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Holiday Pop-Ups

What is a Holiday Pop-Up?

Holiday pop-ups are commonly known as any short-term retail event during the holiday season. Businesses have used holiday pop-ups as a sales strategy to accomplish a number of potential goals such as building brand awareness, testing new markets, and boosting sales. And as you might think, the reason brands have continued to use holiday pop-ups as a marketing strategy is that they have been proven to be effective across a wide range of industries.

If you have never used a holiday pop-up to leverage your brand, then you may not know where to start— to continue learning, let’s talk more about how holiday pop ups work, why they’re impactful, and discuss some holiday pop-up shop ideas for this upcoming season.

Do Holiday Pop-Ups Work?

Absolutely. Temporary pop-up stores have seen great success, helping retailers improve market visibility by 51% and increase sales by 50%— and around the holidays specifically, pop-up shops are that much more successful.

Pop-ups during the holidays can be even more effective because as a business, you’re capitalizing on the already-existing holiday spirit. What this means is that you’re associating your brand name with a time of year that is emotionally significant to your consumer base.

A survey from Storefront found that 80% of companies that host pop-up stores consider them to be successful and 58% say they’ll likely host another one.

And, for almost all businesses, the holiday season is an important shopping period, representing as much as 30% of annual sales— for seasonal businesses, this number is closer to 100. So, how and when you choose to create a holiday pop-up depending on your company niche can have significant implications.

How Do I Start a Holiday Pop-Up?

To open a holiday pop-up, you’ll need to make five important considerations: location, design, permits, equipment, and marketing.

1. Location

When it comes to choosing a location, try to find comfort in the fact that you have many different options. You can take a more traditional route with a storefront, or you can take the unorthodox approach and choose to operate out of something like a co-op market, kiosk, or our specialty: a mobile store or food truck. The good news is that there’s no wrong answer, as long as you’re thinking about where the most foot traffic is and where you will find the most returning customers.

2. Design

As you can see from the examples we highlighted, the design of your holiday pop-up will be different depending on your brand ethos. In other words, Kate Spade and Bacardi’s holiday pop-ups didn’t (and shouldn’t) look the same, as they are not focused on selling the same products and don’t necessarily have the same consumer base. When you think about your pop-up shop ideas, keep in mind that the exterior design is the first thing people will notice and dictates whether a consumer actually wants to engage with your brand activation.

Our production team provides 3D renderings, vinyl wrapping, and completely customizable pop up shops so that you can communicate your brand message at a glance!

3. Permits

When you work with Food Truck Promotions, permitting is an aspect of your holiday pop up that we handle altogether. From location scouting to filing the proper paperwork in cities across the US (and even internationally), our team has you covered.

However, if your company’s team is looking to handle this aspect of your holiday pop-up alone, then our best piece of advice would be to establish a connection with private property owners or work through city permitting offices to secure your desired location and other permits you may need.

What other kinds of permits? Well, depending on your region, the kind of business you are in (mobile coffee truck, a traditional retail space, a business within a co-cop or a market), and the kind of goods you provide, you will need to attain specific permits and licenses to sell certain goods, like say, paninis, soups or alcohol.

4. Equipment

The design of your holiday pop-up is extremely important for attracting people to engage with your activation and for brand messaging. However, without the right equipment, your holiday pop-up can’t function smoothly and as a result, won’t provide the kind of consumer experience that leaves a good impression on potential new consumers.

Considering this, you should carefully evaluate what you want your holiday pop-up to be and do. For example, let’s say you’re looking to put on a holiday pop up café. Think about what you want your coffee shop to be, and buy equipment that will improve your efficiency and will churn out products at a pace fast enough for the early morning crowd.

5. Marketing

Holiday pop-ups are a form of marketing, but they also require marketing, too. Use your time pre-opening to start creating buzz around your limited-time store by using social media, influencers, email marketing, ads, and more. Especially if you’re not 100% confident that your location will attract customers organically, then pre-promotion can guarantee a crowd and take pressure off your team on the actual day.

Give your customers a Christmas miracle with the perfect holiday pop-up. If you want to learn more about Food Truck Promotions’ capabilities, get in touch with our team!

Our Work

Holiday Pop-Ups
Bacardi 'Winter Summerland'

We worked with Bacardí to create a ‘Winter Summerland’ pop-up that would bring Bacardí rum into the spotlight during the winter season. Our team designed and fabricated a glass truck that captured the synergy of summer and winter seasons, encouraging New Yorkers to rethink the idea that Bacardì rum is a drink reserved only for summer. The holiday pop-up hit popular locations like Times Square, Bryant Park, and Columbus Circle Holiday Market, and included other unique elements like the opportunity to purchase Bacardí X Aviator Nation merch and last minute holiday gifts, and surprise appearances from West Side Story actors, Mack Wilds and Ana Isabelle.

Olly Winter Wellness Café

To highlight Olly’s holistic approach to wellness, while simultaneously launching their new Immunity Supplements, our team created a festive Winter Wellness Holiday Café in the perfect New York location: Central Park. We served hot cocoa and matcha beverages and sampled Olly products from a spirited vintage vehicle touched up by our production team’s expert designs. And that’s not all— the Olly brand was further elevated by an exciting appearance from Rebel Wilson, ultimately encouraging customers to share their engagement with the holiday pop up on social media to reach a greater audience.

Holiday Pop-Ups
Holiday Pop-Ups
Kate Spade Mother’s Day Pop-Up

Kate Spade knew that as a women’s retailer, the most fitting holiday for them to promote their brand and successfully reach their target audience was Mother’s Day. We partnered with the brand to put on a colorful holiday pop-up that New York wouldn’t forget, parking six floral-printed food carts along Broadway to celebrate motherhood and promote the new Kate Spade collection. Through the creative mobile activation, the brand was able to showcase appreciation for mothers, and at the same time, preview The Spade Flower Shop collection all in one “visual love letter to the city.”

Bacardi 'Winter Summerland'

We worked with Bacardí to create a ‘Winter Summerland’ pop-up that would bring Bacardí rum into the spotlight during the winter season. Our team designed and fabricated a glass truck that captured the synergy of summer and winter seasons, encouraging New Yorkers to rethink the idea that Bacardì rum is a drink reserved only for summer. The holiday pop-up hit popular locations like Times Square, Bryant Park, and Columbus Circle Holiday Market, and included other unique elements like the opportunity to purchase Bacardí X Aviator Nation merch and last minute holiday gifts, and surprise appearances from West Side Story actors, Mack Wilds and Ana Isabelle.

Olly Winter Wellness Café

To highlight Olly’s holistic approach to wellness, while simultaneously launching their new Immunity Supplements, our team created a festive Winter Wellness Holiday Café in the perfect New York location: Central Park. We served hot cocoa and matcha beverages and sampled Olly products from a spirited vintage vehicle touched up by our production team’s expert designs. And that’s not all— the Olly brand was further elevated by an exciting appearance from Rebel Wilson, ultimately encouraging customers to share their engagement with the holiday pop up on social media to reach a greater audience.

Kate Spade Mother’s Day Pop-Up

Kate Spade knew that as a women’s retailer, the most fitting holiday for them to promote their brand and successfully reach their target audience was Mother’s Day. We partnered with the brand to put on a colorful holiday pop-up that New York wouldn’t forget, parking six floral-printed food carts along Broadway to celebrate motherhood and promote the new Kate Spade collection. Through the creative mobile activation, the brand was able to showcase appreciation for mothers, and at the same time, preview The Spade Flower Shop collection all in one “visual love letter to the city.”

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When you partner with Food Truck Promotions, holiday pop ups begin at around $25,000 but can vary in price depending on the location and scope.

Though themed cocktails are a nice touch, serving any kind of alcohol requires a separate permit, unless you’re on private property. A nice ‘work-around’ is turning your holiday cocktails into holiday mocktails, so that you avoid legality issues but still provide tasty beverages in the holiday spirit.

In the past, we’ve promoted brands in high-visibility locations like Times Square, near Central Park, in Hudson Yards, and at Pier 17. New York City is the perfect place for your holiday pop up because there’s foot traffic almost everywhere, making for endless opportunities.