Using Pop-up Events to Increase SBE Sales

October 11, 2021

Photo Credit: Elk River DECA, Minnesota

Pop-up events are becoming more popular, and there are plenty of reasons why you should consider having your School-based Enterprise (SBE) pop up in your community. Last year, many schools did not allow community members inside the school. So, some SBEs went into the community to sell their products instead! Moving your SBE outside of your school can expand its customer base, build product and brand awareness and increase revenue.

These temporary events provide an excellent opportunity for experimentation, growth and collaboration with your local community. Here are a few popular types of pop-up events that have been successful with DEAC's SBEs.

Note: Don’t forget to check out essential requirements such as permits, insurance or licenses in new locations.

Form a partnership

Consider a pop-up partnership if your SBE's target audience overlaps with another business (and they are not direct competitors). Work with local businesses in your community to do a special event and sell your products. This store-inside-a-store concept could be your SBE selling drinks to customers of a local boutique. These partnerships expose your SBE to new customers – be sure to work across industries.

Hit the road

Taking your SBE out in the town or community for the day is also an excellent way to expand your customer base. Consider one-time offerings specific to your community, such as a fall festival, art fair or parade.

Start a recurring pop-up

Pop-ups don’t have to be one-and-done. Establishing a pop-up that occurs once a month in the same location will allow your SBE to reach more customers. It’s also a chance to test a new product out on a smaller scale before making it permanent.

Go seasonal

Creating a regular, seasonal pop-up is a great way to build customer loyalty. Attending holiday events in your community and selling a few signature products is a great way to increase sales and gain a new customer base.

Support a charity

A pop-up can help raise funds and awareness. Your SBE can support a charity or group by doing a pop-up at a local charity event in your community.

Host (and be hosted)

If you have extra space at your SBE, you may consider hosting a business you partner with, maybe selling tickets to a community play or gift cards to a local restaurant. Look into places that might host your SBE for a day. Local businesses, office buildings and libraries are good options.

Join a community organization

Look into local business organizations, civic community groups and the chamber of commerce to see what events they might be hosting. Attending one of these events and showcasing a few products carried by your SBE is a great way to get involved in the community and possibly make future connections.


Debbie Taylor
Leadership Specialist

As DECA’s leadership specialist, Debbie implements a comprehensive student leadership program for both the high school and college divisions. She is responsible for the Emerging Leader Series, executive officer teams and elections, and student recognition programs like the Collegiate DECA Leadership Passport Program and DECA Emerging Leader Honor Award. Debbie has worked for DECA since 2019.

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