How to Set Up Successful Pop-Up Activations

Hamilton Hamilton

Suppose you seek an innovative marketing solution to broaden your audience exposure. In that case, surprise and delight your fans, generate leads, create a dynamic in-person experience, and consider launching a pop-up brand activation. Pop-up activations present a unique opportunity to bring your brand to life and make a lasting impression that differs from traditional, long-term in-person brand experiences. In this guide, we take a closer look at pop-up activations and share our tips for success. 


What are pop-up activations?

A pop-up activation is an in-person brand experience that exists for a limited time. Pop-up activations are usually creative, engaging, and experiential. Like mobile marketing tours, pop-up activations draw from guerrilla marketing strategies, leveraging the element of surprise and novelty to create a truly unique and memorable experience. Pique your audience's interest and distinguish your brand from the surrounding industry noise by showcasing your products or services boldly and unexpectedly. Location and context are crucial for pop-up activations, as they differ from mobile activations and usually only occur once at a single high-impact site. 


Examples of Pop-Up Brand Activation 

Pop-up activations come in many different forms, including, but certainly not limited to: 

  • Temporary retail experiences 
  • Product demonstrations, samplings, and trials 
  • Showrooms 
  • Trade show exhibits
  • Art installations 
  • Concerts
  • Guest speaker events

Let's take a closer look at two examples. 

1. Corteva Agriscience at Farm Progress Show

This pop-up activation was a brand launch for a newly formed agriculture company, Corteva Agriscience, at the Farm Progress Show. The objective was to create an experience exemplifying the brand's message and create a buzz and impact with attendees, media, and the industry. In partnership with Hamilton, the immersive environment was designed to energize sales teams and enable them to have professional, meaningful interactions with prospects and clients. The impressive facade drew the audience into the space, and the engagement inside provided compelling education and entertainment. As a result of this unique and transformative pop-up activation, Corteva captured nearly 50% share of voice on social media and over 90k organic impressions on Facebook and Twitter. 


2. Prestone at AAPEX

This pop-up activation was a temporary retail space on the AAPEX trade show floor designed to showcase brand presence, demonstrate their standing as industry leaders, and showcase the new Prestone Max product. Through a partnership with Hamilton, Prestone created an engaging retail environment with digital elements and visuals that increased show floor traffic and overall audience engagement. 


Tips for Successful Pop-Up Activations

There are many factors to consider when designing a pop-up activation. Here are our top three tips to help you get started. 

1. Build a Strong Creative Team 

The first step in creating a pop-up activation is to assemble a creative team to design and execute the event. Designers, project managers, builders, strategists, engineers, and other professionals work together to bring your vision to life. If you need help organizing a group of professionals to create a pop-up activation, consider partnering with an event marketing agency that can equip you with a team of experts. 

2. Think Beyond the Point in Time, Physical Event 

Yes, a pop-up activation is a single-point-in-time event, but there is no reason to limit the excitement or duration of the buzz. When creating your event, plan multichannel marketing engagements before, during, and after. For example, generate hype through social media and email marketing leading up to the event, provide opportunities for digital audience engagement throughout the activation, highlight key moments of the event, and share press after the show.  

3. Leverage Technology 

You need the right tools to launch a successful pop-up activation. At Hamilton, we created a touchless attendee engagement solution, HUB LIVE®, to facilitate engagement, scheduling, and content delivery. HUB LIVE is a "mobile first" web app that puts content, engagement, scheduling, and event information into attendees' hands on their own mobile devices. QR codes deployed in pre-event marketing and at the activation drive engagement and utilization of this customizable mobile-first solution.


Are you looking for more guidance? We are here to help!

Hamilton is a full-service event marketing agency with a 75-year legacy creating immersive brand experiences for companies throughout North America and around the world. We design, produce, and execute integrated experiences that drive meaningful connections between your brand and your audience. Our full range of solutions include exhibits, proprietary events and conferences, mobile tours, corporate environments, outdoor events, and digital experiences. 

To create an engaging pop-up activation, contact Hamilton today!