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Social Distancing = no pop up shops !


Venues closed, events cancelled… traders are shelving their plans to pop up. The COVID-19 pandemic effectively means there’ll be no pop up shops for the foreseeable future.

Within hours of the Australian Government initial ban on public gatherings… the temporary events industry collapsed. Not just wound down, but stopped abruptly. Suppliers and traders suddenly had their events cancelled, casual workers were laid off, ticket-holders and participants found doors locked…

Just 2 weeks ago our marvellous Melbourne March was progressing as normal. Major events were ready to open (the F1 Grand Prix), others were not far off (the Flower & Garden Show and the Arnold Sports Festival)….and some had already launched (the Fitzroy Street / High Country and Gippsland Comeback). And there were countless smaller attractions also underway or planned… the usual warehouse sales, product promotions and short term / popular events.

Not all those events cancelled directly because of the COVID-19 threat… but just because it became too hard to coordinate and manage. As the Government continues to revise our Australian response, vendors and contractors don’t quite know where they stand. Things are changing day to day…

The social-distancing and self-isolation initiatives introduced to combat the COVID-19 virus have put a stop to all our pop ups, for good reason. Crowds of people – eager to pick up a bargain or be the first to experience a new product – won’t be happy waiting in line or practising a healthy 1.5 metres of social distance…

Sadly it will probably become harder to organise / coordinate temporary events, until we see a clear way out of this mess. There’ll be no pop up shops happening in the next few months, that’s pretty obvious !

As usual, I’ll be watching for media reports of global trends and talking to local pop up practitioners about their plans. I think I’ll also scale back on these regular blog posts… only publishing a new article when I see something worth sharing. Like most businesses, I’ll be looking for a light at the end of this tunnel… and keen to tell you when I see it coming !

In the meantime.. stay well. And please keep in touch (especially with details of any local pop up events or new locations)


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