Go Beyond 280: Hold a Tweetup

Every time I hear the word tweetup, this classic dances into my head.

 

What’s a tweetup? It’s a face-to-face meeting of people who are on Twitter. That’s it. The concept is simple, but it’s not always easy to pull off. If you’re thinking about holding a tweetup at your next event, keep these tips in mind:

posing for the camera

At a tweetup? Have fun and talk to people!

Location, location, location. Just like in real estate, it’s all about the location. Pick a spot that can accommodate the expected number of attendees and is accessible, but not in the main drag, so to speak. If everyone’s already in the lobby or at the hotel bar, then don’t hold your tweetup there. It will be too difficult to figure out who’s at the tweetup and who’s just hanging out there. (p.s. It’s helpful to pick a location with strong phone service and/or WiFi so people can actually tweet at your tweetup.)

It’s all about the plan. It may seem like everyone just shows up, but that’s not the case — especially if you want everything to run smoothly. Besides scouting the location, you need to figure out the other aspects. Prizes and special guests will help draw a crowd while hors d’oeuvres or snacks will be appreciated. You can also have a theme for your tweetup; raise money or collect canned goods for a cause or tie it to your overall event (i.e. recharge at your tweetup at a racing-themed event with snacks, seating areas & phone chargers)

Hello, my name is… Yes, you’ll probably have some type of badge or name tag if you’re at an event, but it won’t showcase your Twitter handle. Remember, Twitter handles aren’t always people’s names, so it’s helpful to have name tags (and pens/markers) for people to write their handles on. It also gives attendees something to do when they first arrive and serves as an ice breaker. You can design a custom template for your event or offer different colors of name tags to differentiate between attendees (i.e. green for exhibitors, blue for staff). Whatever route you go with the name tags, make sure you can see the Twitter handles. That’s what you’re there for!

Tweet about it! Let people know the tweetup will be happening and then fill in the details once they’re available. You don’t have to promote the exact details too far in advance either. In fact, some people wait until the night before or morning of the tweetup to tweet the exact time and location. Keep other promotion to a minimum. A tweetup is specifically for people on Twitter, so there’s really no need to promote it on Facebook or Instagram (that’s an InstaMeet, anyway). Onsite promotion isn’t necessary either. While you need people to find the location, you don’t need to attract interest from the passing traffic. (p.s. Creating a specific hashtag is your call. If you already have an event hashtag, it may only cause confusion.)

The tweetup day’s here! Arrive early to make sure everything’s ready to go and begin welcoming your Twitter followers. Introduce yourself to attendees and remind them about the name tags and snacks along with any prize giveaways or special guests. Encourage them to check in at your tweet up or tweet pictures and updates.

Have fun! You’ve done the work, now enjoy yourself. Go beyond 280 characters, and get to know attendees beyond their Twitter handle. One last thing… don’t forget to stop tweeting long enough to actually talk to the people in front of you. 😉

Tweet about it

Have you attended or organized a tweetup?

What tips would you add? Is there anything you tried that did not work?

Would you recommend a specific tweetup hashtag?

Rockin’ Robin video courtesy of Buddha Mist YouTube Channel

Tweet, Tweet, A Tweetin’,
Jaime

Until we meet at a tweetup, let’s connect online:
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Social Media’s Nice, But It’s Not IRL

Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting up with professional friends for a fun night out. Despite the frigid temperatures, I was actually looking forward to bundling up and heading North for the occasion. These are people that I’ve worked long hours with, learned so much from and are just plain fun to be around. Plus, it’s always a wonderful networking opportunity for future endeavors when you hang out with well-connected people.

Yours truly with Dana Zezzo

Hanging out with Dana Zezzo, inventor of the Zoint & “Get Social” king, at a tweet-up at the House of Blues in Vegas.

You don’t need to convince me of the benefits of social media, both personal and professional. I preach them every day. But some people mistake ‘getting social’ on social media for real life socializing, which it’s not. We all need interaction with other human beings (some more than others), and there’s something about face-to-face communication that just can’t be duplicated in other communication channels.

You may also like: Enough with the Email… Pick up the Phone!

To illustrate my point, you may have come across this popular acronym during your social travels: IRL. It stands for In Real Life, as in “I finally met Lars Ulrich IRL at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame yesterday. What a cool dude!”

The author with reps from Driving Impressions

Enjoying the Scottsdale weather with the guys from Driving Impressions.

So here’s my point: at some point, stop getting social online and actually meet up with some people IRL. You’ll be glad you did.

Your Turn

Agree or disagree?

Is your social calendar conducted entirely online?

When’s the last time you met someone ‘in real life?’

Where’s your favorite hangout (and I don’t mean Google+)?

Living large IRL,
Jaime

Let’s connect on social media (and IRL)…
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