Embrace Tweet-Ups – They Are Fun! by @djstomp

The nice thing about twitter is that you interact with people worldwide. Nice thing about meetups is that you can meet people face to face. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

If you organize large events, this will be an opportunity for a lot of visitors to meet up. The majority of the visitors will, let’s put it politely, show modest interest in the content part and are mostly interested in connecting to other visitors. Organizers are encouraged to facilitate ‘micro meetings’ within the event that will contribute to the event experience in a very positive way .

Last week, I attended IMEX Frankfurt – a huge opportunity to meet a lot of my twitter friends in person. So it was only logical to arrange a tweetup. Let me walk you through the process of organizing a tweet up. Notice how it evolves organically.

The idea
The actual idea came up during a lunch we had with Julius Solaris of eventmanager blog. We talked about attending IMEX 2012 in Frankfurt and the idea of organizing a tweet up was born.

First steps
The first step was sharing the idea with our followers. Guess what, we simply send out a tweet. I used my personal twitter account and also added a tweet with the #EUventprofs chat hashtag to reach the European eventsprof chat participants.

any of my event tweeps at #IMEX frankfurt? Let’s meetup!

— Derrick Stomp (@djstomp) May 10, 2012

@Gerdie @planetplanitbiz Great! An offline #EUventprofs meetup! @SanneJolles what about that?

— Derrick Stomp (@djstomp) May 10, 2012

From the very beginning there were a lot of positive reactions to the idea.

I ll be happy to join “@planetplanitbiz: I’ll be there – RT @djstomp: any of my event tweeps at #IMEX frankfurt?let’s meetup!” — LiveOnlineEvents (@Gerdie) May 10, 2012

It was great to see how everybody contributed naturally. After some retweeting and positive initial reactions Thorben Grosser opened a doodle datepicker for agreeing on a date and time. Julius set up an Eventbrite event so people could sign up and see who’s attending as well. Miguel Neves of the IMEX organisation noticed our little initiative and offered his help for finding a location. Imagine the positive experience we got from this kind of cooperation and flexibility.

@djstomp Great initiative! Do we need to define a tweetup location? One option is the galeria area in Hall 9. #IMEX12

— Miguel Neves (@IMEXMiguel) May 14, 2012

Gerrit Heijkoop suggested an alternative location and we finally ended up at the Holland stand.  Read the full storify to see the process evolved and how the tweet up in itself was a great success (a lot of fun). In fact some 30 tweeps participated.

A huge thanks to all the tweeps for participating and the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions  and Mr Holland for hosting us!

Lessons learned

First of all, a tweet up is a fun thing to do! A low entrance, low profile way of meeting up with online friends. Some tips to enhance the experience:

  • Use technology to the max, there are great tools at your disposal
  • Create some visibility at the tweet up spot so that it is recognizable, especially because you only know each other from twitter handles
  • Add a dedicated tweetup hashtag
  • Getting the event organizer involved really helps! As an event planner try to contribute, because it will only attract more people to your event and helps your event to live on afterwards through the network of your visitors
  • Create badges with twitter handles so everybody is easily recognizable
  • Vicinity of drinks and food is a great enhancer
  • Extend the experience by creating a Storify and Twitter list
  • Have fun!


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