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Pop-up Primer


Friday 14th October, Wednesday 2nd November, Thursday 10th November

Pop-up Primer is a workshop programme designed to develop the retail skills of local creative and food and drink businesses. We’re looking for businesses who would like to join this workshop programme, learn more about incorporating the pop-up format into their retail activities, and develop some of the unique skills that can help make pop-up retail a success.

Hosted at Newcastle University Business School, online and at Sook, a pop-up retail space in the Metrocentre, Gateshead, these hands-on workshops will help boost your visual marketing, product photography, customer interaction and social media skills. You’ll also have an opportunity to have a space to trade within Sook at an exciting retail event on the 10th November. See the below short videos from the first Pop-up Primer workshops and launch event.


Participants must be able to attend the workshops on the following days and times:

  • Friday 14th October (9.30am – 2:30pm) at Newcastle University Business School
  • Wednesday 2nd November (09:30 – 12:30) Online
  • Thursday 10th November at the Sook popup space in the Metro Centre (10am – 7pm, with 3pm – 5pm being an opportunity to trade).



Friday 14th October 9.30am to 2.30pm

Social Media and Marketing with Corinne Lewis-Ward
Sharing a decade of independent retail experience and offering guidance on social media and marketing. This will include an introduction to designing promotional leaflets using Canva, which will then be printed for you free of charge.

Product photography with Sue Todd
Your photography will likely be the first introduction to your products, prospective customers see, it needs to make the right impression.  Your imagery can either convert those viewers to sales OR ensure they walk away!
Sue will take you through a host of ideas and tips to illustrate how you can create imagery that attracts attention and drives those all-important sales.  Attendees will take away ideas, hints, and tips to create far better imagery for their business.


Wednesday 2nd November 09:30 – 12:30 Online

Five Star Visual Marketing Success and Pop-up Shop Solutions with Ann English
Visual Marketing is the cost-effective silent salesperson all the big brands use. In this experiential workshop Ann will teach you the fundamental Visual Marketing principles based on traditional Visual Merchandising techniques. Ann will then take participants on a visual journey from table top to pop-up shop, by presenting real life examples, success stories and creative solutions. You’ll leave feeling prepped and ready to tackle pop-up retail for yourself!


Thursday 10th November at the Sook, Metro Centre, Gateshead

10:00 – 15:00 Practice all that you have learned about setting up a popup shop in an actual popup space.
Drama Facilitator Viv Wiggins will be on hand to coach your confident customer interactions

15:00 – 19:00 Popup Primer Launch Event
Enjoy an opportunity to have a space to trade and promote your business alongside your cohort, network and meet new audiences.


Image by Denisse Leon on Unsplash

Dr Fiona Whitehurst

Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University Business School

Jo Singh

Project Coordinator at Newcastle University Business School

Corinne Lewis-Ward

Founder of Powder Butterfly

Sue Todd

Full-time Professional Photographer

Ann English

Founder of Create Intrigue and The Visual Marketing Academy™

Viv Wiggins

Actor and Voiceover

About the team

The Pop-up Pilot is a collaborative, practical research project run by Dr Fiona Whitehurst, Dr Lauren Baker, Jo Singh, Corinne Lewis-Ward, and Ann English. Based in the North East of England, the team represents a variety of industry experience, including arts, design, retail, and marketing.  

  • Fiona Whitehurst is a Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University Business School and is Co-investigator on the Creative Fuse North East project. She leads a micro-business development programme, called Captured, that has worked with over 150 businesses since 2016.  
  • Lauren Baker is Innovation and Research Associate at Newcastle University Business School, working on the Creative Fuse North East project. Lauren’s research specialises in craft business, informed by her own ceramics practice and curatorial experience in commercial galleries. 
  • Jo Singh is a Director of Network Artists North East and a Project Coordinator at Newcastle University Business School managing the Captured programme and other associated programmes.  
  • Corinne Lewis-Ward is founder of Powder Butterfly, a design studio creating British contemporary homeware, gifts, and bespoke corporate gifts. She also runs Creative Heritage Studios, a community interest company carrying out design-led public engagement activities to create stronger communities.  
  • Ann English is founder of Create Intrigue and The Visual Marketing Academy™, advising SMEs how to display their products, present their services, and create memorable experiences that inspire potential customers to stop and buy. For 25 years she has designed, project-managed, and installed large-scale displays and interactive experiences for major retail centres across the UK.  
  • Sue Todd is a full-time professional photographer working from her studio in Cramlington and on location with clients.   Photography is all Sue has ever wanted to do and creating imagery with the ‘Wow’ factor is what gets her up each day. 
  • Viv Wiggins – is an actor and voiceover. Experience includes Development Lead Tall Tales Mysteries, Lead drama facilitator Josephine and Jack Project (CIO), Presenter Safe Soulmates, Senior Roleplayer.

The vast experience of the team combines to offer an interdisciplinary approach to university research that seeks to inform the everyday practice of creative businesses.   

Am I eligible?

You could be eligible to take part if you have a small to medium sized business, are a registered sole trader, registered freelancer, creative practitioner, Social Enterprise or Community Interest Company within the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area: Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland, and Sunderland.

How do I register?

If you have any questions, please contact or

To register, please fill out this form.