This post is going to be about how to be successful when setting up your booth for a pop-up market. First things first I will explain what the event is, for how long we have participated, how we have become successful from it, and our experience. At the end of this post, I will provide a list of things you need to bring to set up your booth.
What is a pop-up market? A pop-up market is an event someone organizes to gather people to meet with small businesses and purchase from them, also an excellent strategy for small brands to be recognized. Most events are outdoor and open to the public, however, vendors have to pay a fee for a spot.
For how long have we done pop-ups? Our first pop-up was in 2021 - I know, I wish I knew that before! This kind of event has been happening for a long time, but I was not aware of it, until last year when I saw a small business (boutique) I follow posting about it. So I did a little research and found out that there is no specific business to attend this kind of event - unless it's a farmer's market which is for food only. We registered and were accepted! When we went to that event people were like "where have you been with these amazing pieces?" I was amazed by how many people started following up after that event. It was an indoor one and had multiple small businesses from candy to clothing. Since our product is seasonal we had to wait for the summer this year 2022. But I did risk it in the fall of last year and took my bikinis to another market inside a very popular mall here in town and boom! It was very successful even though the summer was over people were buying bikini to go on a trip or just bought it because they liked them. This year we have been to a few already and summer hasn't officially begun!
How to be successful? It doesn't matter what kind of business you have, to be successful all you need are inventories, disposition, and motivation! If you have the interest to sell, get your product in there and start selling, if you are interested in growing your brand, invest more in advertising tools, banners, and flyers.
To be successful you need to research. Is my product eye-catching? Do people really need my product? Research the area you are setting up your booth; what is the income of people living in that area? What is the age of people attending the market? What is their interest? What are other businesses bringing to sell? how is the social media marketing of the event organizer? Approximately, how many people are going to attend the event? Having all these answers will help you determine if it's worthy to participate in the event and thus be successful.
It's important to mention that, not all pop-up markets are the same. Some organizers will have their own rule such as, if they have a vendor who sells jewelry registered to participate and they are accepted, another vendor who sells the same merchandise will not be accepted, to avoid "competition." Not all organizers have the same rules, but it's important to know all of them before registering as a vendor. Also, it's good if you can first attend the event as a customer to see how the event is, see the traffic, and all that before coming as a vendor.
Knowing your audience and searching for events that will have your public is 100% successful as well. I have participated in events where the audience was not in the age range I was hoping for, so it was not as I expected. It's crucial that you participate as a vendor in events that you know the kind of public attending.
Our experience: The swimwear industry is very tricky. Especially when it's Brazilian swimsuits, people are skeptical about it because most women see it as small bikini bottoms more like thongs, so they don't even think about stopping by. However, knowing that trick I decided to play it differently. I have mannequins where I dress them with the most comfortable bottom (not the cheeky ones) that way I attract all kinds of women who are interested in shopping for swimwear. I don't state them as "Brazilian Bikini" I say they are sustainable and premium swimwear. When they come and look at it I say where they come from and they get all excited. I even had people saying "OMG I always pictured Brazilian swimsuits totally different, more cheeky but it's not!" YES! That is the idea I want to pass to people we don't only have thongs, we have all kinds of bottom styles. Stating it that way will attract more people to come to our booth!
We use a silhouette hanger for all of our pieces, it's very good so people can see it more clearly not just on a loose hanger where you can't really see how elastic it can get. This is a great tactic for pop-ups since we do not have fitting rooms in our booth.
Offer discount! People love it. When people come to our booth I always tell them "today is such OFF and it makes them buy it now and not wait for later.
I also pass flyers to everyone passing by our booth even if they don't stop. Why not? :)
Overall, a pop-up event is a great tool for you to grow your brand. Search on social media or on the web "pop up market". You might find people posting as a business you can kindly message them asking how you can get the contact of the organizer of that pop-up event. I have been to events where I had to go in and ask who's organizing to get their info, I found it easier.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. Share it with your local small business if they are interested in setting up a booth at a pop-up market.
Here is a list of things you need/should bring to a pop-up market as a vendor:
- A lot of sale merchandise!
- tables, rolling racks, chairs, shelves, other display items (or you may reserve tables/chairs on your registration form)
- decor items to give your booth personality/flair….ie: rug, flowers, table cloth, lamp (if your ordered elec. Outlet) etc.
- store sign/banner*/easel
- masking/duct tape
- markers, pens, clips, scissors, stapler
- markdown/discount % signs
- $ drawer, cash register, lockbox;
- credit card reader, if you want to accept credit cards
- money pouch/pocket apron (from hardware store) for quick change
- plenty of cash for “change”. (remember most banks will be closed on the weekend)
- receipt books (marked “Final Sale”)
- bags for the merchandise
- hanger racks/bins
- Trash can
- curtain/screen or "pop up" dressing room, if desired (can order online, search “pop up” or “portable dressing room”—$30-$50)
- extension cord/multi plug outlet, phone charger, laptop cord (if you purchase elec.)
- coupon for regular price purchase in store?
- business card/flyer
- sign stating “credit cards accepted” VERY IMPORTANT
- email list sign up sheet
- bottled water &/or snacks
- first aid: aspirin, band-aids
- giveaway (if you offered something for our email sign up/give away)
- a check for any remaining unpaid/added items (ie: chairs, tables, etc)
- hand sanitizer/anti bacterial wipes