by Lauren Mandel 

photo courtesy of & production: Vox Productions

The most creative pop-up shops and events prove that memorable experiences don’t have to be permanent — or even last more than a few hours. Pop-ups, by definition, are temporary experiences that offer some element of surprise. But experts know that any successful pop-up shop or event takes hours and hours of behind-the-scenes ideation and planning, even if they appear spontaneous. 

Some pop-ups are exclusive, while others are open to the public. They can take the form of sit-down dinners, boutique shops, interactive experiences, and even live events. While the format can vary, a consistent element of successful pop-ups is their ability to serve as an engaging marketing tool. Many top brands and companies around the world rely on the power of pop-up events to build brand awareness. 

Chicago-based design, décor, and floral firm Kehoe Designs launched a series of pop-ups this spring, called Green Market Garden, to offer premium indoor and outdoor trees, plants, and flowers at a competitive price. “We set the pop-ups on empty patios of local restaurants, so in addition to bringing a green oasis to multiple neighborhoods throughout Chicago, they also bring life and vitality to an otherwise (currently) empty footprint,”  says owner, Tom Kehoe, noting also the healthful benefit of plants and flowers. He adds that another one of the goals of the Green Market Garden was to reinvent and remain relevant during these unprecedented times. He says, “We have managed to cross-promote other offerings that have been born out of quarantine at the pop-up shops, like: Events-to-Go, customizable, boxed event experiences; online floral orders; and a signature line of stylish and effective PPE and of course, virtual events.” 

Kehoe Designs has found multiple benefits from launching a pop-up experience, and we found 23 more pop-up shops and events to help you discover new ideas and inspiration for your next marketing event. From a pop-up shopping event for a Bachelor star, to an interactive, weekend-long pop-up shop for NARS Cosmetics, read on to learn how brands are creating memorable experiences. 

Pop-Up Shops

A retail level window with florals surrounding
photo courtesy of B Floral Event Design & Production

1. A Pop-Up Shop With a Festive Floral Front

New York, NY

B Floral Event Design & Production worked their design magic on the exterior of the Lela Rose retail store in New York, transforming the shop into a floral-filled pop-up during New York Fashion Week.

event design, production & photos: B Floral Event Design & Production | client: Lela Rose


A circular room with white lockers around the outside and a large mushroom shaped middle structure
photo courtesy of ATOMIC

2. Multi-City Nike Pop-Up Shop

New York, NY

Nike partnered with Foot Locker to host two locations of the Speakeasy, a premium retail experience. Guests were invited to locations in both Boston and New York to shop the newest branded gear. 

set construction, production & photos: ATOMIC | client: Nike | marketing agency: Game Seven


Jojo Fletcher and a man stand face to face between two surfboards and a pink neon sign above them
photo courtesy of The Lakewood

3. Fashion-Forward Pop-Up Shop for JoJo Fletcher

Chicago, IL

The Lakewood hosted The Bachelor’s JoJo Fletcher for a pop-up shop featuring her clothing brand, FLETCH. Passed appetizers, floral photo ops, and plenty of merchandise kept guests engaged. 

photos & venue: The Lakewood | caterer: Paramount Events | dessert & cocktails: DineAmic Catering | client: FLETCH


A bartender in the center placing straws in a drink while two women stand on either side of him
photographer: Alexandria Bryjak

4. Sip & Shop Pop-Up Shop

Chicago, IL

Adult juice boxes, a rosé bar, and passed appetizers from Blue Plate Catering were just some of the special treats guests enjoyed while shopping at this pop-up shop in Chicago for Trunk Club and Nordstrom. 

photographer: Alexandria Bryjak | caterer: Blue Plate Catering | venue: Trunk Club Chicago


an entrance to a Nordstrom with balloons
photo courtesy of Luft Balloons

5. Bold Balloon Arch for a Blogger Pop-Up Shop

Chicago, IL

Luft Balloons created a dramatic installation at a pop-up shop for blogger Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific and her collaboration with Nordstrom. Shoppers took advantage of the colorful balloon installation, which also served as a photo backdrop. 

balloons & photos: Luft Balloons | venue: Nordstrom


photographer: Erin Hannum

6. Luxurious Wedding Dress Pop-Up Shop

Chicago, IL

Loft Lucia hosted a wedding dress pop-up shop in Chicago, where guests shopped and relaxed in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere, thanks to stunning rentals and furniture from Bowery & Bash

photographer: Erin Hannum | venue: Loft Lucia | rentals: Bowery & Bash


photographer: Kobane Photography

7. Pretty Pastel Pop-Up Shop for Domino

New York, NY

Indoor swing installations, pops of pastel décor, and plenty of opportunities to shop the adorable merchandise were featured at this creative pop-up shop for Domino in New York.

photographer: Kobane Photography | rentals & linen: The Factory NYC | client: Domino


Pop-Up Dining Events

photographer: Big Delicious Planet

8. Farm Pop-Up Dinner for the Chicago Tribune

Chicago, IL

A four-course dinner with cocktail pairings was just the beginning for guests invited to this pop-up dinner. Guests also received a tour of the Big Delicious Planet farm, which is where they dined — and where the produce for the dinner was sourced from. 

photographer, venue, planner & décor: Big Delicious Planet | rentals: Tablescapes Event Rentals & Nimble Well | linen: BBJ Linen


photographer: Rebecca Peplinski Photography

9. Chic Wine Tasting Pop-Up

Chicago, IL

Wine makes every experience enjoyable, including this pop-up tasting in Chicago. The Herbarium at Bad Hunter provided the event space and catering for this event, which allowed guests to progress from wine station to wine station. 

photographer: Rebecca Peplinski Photography | venue & caterer: The Herbarium at Bad Hunter [CLOSED]

Live Event Pop-Ups

photographer: Merkai Story, LLC

10. On-Campus Southern Comfort Pop-Up

Stillwater, OK

Oklahoma State University was the perfect setting for this interactive pop-up, produced by the team at Gravel Experiential. Giant games, photo booths, and signature Southern Comfort cocktails brought guests and college students together.

photographer & videographer: Merkai Story, LLC | event agency: Gravel Experiential | venue: Oklahoma State University


photographer: Photoflood Studio

11. Floral Centerpiece Pop-Up Workshop

Oakland, CA

The professionals at Rust & Flourish provided the absolutely stunning florals and greenery for this winter-themed centerpiece workshop, hosted specifically for small business owners. 

photographer: Photoflood Studio | floral & planner: Rust & Flourish | venue: Viscera


photographer: Photoflood Studio

12. Floral Centerpiece Pop-Up Workshop

Oakland, CA

The professionals at Rust & Flourish provided the absolutely stunning florals and greenery for this winter-themed centerpiece workshop, hosted specifically for small business owners. 

photographer: Photoflood Studio | floral & planner: Rust & Flourish | venue: Viscera


photographer: Linda Campos

13. Live Art Auction Pop-Up Event

Boston, MA

AE Events produced the Mass Art Auction, a unique live event pop-up in Boston. A fresh green and white color palette was carried throughout the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. 

photographer: Linda Campos | planning, design & décor: AE Events | venue: Massachusetts College of Art and Design


photo courtesy of Vox Productions

14. Stella Artois Pop-Up Lounge at Sundance

Park City, UT

Guests of the Sundance Film Festival got to experience this boldly-branded pop-up space for Stella Artois, designed and produced by Vox Productions and featuring custom lighting, old-school diner-style bars, and photo ops. 

photos, design & production: Vox Productions | client: Stella Artois


photo courtesy of Rose Gold Collective

15. Cocktail Pop-Up at the Aspen Food & Wine Festival

Aspen, CO

Torres 10 is the number one Spanish brandy worldwide, and Rose Gold Collective was tasked with incorporating a cocktail pop-up at the Aspen Food & Wine Festival. Contrasting bright displays outside and dark displays inside kept guests engaged throughout the event. 

photos & event agency: Rose Gold Collective | client: Torres 10


photographer: Calen Rose

16. Car Wash Pop-Up at a New York Festival

New York, NY

The Electric Zoo festival in New York City was the perfect live event for Kia Motors to host its human carwash pop-up. Festival goers snapped photos and got sudsy in the car-themed installation. 

photographer: Calen Rose | client: Kia Motors


Beauty Brand Pop-Ups

photographer: Studio EM

17. Tata Harper Beauty Pop-Up in Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur

What better place for a beauty master class than the relaxing and luxurious Montage Los Cabos resort? Tata Harper hosted a beauty pop-up with a step-by-step skincare tutorial and plenty of take-home products. 

photographer: Studio EM | venue: Montage Los Cabos | client: Tata Harper


photo courtesy of GRADIENT

18. Clinique Experiential Beauty Pop-Up

New York, NY

Clinique iD, the first custom-blend hydration system, was showcased at an experiential beauty pop-up in New York. Attendees received a digital skin diagnosis and were then given the opportunity to customize and purchase Clinique products. 

photos & event agency: GRADIENT | client: Clinique


photographer: Anna’s Photography

19. TULA Skincare Influencer Pop-Up Event

Dallas, TX

Influencer beauty favorite, TULA Skincare, hosted a pop-up event in Dallas to celebrate one of its newest products. Balloon installations, a manicure station, and a tropical-themed photo backdrop provided plenty of photo-worthy moments. 

photographer: Anna’s Photography | florals: Cam Event Designs | rentals: Beautiful Event Rentals | balloons: Balloon Therapy | venue: The Joule, Dallas


photo courtesy of Firefly Ambiance

20. Mielle Beauty Pop-Up Shop

New Orleans, LA

At the 25th anniversary of Essence Fest in New Orleans, Mielle commissioned Firefly Ambiance to create a unique pop-up experience. Life-size Mielle beauty products really brought the experience to life. 

photos, floral & design: Firefly Ambiance | venue: Soren Christensen Gallery 


photographer: Jean-Pierre Uys Photography

21. Progressive Townhouse Pop-Up for Philosophy

New York, NY

A Manhattan townhouse was transformed into a stunning four-story pop-up for beauty brand, Philosophy. Each room of the house was a completely different design and experience. Over 200 guests got to enjoy the pop-up over the course of just one day. 

photographer: Jean-Pierre Uys Photography | planner: Eventique | graphics: Bombshell Graphics | furniture rentals: Patina Rentals & RentQuest


photo courtesy of Astarte Creative

22. NARS Cosmetics Interactive Pop-Up

New York, NY

NARS Cosmetics celebrated the launch of its newest mascara with a 3-day pop-up experience in New York City. The pop-up fused sensorial moments, live performances, and interactive elements. 

photos & entertainment: Astarte Creative | event design: Set Creative


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