So, how did it go?

Here’s the first  pop-up questionnaire, as completed by Dan Gregory of the Popse! think- tank team:

1. What was your pop-up?

It was a pop-up think tank! Mainly looking at issues around social enterprise and policy connected to the ‘Big Society’. We did all the kind of things a ‘real’ think tank would do but for a limited period only.

2. How long was it, when was it?

It was for 5 days from the 9-13 May. Although we are still tidying up a few loose ends and putting together a formal report to publish.

3. Why did you decide to make a pop-up?

We thought a temporary set-up could have greater freedom to be fun and provocative than a more established institution. We applied the idea to ourselves that pop-ups put redundant (or vacant or idle!) assets back into useful work – as the core team are all either newly redundant, left their jobs recently, are freelance or out of work.

Popse! was located in Exmouth Market at the site of an old pizza place. Photo credit: Popse!

4. How did you find a place?

With the fantastic support of the wonderful Eddie, Jessica and Emily at Meanwhile Space CIC.

5. What way did you market 
your pop-up? Was it effective?

Why does everyone keep asking that about effectiveness and impact? 😉 We know it was fun and we learned a lot. We know the people who came to be a part of it took a lot from it. We know we managed to reach a huge audience through the web and twitter – across the globe from Finland to Australia. One of our pieces of work is being translated into French and we have been interviewed for a US web-based publication.

Photo credit: Popse!



6. How did you like 
managing your pop-up? 

I think we loved it. I certainly learned a lot. It was quite challenging and tiring juggling different types of work. From working on theoretical policy stuff, then talking to people who walked in off the street, enjoying post-work drinks and also worrying about whether we had enough twiglets for all the people who dropped by (other savoury twig-shaped snacks are available. Apparently.)

7. Anything you wish you had done differently?

Not really. We had a fantastic team of people and it just kind of all came together. Amazingly nothing went wrong and we managed without any formal structures, hierarchy or systems and all the things you should probably have in a ‘proper’ workplace. 8. What advice do you have for people looking to set up pop-ups in the future? If you are thinking about it, go for it! Speak to others who have done it and people like Meanwhile Space who understand the issues and can help. Think of an answer to all those people who keep asking you if it will be sustainable and how will you measure the impact. And enjoy it!

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What’s poppin’ now?

Until July 9 We Make London: Summer Pop-up The Oak Studio, 8 Perrins Court, Hampstead, London, NW3 1QS

Until July 30 Piccadilly Community Centre Hauser & Wirth Gallery, 196A Piccadilly London W1J 9DY

Until August 3 Ellesse Pop-up shop & Coffee House 77 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DJ

Until August 14 Pop-up Urban Physic Garden 100 Union Street, London, SE1 0NL

Until September The Dishoom Beach Bar Pop-up on London Southbank, in front of the Southbank Centre

Until September The Terrace Garden Pop-up Bar at The Langham The Langham, 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London, GB W1B 1JA

Until September 30 Frank’s Cafe and Campari Bar 10th Floor, Peckham Multi-story carpark 95A Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST

Until November The Summerhouse Restaurant 60 Blomfield Road, W9 2PA

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