The concept of pop-ups has been around for awhile but really started gaining popularity just a few years back. Since then it’s reached all new heights, to the tune of $50 billion in annual sales, according to PopUp Republic, a social media marketing company focused on exclusively on pop-ups.


Pop-ups are temporary places of business that can appear in any location, at any time and can be any size. They can be seasonal retail shops, selling Halloween costumes or Christmas trees; farmers markets; craft shops, food trucks… just about anything. Point being, they’re much cheaper solutions that don’t require a year-round lease. They seemingly just “pop up” out of nowhere.

We’ve scoured the web for what we think are some of the most unique pop-ups around. Here are a few that caught our eye:

Wedtoberfest — Beer & Bubbly Wedding Show

Wedtoberfest is an exciting new alternative to the wedding planning process that combines a casual wedding show with all the fun of a beer festival. Beyond the beer, Wedtoberfest presents some of the best wedding vendors and artisans in Chicagoland. These hand-picked small businesses show off their products and services in a casual, no-pressure environment.

Naver App Square by Urbantainer

Urbantainer, a South Korean based architecture and design firm combined a stock metal container with sheets of raw corrugated cardboard resulting in a unique branded kiosk called the Naver App Square. The interior is fitted out with furniture and accessories all made of cardboard. Distinct areas for several popular Naver search categories like music and wine are realized in real life. The goal of the kiosk was to build awareness for the service and offer visitors a unique venue in which to experience the brand.

Japanese Seafood Tasting

Local caught, foraged and harvested dinner with Japanese sensibilities. Caught by the chef and accented with the best from the farmer’s market. This meal comes with a story of each item and where it’s been. The menu changes and is based upon what the ocean provides.


TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure — literally a restaurant without walls. Since 1999, they have set the long table at farms or gardens, on mountain tops or in sea caves, on islands or at ranches. Occasionally the table is set indoors: a beautiful refurbished barn, a cool greenhouse or a stately museum. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table.

StorySlams by First Person Arts

A StorySlam is more than a storytelling competition. It’s an invitation to share five minutes of your life in a room full of people who appreciate a well-told tale. Audience storytellers take to the stage with real life stories on the theme of the night. Winners get $100 prize and the chance to compete in the season finale Grand Slam. Got five minutes? Come and lend an ear, or share an experience.

Paint & Enjoy

Get together with friends and create a beautiful painting to display in your home. A talented instructor will lead you step-by-step through the process to creating a masterpiece you will be proud of.  All materials are provided including canvases, easels, paints, brushes and smocks.