Chicago, Illinois is the largest city in the northern state and the third largest in the country. Nearly three million people call Chicago home, and the city brings in millions of visitors every year. Known for its bold architecture, winter weather, and many attractions, Chicago is a center for culture and commerce in the United States.
Chicago’s landscape is mostly cityscape, but also features an intricate park system throughout the metropolitan area. And while it's winters are cold and windy (often with lots of snow), it's summers are mild and comfortable.
Because of its vast opportunity, moderate weather, and variety of things to do, Chicago is a popular place to host events. This includes pop-ups shops and spaces, especially, as Chicago's big city status and many resources make it an ideal place to hold any kind of consumer-driven affair.
- Interesting Fact:
Chicago’s public transit system, the Chicago Transit Authority, is the second largest in the United States.
Pop-Up Options in Chicago
A pop-up event requires a lot of details to come together for it to be a success. Luckily, there are an abundance of vendors and services in the Chicago area who can help ensure that your pop-up goes exactly as planned.
Including a fun buffet or champagne services at your pop-up could be a good idea. you can enlist a Chicago catering company or even a specific restaurant to provide the food for your event. Ensure no customer or staff member goes hungry throughout the day with food services from Chicago’s finest.
Whatever style your pop-up is, it’ll need decorations and design to fit its theme. Hiring a professional Chicago decorator is a great way to ensure that every person attending your pop-up knows exactly what it’s about. From wall decor, to centerpieces, to floor coverings, trust a Chicago decorator to embellish your pop-up to its fullest potential.
Make sure your pop-up is in a convenient setting for people to get to and avoid losing potential customers. Chicago fortunately has great public transit systems in place for people to get to the pop-up venue and around the city.
- Equipment rental:
Maybe you need a projector system to screen pictures of your brand, tables and chairs for staff to sit at, or audio equipment to play background music. Whatever your pop-up requires, you can partner with a Chicago equipment rental company to provide the needed supplies.
- Influencer recruitment:
Utilizing social media influencers is a great way to promote your pop-up event. You can hire a social media expert to reach out to local Chicago influencers to attend your pop-up and post it on their social media. Sharing information can go a long way, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to earn more customers.
Every pop-up event needs vibrant, customer-focused staff to keep the event going. You can get in contact with a local staffing company to find employees for your shop, but still keep things discreet so word doesn’t get out too soon.
Event Planning Companies in Chicago
There are many different event planning companies in Chicago that can help you plan the perfect pop-up. Regardless of size, style, or product type, you can trust the city of Chicago to make your pop-up an event one to remember.
- Liven It Up Events:
This full-service wedding and event planning and production company has over a decade of experience planning Chicago pop-up spaces and shops. Past clients include Facebook and Miller Lite.
- Lola Event Productions:
With a team of veteran event planners with a combined 50+ years of experience, this full-service Chicago event planner has the chops to make your popup experience like no other. Turn to them for help with logistics coordination, decor and design assistance, or event production and management.
- Bliss Events:
This woman-owned event planning company has been in business for over 20 years and has built a strong reputation in Chicago. They focus on creating events that “engage, excite, and delight.” Services include day-of coordination and services, decor rentals, design consulting and floral design.
Pros and Cons of Pop-Ups in Chicago
Chicago is a large and active city filled with fun attractions and places to explore. There are many reasons to host a pop-up shop here. However, there are also certain disadvantages you should consider.
There are plenty of people in Chicago available to attend your pop-up shop.
- Foot traffic:
With all of the people in the city of Chicago, there is abundant foot traffic bound to stumble across your shop.
Many social media influencers call Chicago their home, which gives you the opportunity to book them to promote your pop-up.
Chicago is filled with fun attractions to go to during your stay after the pop-up is over.
The city features a unique culture like no other place, giving you a chance to learn something about a prominent place in the United States.
- Winter weather:
Chicago is known for its extreme winter weather, which can cause problems for outdoor pop-ups.
Like any large city, Chicago has traffic, which can inhibit people from attending your pop-up.
Because Chicago is such a sought after place to host events, prices can drive up.
- Crime: Chicago has crime, especially in inner city areas, so keep that in mind when planning where to host your pop-up.
Chicago is a very popular place to book events, pop-up shops included, which can make it difficult to plan there.
Famous Pop-Up Locations in Chicago
Like the city itself, there are many well-known locations in Chicago to visit and draw inspiration for your pop-up event.
- Millennium Park:
Not only would this be a great setting for a pop-up, but this park is among one of the most popular places to visit in Chicago. Home of the Cloud Gate sculpture, otherwise known as “The Bean,” this industrial park brings in thousands of tourists every year. To feel like you’re at the concrete park at your pop-up, book at a raw industrial space in Chicago.
- Navy Pier:
Opened in 1916, this amusement park-pier combo setting is a great place to see views of the lake from on top of the ferris wheel, take pre-pop-up photos, or simply explore the fun.
- Willis Tower SkyDeck:
For a bird’s eye view of the city and a touristy photo-op, visit the Willis Tower and stand on the freaky sky deck. At 110 stories high, this is the highest view in Chicago.