Think outside the shop with a sidewalk pop-up

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

This is the perfect time of year to connect with customers…and you barely have to leave your storefront to do it. (Unless you want to, of course!) If your goal is to engage with existing and potential clients in a fun, memorable way, host a pop-up event right outside your door.

By holding an exciting event outside your storefront, you’ll ultimately attract customers from the outside, in.

1. Postcards

Send people home with a physical reminder of your business – like a flyer or a postcard. Display them on a stand or rack, or neatly stack them on one corner of your table setup. Encourage passersby to take one before they leave, and include one in their shopping bag when they make a purchase.


Materials like flyers, postcards and brochures are great ways to tell your story…and send customers home with all the information they need about your small business.

2. Mesh banners

Attract passersby attention from afar with an eye-catching banner. Mesh banners are great options for outdoor events since they’re made from polyester that resists fading and water. No need to worry about windy conditions or rainy forecasts!

Make sure to create your banner in your brand colours and include your small business name and logo. Your logo should be visible from a distance to attract customers from a distance, and you can include other information, like menu details, that’s readable when they come closer.

3. T-shirts

As a small business owner, wearing your brand is one of the best ways to generate awareness. So, during your event, make sure you’re representing your business from the moment customers stroll by. One of the easiest ways to do this is with branded apparel, like a T-shirt with your logo design. In addition to promoting awareness, a branded T-shirt also boosts credibility – it shows that you’re a professional, and can add some legitimacy to your business.

How to excite customers even more:

Create an attractive table setup.

After you’ve attracted attention with a banner, make sure people will actually want to come over and say hello. Do that by creating an appealing setup – it can be as simple as a folding table with a branded tablecloth. Decorate with some basic items from your shop, and keep your setup well-stocked with samples and marketing supplies.


Excite passersby with an energetic display. Consider playing music or doing something ‘live’ (like blending smoothies!) so customers can see you in action.

Offer an incentive.

It’s great to give out free samples…but what can you do to encourage potential customers to come back? Include a special offer on the postcards and flyers you’re handing out, or add a loyalty stamp system to one side of your business cards. Enticing visitors to come back is a great way to convert curious passersby into paying customers.

Connect with the community.

Small businesses are integral to any community, so demonstrate your commitment to your neighbourhood at your next event. Raise money for a local charity, or invite town leaders, chamber of commerce members or even local press to pop by. (Your event might score some free publicity in the daily newspaper!) Plus, staying connected with your community can work to your advantage. Stay in the know about local events, like holiday parades and neighbourhood sidewalk sales, so you can capitalize on that extra foot traffic.

Get social.

Aside from spreading the word about your event on social media, encourage visitors to share photos from your pop-up on their own social channels. Create a hashtag for your event so you can find their posts later, and encourage passersby to follow your small business social accounts. Also, make sure your setup is something they’ll *want* to photograph – consider hanging an Instagram-worthy backdrop and make your product look extra pretty (colourful smoothie garnishes, anyone?).

Everything you need to host a sidewalk event

  1. Flyers
  2. Postcards
  3. T-shirts
  4. An eye-catching setup
  5. Incentives or special offers
  6. Community connection
  7. An event hashtag