Skip to main content

The Secret Life of Pop-Ups

This book is for anyone that has ever been told to fuck off by a community member, reminded that their wage is paid by a rate payer or simply avoided – head down hustled past style. Or even worse they crossed the street to avoid your path entirely. This book is for you. 

If you are thinking to yourself this hasn’t happened yet? You either have the face or charm of god, or you haven’t spent enough time in the public. Follow the tips in the book and you may just avoid it. 

Why am I so passionate about pop-ups?

As a self-confessed people watcher, I have always loved the interaction between people in the street. Wondering what part of their routine I am a part of. Is it that start of their day or the end? Are they new to this part of town? Or have they been in these parts for generations? Pop-ups give me an excuse, a reason to talk to them without fear that I being that weirdo on the train asking you about your day. I love people. 

Let me build some credibility

I started a business called Conversation Caravan (shameless self-promotion) which specialises in pop-ups. This was after 12 years working as a community engagement practitioner, at the time of writing this book I have all the qualifications out there related and non-related to community engagement. I am a lifelong learner and my best education, which will be your best education, will come from working with community and getting into the habit of self reflection and a personal debrief – with yourself on the train!

Why are pop-ups so great for your engagement program?

The streets and places of interest are where you can find all of your community, in fact I would argue that when using pop-ups – none of your community is hard to reach.

Most pop-ups, or streets stands I have seen are done badly. They are considered too simple, it’s just a table in the street – build it and they will come. No. No one is going to come. I worry that for some these experiences are an example of why pop-ups don’t work.

Pop-ups are worth it, there is a formula and they require effort and planning just like any other engagement method. The result of your efforts will amaze you.

How to use this book

This book is written in a way that you can start making the changes within each chapter. I would prefer you do the action, rather than absorb the knowledge with inaction.

My favourite chapters, that are a little heavier, in the long run will make a big difference to:

  • Chapter 1 – Keeping yourself and others safe
  • Chapter 5 – Engage human behaviour
  • Chapter 7 – Rooms within rooms
  • Chapter 8 – Work to your team’s strength

What we still spend a lot of focus on when I work with our clients, and need to continue to work on as an industry:

  • Chapter 2 – Connecting pop-ups back to your purpose
  • Chapter 3 – Make, making sense easy

Lighter chapters that will make your life easier:

  • Chapter 9 – Selecting the right location
  • Chapter 10 – Avoid looking like a telemarketer

Within each chapter, there are a few action steps with links to download some tools and resources to help you on your path.

Pre-order Your Book
This is a pre-order of The Secret Life of Pop-Ups by Cindy Plowman.
Your book will be ready for shipment to you starting June 2024.