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Pop up festivals increase the appeal

 

A new genre of pop up is gaining momentum in Britain…

Shopping festivals are another twist in the evolution of temporary retail – using the excitement of pop up to draw in the crowds ! These festivals are organised events which showcase established retailers and new businesses, providing hospitality and entertainment to attract visitors – whilst also applying some great pop-up concepts.

Last weekend in Leicester around 40 businesses took over a shopping arcade, offering a range of unique products, demonstrations and workshops. The pop up shopping event was hosted by NatWest Bank in conjunction with enterprise agencies (Leicester College, Leicester for Business, The Princes Trust) – supporting local creatives (some of them start-ups, other were established businesses) – offering jewellery, bags, chocolates, cupcakes and cards… even a guitar-maker took space in the 3 day pop up.

Visitors to London’s West End may know of Seven Dials – a junction of small streets surrounded by theatres, pubs, fashion stores, tourists and traffic… Seven Dials (and nearby Covent Garden) is certainly one of the hubs for pop up retail in central London – and last Saturday (17th May) it turned on a major pop-up event ! The precinct was closed to vehicles, fake grass laid around the Dial, deck chairs set up (luckily the weather was a fine 24°) and a party started…. The event was promoted as a Spring Shopping Festival – not just supported by the surrounding permanent stores but also a range of temporary attractions. Live music and games were on offer, pop up bars supplied cocktails and Pimms, street vendors and restaurants joined in the festivities with special menus and tastings… Over 130 businesses came together to support the pop up party… nearby shops engaged customers with hefty discounts, gifts, beauty makeovers and treatments.

So why does this fall into the genre of pop up… isn’t a shopping festival just a well-organised public event ? Perhaps, but the organisers of Leicester and Seven Dials have both applied some philosophies of good pop up – creating events with difference and variety, offering a mix of interests (and freebies) to attract and entertain visitors, playing up on the “short-term” element of their festivals – and engaging the local communities with their involvement and support.

 

Featured image on our home page : Seven Dials – Evening Standard

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