Pop Up Event Trend: How Popular Mechanics made DIYers out of Attendees


Popular Mechanics has been in the game for a while, helping DIY pros reinvigorate their lifestyles with new, exciting opportunities. While not typically found chilling with Esquire and GQ, its newest approach to industry appearance has revitalized some of its deeper aspects. Popular Mechanics invented The Lodge: The Ultimate Winter Clubhouse. Event-goers were invited to partake in the stylishness underlining Popular Mechanics. Of course, feasts, crafts and cocktails were part of the package.

Brand Modernization

Today, brands face industry growth with intensity. Unsurprisingly, constant modernization is responsible for success. Popular Mechanics, displayed through the Hearst publication, powered The Lodge by inviting over 500 attendees. The Lodge was a modern digital extravaganza, offering hands-on demos, industry news and tastings. The Hearst, having celebrated its 115th anniversary, assisted Popular Mechanics with an intelligent team of publication partners and editors.

New advertisers, too, were present. Popular Mechanics has worked on reinvigorating its public appearance for years. While media appearances worked well in the past, a closer approach was needed to redistribute creativity and harness success. The Lodge, in essence, served to embody the modern industry’s latest, greatest technological features.

A Massive Event Space

The Ultimate Winter Weekend Clubhouse was established in Kinfolk94—which is a well-known retail and event space powered in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section. The event prioritized earthy tones, pinpointing the Popular Mechanics DIY vibe with backdrops, beer and digital outdoor landscape displays. Facebook Live, meanwhile, helped event-goers share demos, activate premium digital options and view trending GIFs.

Timothy Dahl, West Coast editor for Popular Mechanics, demoed the brand’s DIY firewood coasters. A Dremel hand tool seminar and workshop was had, as was a meeting with Slightly Alabama’s Dana Glaser. Attendees were invited to craft Brooklyn leather accessories, custom leather wallets and other designs. Knickerbocker MFG’s Brian Brinkley, meanwhile, helped attendees customize bandanas, craft new retro looks and discuss modern style.

Meeting in the Middle

Because Popular Mechanics upholds the virtues of “rustic living,” craftiness and resourcefulness, its public extravaganza in The Lodge offered a highly unique opportunity. Industry appearances can be grown. They can also be adapted. By pairing technology with its age-old love of all things DIY, Popular Mechanics proved itself to be a long-term provider wile molding to new marketing demands.

Among its wonderful presenters, Popular Mechanics enlisted Jeff Conley—a neo-folk musician—to perform with a DIY ukulele crafted from a YETI water bottle. If the display didn’t depict the new Popular Mechanics approach enough, Blue Moon’s beer tastings certainly warmed patrons up. The Popular Mechanics experience was a practical one, where hands-on experiences surpassed industry expectations. The marketer’s struggle, today, exists in adapting old ideas to an ever-growing, increasingly demanding, industry. Fortunately, old dogs can learn new tricks—and Popular Mechanics is one of the oldest dogs around.