How one small town took the Pop-Ups idea and ran with it

Jeanne Cole is a downtown business owner, part-time chamber employee, and a long time chamber volunteer in the town of Waynoka, Oklahoma, population 990. She took the Pop-up Mini Course and led the planning of a Pop-up Fair. She shared these great photos from her event, and we asked her how she put what she learned into action.

Wyanoka Chamber of Commerce Pop-Ups (4)

How did you pick your date? What influenced your decision?
We wanted to ensure a good crowd for the first event so we chose a date that would give us that. Our town holds a once-every-five-years all-school reunion, and we chose that weekend Saturday afternoon to hold the event. Our town has a lot of vacant buildings, and we had a desire to fill some of the space with activity to give the alumni something to do in our downtown area. We’d just finished a sidewalk and street project and this was another reason to draw visitors downtown.

How many vendors signed up? How many actually participated?
We had 14 vendors sign up and 10 actually participated. Two were sick and one had car trouble, one just didn’t show!

Wyanoka Chamber of Commerce Pop-Ups (2)

You had a good variety of offerings. Did anyone surprise you with their pop-up?
The pop corn vendor was a surprising success! She came from Texas, and was one of our alumni so she had a vested interest in the event. She was extremely happy with her sales for the afternoon.

Did vendors seem to understand the idea of pop-ups as temporary stores, versus the more well-known idea of plain vendor booths? Did it cause confusion?
I think there was a little confusion due to some of the vendor offerings. We had several that were multi-level home based businesses and I don’t think they look at the idea of a temporary store front as much as other vendors.

How did you pick your location in downtown?
We chose a street with existing open businesses to compliment the pop up vendors. The existing businesses welcomed the vendors, shared bathrooms with them and shopped with them as well. We felt it was better to showcase existing vendors than empty buildings.

Why did you put the pop-ups in the streets rather than on the sidewalks?
We decided that our sidewalks were not wide enough to allow foot traffic with the vendors set up on them. We were able to block the street and allow the vendors to set up just adjacent to the curbs. This facilitated foot traffic of the sidewalk and down the middle of the street and allowed some measure of safety to those walking and crossing back and forth between the vendors on either side.

Wyanoka Chamber of Commerce Pop-Ups (1)

How many storefront businesses participated? Did they let you know how it went for them?
Just two store fronts were open for business during the pop up fair. Both reported good business and enjoyed having the pop up vendors in town.

How was customer turnout for the Pop-up Fair?
customer turn out was pretty brisk most of the day. The temperatures were pretty warm in the middle of the afternoon and slowed the traffic a little. We also had tourist visitors for the afternoon,

A booth  displaying colorful hair bows, ribbons and other handmade textiles

What did you think overall? Will you do it again?
We thought the event went very well and yes, we have already scheduled a follow up event for October 24. We will hold this in conjunction with a fall fest.

Any advice for others thinking about doing a Pop-up Fair?
The information provided from Becky and Deb throughout the planning process really helped out a lot! I think every community should evaluate what they have and how best to showcase potential to the pop ups and keep the existing businesses involved and encouraging.

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