The pandemic almost killed those Instagram-ready pop-up experiences. Places like the Color Factory and the Ice Cream Museum was laid off workers when the world closed, and they apparently tried unsuccessfully to recreate their photogenic experiences online. But now they are back, collecting money and opening new places.
The color factory says Limit it recently closed a $ 10 million fundraising round with venture capitalists and angel investors, which it uses to expand and hire people to help build the sites. Today, it also announces its location in Chicago. It will open a color factory at Willis Tower, a major attraction that brings nearly 2 million visitors a year alone. The idea is clearly that the Color Factory will benefit people already visiting the building and will attract new visitors who may care more about the Color Factory settings than Willis Tower’s Skydeck.
At the same time, the Dye Factory seems to be entering a new phase where building a site may not be enough to take the company forward, and instead the team needs to encourage repeat visitors. For the first time, they renovated several rooms in the original New York City and will upgrade the camera system in the coming months so people can take home real prints of the photos they took. (It looks like the team now admits that its locations are no longer pop-ups and will remain in space as long as they have and thrive.)
“Eighty percent of our business [in New York] the pre-pandemic period was tourism, as people did one by one, so you didn’t have to do the shows you wanted to go back to three or four times because most of our consumers came once and never come again, or never, or they would leave and return years later ”, CEO Jeff Lind says. Now, however, New York’s location serves mostly locals that the team wants to return to for years. That means show updates.
Also the main competitor of Color Factory, the Ice Cream Museum just announced its newest location: Austin. Photogenic experiences are spreading.
But all this news comes at a time when Instagram’s own CEO reported platform “no longer for sharing photos as an app”. Yet Color Factory, its competitors and investors see the potential in space. In 2019, Lind and his team told me their work did not concern the gram, and these changes, as well as the emphasis on photographs on Instagram, may test this belief.