Posted by: tgrevatt | February 17, 2011

What the heck is a TweetUp?

So you’re new to Twitter and starting to get the hang of connecting with some interesting people. Now you’ve started to see lots of them getting excited about an upcoming ‘Tweetup’. What the heck is a TweetUp? What can you expect? Who can go? Will they be friendly? Will they be cliquey? (urgh, no one wants to feel like they are in High School again)

One of the best things about Twitter (and I unashamed to admit that I enjoy using it hugely and benefit on a professional and personal front) is that it is an open platform – you can freely follow and interact with people unlike other services that are permission based such as Facebook and LinkedIn. This seems to give Twitter the vibe of a cocktail party where it is entirely appropriate to overhear a conversation and go and join in. In fact, listening, joining in and sharing is the lifeblood of the community on Twitter. It’s attracted many users who are open to meeting new people and exchanging ideas and we enjoy doing the same thing in real life.

So a TweetUp is an informal meeting advertised through Twitter. As Twitter is public that means all are welcome to join a TweetUp. There’s usually a host, or several, who you can ask for intros when you arrive (or before). If in doubt, drop the organiser a quick message and ask them to look out for you. You can follow the hashtag e.g. #ThursPintsW to see what other people are saying about the event or to find folks going. Contrary to mainstream media belief, Twitter users are not a bunch of basement dwellers who never see daylight and only communicate through the intertubes. Twitter is just another way for people to connect and it makes meeting in the real world easier because you already know a little about them already.

What if you are not on Twitter but have been invited to a TweetUp?
Heck, go along, you will probably be asked your Twitter handle since that’s how we mostly know each other but if you don’t use it, so what? Remember, a TweetUp is just a get together of folks who want to meet other folks. So don’t worry and get nattering! If you prefer to talk less and people-watch more go along anyway. The folks I’ve met at TweetUps have interesting lives and are often great story tellers so just enjoy listening.

Will it be full of smartphone obsessed folks talking tech or business?
Whilst some TweetUps may have a specific topic (I’ve gone to several running ones where we tend to talk running in gory, obsessive detail but that’s just what happens when you throw a bunch of runners together nothing to do with Twitter) ones that are not around a specific topic tend to cover many different subjects just like a night in the pub with your mates. Sometimes getting heard over the raucous laughter can be a challenge but that’s not a bad problem to face is it?

Good advice before heading there. Check out the profiles and Tweet streams of other folks who are going along – that way you can know a little about someone before meet them in person, perhaps you have a shared interest – this is especially helpful if networking is a scary prospect. If networking is still scary, take a wing man. Apart from that, all the usual tips for networking and meeting new people hold true.

During or after the tweetup follow any new folks that you wish to keep in touch with. A Tweetup is one place where having your smartphone out won’t be frowned upon, but you’ll be surprised to see how many folks don’t bring them out at all focusing on the in-person connections.

Go on – try one out, you never know where it may lead…

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Responses

  1. It leads to all kinds of trouble!!! ha!

    Twitter seems to be much more “sociable” type of media that just lends itself well to this sort of thing. More so than say Facebook or blogs.

  2. Absolutely great post. I hope everyone follows your advice. Here’a my advice on how NOT to hold a Tweet up…http://sherrilynnestarkie.com/2010/09/14/how-not-to-hold-a-tweetup/

    • Thanks for the comment Sherrilynne and I love your post. Wonder if event planning programs are now including social media for events as part of the curriculum.

  3. […] What the heck is a TweetUp? […]


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