“We’re not seeing any end to viral sharing and the currency that that brings to the world,” said Matt Statman, CEO and chief creative officer of Motive, a creative ad agency.
Statman also pointed out that there’s an exclusivity factor.
“It’s about being first to get in,” he said. “And then, once you do that, you’ve got to share it with the world.”
Although pop-ups argue they have more to offer than just appealing social media posts, it’s hard to ignore the fact that people are draw to them for the photos. For some, the reality can be less satisfying than the Instagrammable image.
“You see all the photos and you think it would be fun to go,” said Susannah Smreker, a recent visitor at The Happy Place in Chicago. “But now that I’ve been to one, I’m not interested in doing another, no matter how cool it looks on Instagram.”
Nonetheless, after Smreker’s younger sister Emma saw Susannah’s photos of the pop-up, she still wanted to go.
“Just from what I’ve seen on Instagram, it looks kind of fun,” said Emma Smreker Davis, of Norman, Oklahoma. She's planning to go to the pop-up when she visits her sibling in Chicago this summer, despite the $30+ admission fee.
In fact, the uniqueness of the experience can translate into big business for pop-up founders and investors.
A representative for the Museum of Ice Cream said the business has made millions, although they declined to disclose exactly how much when asked by CNBC. The establishment has become a permanent NYC fixture called The Pint Shop, a kids apparel line and ice cream brand at Target.
The Happy Place, which declined an interview with CNBC, had more than 100,000 visitors during a limited run in Los Angeles last November through January, where a Rainbow Grilled Cheese sandwich set visitors back around $12.