Devlin, Retail Services Program Manager
With a little planning and purposeful decision-making, you can create a visually stunning pop-up display that can be scaled for a variety of spaces, make a strong statement about your brand and gain the interest of new customers.
Pop-ups are a great way to test products, broaden brand exposure and awareness and gain new customers. Unfortunately, many vendors underestimate the value that well-executed visual merchandising can have on gaining new customers and increasing sales. If your display is boring or unattractive, customers will keep walking by, but if you can gain their attention, you have an opportunity to convert them to a customer for life.
The effort you put into your pop-up display can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Visual merchandising is an art. It doesn’t need to be complicated, simply make thoughtful and purposeful choices and create a set of tools to convey your brand story to potential customers.
TechTown now offers a custom fixture library to vendors at our monthly pop-up, The SHOP, to help entrepreneurs learn and practice these three tips for next-level pop-up merchandising:
Get off the tabletop
Resist the urge to use the standard 8’ table and black tablecloth that pop-up markets and events provide. Invest in a few fixtures or shelving units that are lightweight, easy to set up and tear down and offer flexibility for product displays. This doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive — simple can be very effective. Think shelving units from IKEA, Target, Michaels, or even Goodwill, and a can of paint.
If you are required to use the table by the event coordinator, be creative. Use a different angle — can you push the table back to the wall? Can you rotate it 90 degrees and put it in the center for a 360 degree display? Can you angle it to make for a more interesting customer traffic flow?
Reflect your brand
Your pop-up display is a reflection of your brand. The way you present your business to the world should be consistent across all platforms including social media, website, brick-and-mortar locations, pop-ups and events. Does a plain black tablecloth reflect your brand? Likely not. Don’t just create a display. Create a brand experience. This can be just as easily achieved in a large 10’x20’ space as in a small 4’x8’ footprint.
Consider how color, materials, finish and visual style relate to your brand. A sleek modern tea company might use black gloss and gold elements and display items sparingly, while a Boho vintage seller might use a more eclectic mix of materials and colors with a distressed feel and full displays.
Eye-catching brand signage
Another great way to get a customer’s attention is with signage. We see many vendors that only have a table runner-style brand sign. This can look pretty when draped over a display, but won’t get noticed by passersby and won’t be seen if your pop-up space has a customer or two by it. Think tall here.
Take advantage of the space above your display where you aren’t competing with other vendors for visual dominance. Invest in a banner sign that includes your business name (large enough to be read from 10’ away) and a design or image(s) that reflects your brand. This lets potential customers know who you are at a glance and can help to draw them toward your space.
Visit our monthly pop-up at TechTown, The SHOP, to see our new custom fixture library in action and shop products from 12 rotating local entrepreneurs. Upcoming dates include Aug. 23 and Sept. 20. Interested in applying to be a vendor at The SHOP? Information and the application link can be found at https://www.techtowndetroit.org/shop.
TechTown is proud to be a partner of the Detroit Month of Design 2019 and will share more merchandising tips and the design process behind our custom display fixture library at our free workshop Sept. 20 called See & Be Seen: Next-Level Pop-up Merchandising.
This event is an official part of the Detroit Month of Design 2019 program which takes place
throughout September. Programmed by Design Core, Detroit Month of Design is a citywide celebration of creativity that gathers designers and the greater community to celebrate Detroit’s role as a UNESCO City of Design.