How to Start a Pop up Museum

How to Start a Pop-up Museum

Pop-up museums have become increasingly popular in recent years as a creative way to engage audiences and showcase unique collections. Unlike traditional museums, pop-up museums are temporary installations that make use of unconventional spaces to create immersive and interactive experiences. If you have a passion for art, history, or any other theme, starting a pop-up museum can be a rewarding endeavor. Here are some steps to help you get started:

1. Define your theme: Choose a specific theme or topic that aligns with your interests and has the potential to attract an audience. Consider what story you want to tell and how you want to engage visitors.

2. Find a location: Look for a space that complements your theme and is easily accessible to your target audience. It could be a vacant storefront, an unused warehouse, or even a public park. Make sure to obtain any necessary permits or permissions.

3. Curate your collection: Gather artifacts, artworks, or objects that are relevant to your theme. You can reach out to collectors, artists, or local institutions to borrow or showcase their pieces. Ensure that each item has a clear connection to the overall narrative of your pop-up museum.

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4. Design the layout: Create an engaging and visually appealing layout for your exhibits. Consider the flow of visitors, the use of signage, and the incorporation of interactive elements to enhance the visitor experience.

5. Plan interactive activities: To make your pop-up museum more engaging, plan interactive activities such as workshops, guided tours, or hands-on exhibits. This will encourage visitors to actively participate and learn more about the theme.

6. Market your pop-up museum: Utilize various marketing channels such as social media, local newspapers, and community boards to promote your pop-up museum. Create captivating content, including sneak peeks of exhibits, behind-the-scenes stories, and testimonials from previous visitors.

7. Set an admission fee: Determine the appropriate admission fee based on your target audience, location, and the costs associated with setting up the pop-up museum. Consider offering discounted rates for students, seniors, or group bookings.

8. Collaborate with partners: Seek partnerships with local businesses, organizations, or sponsors that align with your theme. This can help generate additional funding, support, and exposure for your pop-up museum.

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9. Evaluate and learn: After the pop-up museum has concluded, gather feedback from visitors and partners to assess the success of the event. Analyze what worked well and areas for improvement, which can inform future pop-up museum endeavors.


1. How long should a pop-up museum run?
The duration can vary, but most pop-up museums run for a few weeks to a couple of months. It depends on the availability of the space and the resources you have.

2. Can I charge admission for a pop-up museum?
Yes, you can charge admission to cover the costs of setting up and running the pop-up museum. However, ensure the fee is reasonable and aligns with the experience you offer.

3. How do I find artifacts for my pop-up museum?
Reach out to collectors, artists, museums, or local institutions that may be willing to lend or donate artifacts related to your theme.

4. Can I have interactive exhibits in a pop-up museum?
Absolutely! Interactive exhibits can greatly enhance the visitor experience and make your pop-up museum more engaging.

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5. How do I choose a theme for my pop-up museum?
Choose a theme that aligns with your interests, has the potential to attract an audience, and offers a unique perspective or narrative.

6. Can I run a pop-up museum without any prior museum experience?
Yes, you can start a pop-up museum without prior experience. However, it is beneficial to learn about museum practices, exhibit design, and visitor engagement to create a successful experience.

7. How can I attract visitors to my pop-up museum?
Utilize various marketing channels, create captivating content, and consider collaborating with local businesses or organizations to attract visitors to your pop-up museum.

8. How do I secure a location for my pop-up museum?
Look for vacant spaces, contact property owners, or seek partnerships with local businesses or organizations that may be willing to host your pop-up museum.

9. Can I run a pop-up museum as a nonprofit organization?
Yes, you can run a pop-up museum as a nonprofit organization, allowing you to apply for grants and seek tax-exempt status. However, it requires proper legal and financial considerations.

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