Hosting a Safe Popup at Home: Caution!
What’s the best way for Cottage Food Operators to showcase their food products? Host a popup. Wait, before you think your home is the best location, think again. Do you want people you don’t know scrabbling around your home? Oh, you’re only inviting family and friends? Why? They’re going to love anything you make. So how can you may this popup happen? It’s going to be a lot more involved than you might expect.
Be cautious about using your home as an event location for your business. Cottage Food Operators will see using their home as an advantage. The expenses are low (no rental fees), and the convenience of being in the home kitchen makes food prep comfortable. The major issue here is inviting strangers into your home. You may operate a business from your home but do you want to host a popup or open-house from your home. Foodpreneur Institute does not see this as a best practice. Your goal is to always keep you and your family safe.
If you decide to use another venue other than your home consider the following:
What do you hope to gain?
Have a clear reason for hosting a popup. It’s not about family or friends, but introducing your product to the community. If you want to do something for those who have supported you, do it privately. When hosting a popup there are only two shine worth components. You and your product.
Avoid liability at all cost
Hosting anything at your home puts you at risk unless you have damn good liability insurance. You are starting a business and can’t afford a slip and fall on your turf. Find a location and invest in separate insurance held by you and the building owner.
Consider timing (Is this a one-night stand)
Based on what you hope to gain from the popup, decide how many events you’ll host. The Marketing Rule of 7 states: “a prospect needs to “hear” the advertiser’s message at least 7 times before they’ll take action to buy that product or service. ”
This marketing maxim developed by the movie industry in the 1930s is still recognized. Should you listen to it, not necessarily. It is foolish to think that if you make it they will buy. Consider hosting more than one popup. Spread them out over several months. If you want to become a neighborhood brand, this will take time.
Consider a collaborating
Does your food product compliment another food product? Consider a coffee shop, another bakery, a diner, a specialty food store, a food truck? Look around for the perfect collaborating partner.
Make your brand shine
Looking for a collaborating partner does not mean they take your shine. You are the star attraction, make that clear to the collaborator. You run the risk of hosting a popup that is of no benefit to you.
Invite the unknown
Family and friends attending the popup are wonderful, but they are not your target. You want people willing and able to pay your prices and not look for discounts. Know your demographic. Seek consumers willing to feed your wallet, not your ego.
Control the flash
The popup should compliment your product. Do you have a sophisticated product, like gold-dusted dark chocolate truffles? Are you make a 100-year old Irish Shortbread Cookie served with dessert wine? Design the event, decorate the venue so it compliments your food. If you don’t need flash don’t use it. Keep it simply you.
Time to be a social butterfly. Hosting a popup means talking to the attendees. Don’t avoid them and hang out at the back of the venue. If you don’t want to be the face of the product, and I don’t understand why you wouldn’t. Appoint someone to engage, engage, engage. This is the time to tell your story and promote your product. No one can do it better than you.
How to get folks to attend
- Create a special hashtag for your pop-up
- Give your followers a sneak peek of what’s to come
- Draft a unique “save the date” messages
- Offer contests on social media that encourage followers to share your event with friends and family
- Use your Facebook account to create an event page
- Invite local bloggers or influencers and announce their attendance on your event page (Only if they will attend.)
Build a list
- Do you have a mailing list? Are you building your mailing list? It is your responsibility to invite those on your mailing list to this popup.
- Post photos or hold Facebook live broadcasts.
- Allow the local blogger or influencer to “take over” your social media account to share updates.
Measure your success
- Encourage your followers to share their photos, experience, or feedback(Share the bad with me, share the good on social media, if it’s good.)
- Create a short Instagram video with your followers being featured.
- Build anticipation by announcing your next pop-up event date and location (if known).
Are you ready for a popup?
Contact me with you want to talk through it! It’s a free consultation.