Last night we hosted our first Tampa Tweetup with the social media manager from Kforce, Cara Barone, and the social media coordinator for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Caryn Switaj. (Sidenote: “Tweetup” is the best example of how you can put “tw” in front of anything and people will flock to it. It’s a social media thing.) It was a great night for some social media fanatics and SEO-obsessed people to get together away from their computer screens and network.
If you’re looking to put together your own tweetup in your area, here are some things to keep in mind in order to throw one heck of an event.
- Have people register: It’ll help you keep track of your numbers to tell your venue. The last thing you want is too many people in one tiny room, or you’ll end up looking like a herd of cattle. Tech savvy cattle, but cattle none the less. Eventbrite is great for this.
- Give stuff away: People like to get stuff. Have 1-2 big prizes and leave some freebies on tables for people to grab as they go. We raffled off two pairs of Tampa Bay Lightning tickets and Kinect for Xbox as grand prizes and had pens, koozies, note pads and beer mustaches (Yes, beer mustaches). The more variety of things, things that people can’t just get anywhere, the better.
- Have name tags…with twitter handles: Hate to say it, but most social people know you by your Twitter handle, so invest in name tags, even if they’re the “Hello. My name is” type. We didn’t have them last night, and it made it difficult to connect a face to a Twitter handle.
- Have an open bar: You want people to come because they want to network with other people, not because they want to get drunk. And do you really want to see that bar tab at the end of the night?
- Do it alone: We all like to think we’re the most connected person, but face it: There are people that you don’t know. Co-hosting allows you to reach a new set of audience that you’re not already connected to. Plus, tweetups are about meeting new people. You can’t meet new people if you know everyone already.
- Be a dud: It’s your event, and people expect you to work the room. Take the imitative and talk to people. They’re all there for the same reasons.
If you were at Tampa Tweetup last night, what’d you think? Any suggestions for next time? If you weren’t, what’s your favorite thing about tweetups?