Tweetup for Beginners

20Apr09

Over the past few months, I’ve been getting more questions about “tweetups.” Most of them come from people who have never been to one or interested in organizing one.

What is a “tweetup” anyway?

A “tweetup” is generally a meet-up of people on Twitter. It is often open, informal, with a central theme or interest. For example, most of the tweetups I’ve attended are related to social media or business networking. Some tweetups are for sports fans to gather and watch the game. There are even tweetups in the works for people and their dogs. Sometimes, it’s simply a group of Twitter friends getting together for a quick lunch or a drink after work.

Who goes to tweetups?

You do! Yes, tweetups are, by definition, organized via Twitter, but that doesn’t mean a Twitter account is required to attend. You don’t even have to know the organizer(s). As long as it’s a topic or a location you find interesting, it doesn’t matter how you heard about the tweetup. Just come with an open mind. I’ve been attending meetups/tweetups since last fall. The size of the group ranges from 5 people to as many as 60+. My first one was actually the Seattle P-I’s Big Blog weekly meetup held by Monica Guzman. People are always welcoming and friendly at tweetups/meetups. First time jitters? Bring a friend along!

What happens at a tweetup?

Conversations! Laughs! Partaking in various foods and beverages. Exchange of ideas and stories. It is very much what you make of it. Chris Pirillo holds tweetups in the Seattle area about once a month, and he always emphasizes the “social” part of social media. (See an example of his tweetup here.)

At tweetups, I usually start by saying hello to people I already know, and always make a point of spending more time on meeting new people. To me, the best part of tweetups is hearing other people’s stories and experiences. If you come to a tweetup in the Seattle area and see me, please do say hello!

Do I need to bring anything to a tweetup?

Unless it’s a potluck tweetup (someone out there is probably doing one), just come as you are! Bring business cards if you’d like, or check out contxts (business cards via SMS). It is important to note, however, that most tweetups are not hosted or sponsored. That means everyone buys his/her own drinks or food, unless otherwise announced by the organizer(s) in the event details. If name tags are made available, most people find it helpful to display their first names and Twitter names.

How do I find out about tweetups?

You can start by searching for keywords or hashtags on Twitter, such as “#tweetup” and/or your city name. Lately, a popular way of organizing and listing tweetups is using twtvite.com. Click on the 2nd tab “Find a Tweetup” and scroll through the list of cities. Other popular sites for finding tweetups/ meetups are: Facebook, Meetup, Upcoming, etc.

As more and more businesses find their way to Twitter, some are calling their own tweetups, and these usually come with some treats. For example, Hotel Max is hip on the social media scene in Seattle, and has done a very nice tweetup recently. Hopefully, I won’t miss their next one.

Can I start my own tweetup?

Yes! Everyone is free to start a tweetup. No license required. Don’t see your city listed on twtvite? Add it! For all you know, lots of people in your town are just dying to find a tweetup to attend, but everyone’s waiting for someone else to put one together. Ask a few friends to help you get the word out by retweeting the link to your tweetup details. You may wish to create a unique and relevant Twitter hashtag for all tweets related to the tweetup, but keep it short and simple.

Do you have a favorite coffee shop or happy hour spot that you’d like to share with others? Call a tweetup there! If you use a bar or restaurant as the tweetup venue, it is good to give the manager a heads-up, especially if the RSVP list starts growing. In my experience, most restaurant managers aren’t familiar with the “tweetup” concept yet, so be sure to explain that you’re not making a reservation for a private event. While I’m sure most places would welcome the business, it is a good idea to choose an evening that’s slower for the restaurant, and they’ll be more open to accommodating your group and doing separate checks for everyone.

More questions about tweetup?

I have yet to meet a tweetup organizer who isn’t friendly and helpful, so do reach out to one if you have questions about attending or organizing. Feel free to ping me on Twitter, too.

Have you been to a tweetup lately? What was the best part about it?

Have you found a local venue that’s particularly tweetup friendly?

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4 Responses to “Tweetup for Beginners”

  1. 1 Tom

    You might mention @tweetup and @mytweetup and http://tweetup.me/et and http://twitter.meetup.com as ways to find tweetups. Meetup especially is awesome, and I hope someday to integrate Twitter and Meetup.

    Full disclosure: I have a twitter.meetup.com group and I run @tweetup. Ping @tweetup with info on a tweetup and I’ll retweet it.

  2. You make me want to go to a tweetup now. ; )


  1. 1 Topics about Meetups » Archive » Tweetup for Beginners « Weiward Girl
  2. 2 renaissance chambara | Ged Carroll - Links of the day

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