Lessons for journalists from Pop-Up Magazine

porNicole Martinelli
Nov 23, 2011 en Miscellaneous

The good news: people still want to hear stories and are willing to spend money to do it. The bad news? They're more likely to be interested if there is music, video and drinks involved.

Print mags may be going the way of the dinosaur, but if live show Pop-up Magazine is anything to go by, by people will crowd into a theater to see journalists read their stories and later mingle with them over cocktails.

The latest "edition" of Pop-Up Magazine played to a sold-out crowd of 2,000 hipsters in San Francisco's imposing Davies Symphony Hall.

In the show, stories, documentary films, interviews, photography, facts and radio all come together in a format that's organized much like a magazine - features, travel, history etc. (We'd tell you more about it, but organizers ask that the show not be recorded or disseminated. It's a little coy, but we'll respect it and stick to the basics.)

Many of the journalists who participate in this old-school show-and-tell affair are more digital than dead paper - Wired contributors feature heavily - as well as authors including Michael Pollan and Rebecca Solnit.

Launched in 2009, the five issues/happenings of Pop-up Mag have consistently sold out, prompting organizers to head to larger venues.

The latest sold-out evening lasted about two hours, including time for short "ads" from sponsors Skyy Vodka and Anchor Brewing Company. Tickets were $20 each, drinks were $5 each, and half an hour after the email blast went out the only seats left were strictly nosebleed.

After the show, writers mingle for a few hours with the audience who can also buy copies of their books or films. It's the kind of thing you could definitely sell subscriptions to.