In the first chapters of our PopUp Shop Toolkit we looked at why a popup project is good for business and how to make a plan to create your own. In this chapter, we talk about managing risk.

Whether you’re working directly for an organisation, by yourself or with partners you will need to look at the risks involved managing a popup project and how to manage them.

Organisations and partners for example, may have very specific requirements on how you assess these risks and may give you their standard ‘Risk Assessment’ forms.

However, don’t worry – managing the risks and the health and safety requirements of any project is largely down to common sense and being careful without being overly cautious.

Managing your own risk assessment

The best way to start your own assessment is to break the risks down into three areas.  You can use these simple checklists for your own risk assessment:

Fire Safety

  • Make sure there is a phone available to make emergency calls
  • Ensure rubbish is cleared away and other materials and resources safely stored
  • Fire exits should be clearly marked and routes to fire exits are clear of obstructions
  • Any alarms and equipment used on site must be tested
  • Ensure there is an evacuation plan in place and all staff and volunteers informed

Health & Safety

  • Make sure a phone is available to make emergency calls
  • Public areas should be clean, tidy and free of hazards, for example trip hazards or stacked boxes
  • Areas not to be used by public should be closed and clearly marked
  • Electrics and any portable electrical items safe, visually checked for damage or broken cables
  • Any specialist equipment should only be used by responsible staff and volunteers


  • Make sure a phone is available to make emergency calls
  • All windows should be shut and locked when the premises is not in use
  • Doors should be locked and secured when the premises is not in use
  • A safe, locked area should be available for private possessions like bags and coats.

Now that you can identify any risks your popup project might have, you can then look at compiling this into a more structured format.

Using a risk assessment form will help you to assess all these areas and effectively manage the level the risk they have throughout the duration of your popup project.

Download a simple risk assessment example and a blank form for use on your own project below:

Risk assessment example

BLANK Risk assessment template- Word Doc

BLANK Risk assessment template- PDF Doc

For our next chapter we will look at planning a budget for our pop-up project.

Have you got experience in running your own popup shop or exhibition? Or do you have any queries you want to share with the Dorset creative community? Then post in our Culture+ Facebook group here or share with us on Twitter.