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Flash, guerrilla or pop up; whatever the name, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself on the receiving end of one of these lovelies, you know good times are coming.

One of the most exciting phenomenons to hit consumerism since the four stick KitKat, flash events have changed the way businesses interact with customers. Simply going to a shop or restaurant isn’t enough: these days customers want to feel like they’re part of something special – participating in an experience – and if it happens to be a weird off-grid location too, all the better. Who wouldn’t want to go to a secret supper club, a guerilla film night or the flash sale of your favourite fruit product? It’s fun!

Equally, forward thinking businesses from bakers to Burberry, recognise that online shopping is, well, a bit faceless and that metaphorically breaking bread with your customers is not only important, it adds value. If you offer any kind of consumer-facing service, a pop up event could give your brand a useful injection of vitality, and they’re great for PR too. So get out there and challenge perceptions of your everyday business by holding an event in an unusual location, add a sense of urgency by putting a deadline on coming along, collaborate with complementary businesses to add kudos and get people talking, tease on social media, get a photographer in to capture the magic… If you can get excited about your business, everyone else will too.

There are hundreds of fantastic brands doing innovative things but we’re currently loving:

The Christmas light installation at Kew. Who wouldn’t want to see a mile-long string of fairy lights illuminating the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Royal Botanical Gardens – See more at: http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/whats-on/christmas-kew-details

Pickle Shack at various locations. Michelin trained chef Josh McDonald-Johnson takes his kitchen to every corner of the county to produce stunning meals from local ingredients. Pickle Shack are innovating in the pop up space like no other local eatery and we love it. http://www.pickleshack.co.uk/events/

Epitomising the concept, Project Vino is a pop up wine bar on South Street in Exeter. Existing thanks to Exeter City Council’s clever pop up scheme which offers empty shops to entrepreneurial types, Project Vino, like its product, is an attractive blend of wine meets temporary space. www.projectvino.uk

Caroline Goulden
Written by Caroline Goulden