One of our favourite ideas here at All about the Idea has always been the pop-up. If the mountain will not come to Muhammad… or in other words, if your audience isn’t coming to you, you’d better bring what you’ve got straight to the audience.
The humble pop-up is an idea that can work across all sectors; food and drink, retail, talent, technology… Otherwise known as the road show, the pop-up can be as large or small a production as you need, it can go to wherever you can reach and it can stay as long as you want.
All you need to make it happen is your message and means of getting to your desired location. As the ridiculous(ly creepy) Count Olaf, disguised as Cap’n Sham, says in A Series of Unfortunate Events, “Stay where you’re at, I’ll come where you’re to”!
I tried dining pop-up Mike and Ollie last week, which sprung up for the evening in a permanently ‘moored’ railway carriage just off Deptford High Street. Not a food pop-up virgin, I can tell you it’s a fine line between gimic and gourmet and Mike and Ollie walked it just right. Want to know how? They employed the first rule of marketing, ‘medium is the message’ and they made sure that they didn’t get side-tracked by the venue/ the music/ the view.
I could write all day about the salty, crunchy crackling of our first course (pork belly with a poached plum and rocket), the extraordinarily tangy and moreish pesto a-top the raw milk cheese and roasted beetroot that followed, the smooth and meaty flesh of our cured mackerel (with apple and celeriac coleslaw and shaved horseradish), or hot and sweet chillied calamari that prepared us for, let’s face it, the star of the show, which was a magnificently moist dark chocolate and quince tart; but I won’t.
Packed like sardines in a tin can with the loo a quick dash outside into the cold to a dingy shed did nothing to tarnish the success of this pop-up, which was a triumph because it was just as it should be; all about the food.