Word of the day: pop-up

Apologies for not having written one of these word / chunk of the day posts for quite some time. I’ve just been up to my ears in work these last few weeks, although I must admit I have also actually been away and am only just back home in London. I spent the weekend deep in the Sussex countryside, staying at the rather lovely pop-up campsite you can see below. Now, I guess you might be wondering what the difference is between a normal campsite and a pop-up one, right? On both, you sleep in tents, have access to some basic facilities like showers, and get away from things for a while and recharge your batteries. The difference is that pop-up sites are only temporary. The wonderful site we stayed on only exists for 35 days a year. The rest of the time it’s farm land.

The whole idea of pop-up retail spaces is relatively new in London and the word pop-up has only been in general use for maybe the last decade. The trend involves “popping up” one day, then disappearing anywhere from one day to several weeks later. Unsurprisingly, the idea seems to have originated in the United States, with many people claiming the one-day Ritual Expo event in LA in 1997 was the first real pop-up store. The idea soon caught on and before long, it crossed the Atlantic. By 2010, London was full of pop-up restaurants, pop-up bars, pop-up boutiques, pop-up cinemas and more! Landlords found that hiring their buildings to entrepreneurs looking to host special one-off events brought in some money and made previously vacant spaces somehow seem sexier and more exciting.

Many big brands were quick to realise that pop-ups could help to build interest in their products or services, and attract the attention of cultural influences, who might then blog or Tweet about them. Pop-ups also allow companies to create unique environments that engage potential customers and to do so in a low-cost, low-risk way.

Nowadays, the trend is so well-established that you can find sites listing all the latest pop-ups around town, bringing you the best in new pop-up dining spaces and letting you know about the hottest new pop-up bars. Whatever it is you’re looking for, the chances are there’s a pop-up that you’d love somewhere out there.

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  • Do you have pop-ups where you live? What kind?
  • Are they popular?
  • Where do you usually go when you need to get away from it all and recharge your batteries?
  • Can you think of any other ways that big brands try to build interest in their products / services?
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2 Responses

  1. Mike Yoon says:

    Lexicallab.com is very helpful for us to learn English.

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