Small Business Center
By Linda Farha, Zenergy
Setting up your space as a host for pop-ups is a great way to fill an otherwise empty location with an interesting and unique concept. It’s perfect not only for landlords who envision a permanent place for a rotation of temporary activations but also for those who want to gain revenue between leases or to test the water before committing to a long-term tenant. Experiential marketing events can raise the profile of your space or spaces and generate foot traffic for the surrounding area, but before you can host a brand, you first need to grab their attention and let them know that if they want to execute a successful event, your space is their best bet! To make sure you’re standing out from the crowd both online and offline, here are some things to consider:
Brands can take any space and transform it into the perfect vessel for the event they’ve envisioned. From empty, unfinished units to retail-ready, built-out spaces, anything goes, depending on what the seeker is looking for and the budget it has to play with. As the landlord, it’s important to put your best foot forward no matter what the status of your space to make sure you’re highlighting the selling points of your location. Your space should be clean and clear of any clutter, rubbish or debris to help the interested business imagine its event in your space more easily. Eliminating a period of cleanup before the activation’s kickoff also will streamline the business’ move-in process. If it’s in your budget to give your space a lick of fresh paint, this small change can present a clean finish for a minimal cost.
Provide photographs of the space. Businesses cannot gauge their interest in your space until they can see what they are working with. Also, brands may be situated in different areas or countries from the pop-up, so seeing the location before arranging a site visit is an important process for them to ensure they are on the right track before continuing with their planning.
Photographs will be better if a landlord has created a clean environment, which is more visually appealing to businesses. These images should show the internal and external view of the space, as well as any extra areas of interest like changing rooms and stockrooms. For spaces that do not translate well into photographs and would need extra work before hosting pop-ups, an alternative approach could be to provide renderings of the spaces instead of photographs.
Some pop-up tenants will request floor plans to ensure the space will be able to accommodate any furniture/fixtures they may need to add prior to their events.
The next step after promoting your space with images is selling it with your words. It’s important that you put yourself in the tenant’s shoes and make sure you’re providing all the facts it needs to make a decision on your space, including measurements and sizes, where applicable. The best approach is to get creative and make the details work for you.
Don’t say: “This space also has a separate secondary area at the back.”
Do say: “This space also has an area measuring 120 square feet, which easily could be used as a stockroom, staff area or changing room facilities.
Don’t say: “There’s no parking at this location.”
Do say: “There’s no on-street parking at this location, but 60 spaces are available for customers at the conveniently located public pay-and-display car park at the end of the street.”
Pop-up tenants are often keen for quick turnarounds for their events; some brands will organize and execute a pop-up all within one week. This means that the response time of landlords is important to make sure that if you catch a big fish, your line is short enough to reel it in. Having the relevant information ready at hand can speed up the process. This can be aided with sell sheets that include the description, images, size and pricing. Site visits are also great ways to communicate with the potential tenant to discuss the space details while giving them a chance to experience the location firsthand.