Michael Anton

5 things to learn about pop-ups and social media

As part of Social Media Week in London, speakers from Box Park, The Art of Dining, ArtWednesday, Chinwag and Young and Foodish got together at a session organised by Event Brite to talk through some of pros, cons and uses of social media with pop-up events. The session covered a whole range of topics, from what tools to use, to how to encourage new customers, but here’s five things that the panels seemed in consensus about:


1) Instagram is the best tool for sharing images

Despite mixed personal responses to the relevance or use of instagram, the general feeling seemed to be that instagram was the best way of getting attendees at events to share pictures; and sharing pictures is the best way to drive engagement and increase promotion after your events have finished. Young and Foodish argued that the importance of photo-sharing was because taking, sharing and publishing pictures of other people enjoying your event was one of the best ways of convincing even more people to come along next time.

2) Email is still king

Twitter is useful, Facebook like can equate to some ticket sales, but it seemed that the bottom line in selling attendance still comes through emails to inboxes. Sam Michel, founder of Chinwag, repeatedly stressed that it was his email strategies that produced the best results when it came to actually increasing attendances.

3) Pop-ups don’t have walls, neither should your social media strategy

The idea of the pop-up events has always been to produce events in temporary and unexpected ways, likewise the social media strategies surrounding these events should be restrained to the mainstream channels. At the panel, organisers of pop-up events talked about using new or smaller social media sites likes Path, thisismyjam and (admittedly larger) Pinterest to promote their events in all sorts of ways. The idea is to experiment and try new things as you make a pop-up.

4) Foursquare is on the way out

Despite the relevance that location plays in the life of a pop-up, foursquare was only mentioned in passing, mostly as something tried out by the people at Box Park. It seems that when it comes to pop-up events the idea of checking in and sharing your location just doesn’t hold as much relevance as tweeting about your experience of sharing photos of it.

5) Planning the event is the key to success

Despite all of the social media surrounding the nature of pop-up events, the conversation always came back to the fact that, if the event itself is great, people will talk about it, and if people talk about it, online or off, you’ll generate hype, and tickets sales. The key to a organising a great event is harder to pin down, though Sam Michel suggested that if you find yourself waking up at 4am obsessing over some minor detail, this is probably a good sign that you’re thinking things through thoroughly enough…!


Social Media Week continues through london this week, (24-28th September 2012) and I’ll be posting more updates about session on this blog, and on my twitter feed @michaeldanton.

Having just finished my PhD, I’m also on the lookout for a job within social media. So if you have anyone you think I should talk to, send an email my way. You can reach me on [email protected]

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Michael Anton is a geography PhD graduate in London who has just finished a thesis on the cultural construction of space within places of live music. He's also a runner, writer and digital media obsessive.
  • http://twitter.com/CClerkenwell Creative Clerkenwell

    Thanks for writing that up! Will share. (Heads up about typo in third point — I think you meant “should NOT be restrained”?

    • http://www.michaelanton.co.uk/ Michael Anton

      Thanks for reading, and for pointing that typo out, serves me right for frantically writing a post so soon after the event!

  • http://twitter.com/toodlepip Sam Michel

    Thanks for the write, nice summary. Haven’t got round to checking out the video yet to see what else I said! It was a great panel to be part of.

    • http://www.michaelanton.co.uk/ Michael Anton

      Thanks for reading Sam, the panel was definitely my highlight of the week.

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