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Tweetups – Not As Pointless As You Might Think

by James Ball on December 7, 2009

tweetup-pic

UrbanDictionary.com defines a Tweetup as: “An organized or impromptu gathering of people that use Twitter”.  A good definition, but it doesn’t say quite enough…fixing that here today!

I received an invitation to a “Punk Rock” Tweetup last night, and I can’t wait to attend! I’m not a huge punk rock fan, but I am a huge fan of Tweetups. If you think that Tweetups are a silly and pointless waste of time, it’s likely that you’ve never attended one, and I can certainly understand this point of view. From the outside looking in, Tweetups are easy to dismiss.

We (my company) organized The North Georgia Tweetup not too long ago. We didn’t know exactly what to expect from the event beforehand, but I’d like to point out a few personal takeaways that might help you to understand how great an event like this can be. In no particular order:

  • A much larger audience now has a better understanding of my company and what we stand for. Meeting our website online has never been able to convey this in a satisfactory way. Those that I met in person at the Tweetup are more helpful, and seem to get behind me and help to carry the things that I need to have known. They have become a part of my community and all that this entails. These have become more than mere online “friends” after the Tweetup. I effectively reach a wider audience now because of this.
  • Mike Lorey sat at my table during dinner after the event. It was a great opportunity to learn a lot about Mike, his company, and his talents. I learned that Mike has skills with WordPress, which is what runs this blog. In meeting, we were able to solidify a nice partnership. This blog would not exist in its present form without Mike’s skillful help and advice.
  • Taryn Pisaneschi and I were connected online before the event, and I asked her to speak at the Tweetup. Until the event, I had no real understanding of her depth and abilities. I now call Taryn a friend, and she is instrumental to me as a person who shares many of my interests.
  • There are many more people that I could mention here, but only list a few in the interest of space. There has been more interaction since the Tweetup with almost all of the people that I met personally. All of the relationships and situations that have come from the Tweetup have been good for my business in one way or another.
  • I’ve received a job offer or two from people I met at the Tweetup.
  • Almost everyone that I met at the Tweetup has been kind to me in some way since the event, meeting people in person just has a way of deepening a connection. Online interactions are great, but can’t substitute for a handshake and a nice face-to-face conversation. Meeting in person has added reciprocal value in many of my online connections.
  • My business has received inquires that are a direct result of a personal interaction at the Tweetup.
  • My connections on LinkedIn have grown. Meeting people in person has helped me to identify those that I may want to have a deeper connection with. I have become more connected in a space where I am able to grow my own presence, and I have gained knowledge about the business community that I belong to. Tweetups, conferences, local lunch-and-learn events, and seminars have all been most helpful with this. Many in the LinkedIn community are not likely to accept an invitation to connect without having had a prior personal meeting of some sort.
  • It’s easier for me to ask for, and receive help online. The Tweetup allowed me to interact for a few hours with many people that I only knew previously as an avatar and 140 characters at a time. People that I meet ReTweet me more often. People that I meet in person are also 110% more likely to vouch for me and my mission than those I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting.
  • I’ve been asked to speak, attend, or otherwise facilitate future events by those who attended the Tweetup.
  • Our Tweetup opened up some doors and introduced me to many that I see on the guest list for the upcoming event that I mentioned. The opportunity now exists to deepen some great potential business relationships. The first meeting now makes the second one much more comfortable.
  • I have been introduced to new people and have received requests for proposals through a few people that were in attendance at the Tweetup.

Social media is networking, lived out online, and amplified. Online activity has a certain dynamic and some pretty specific boundaries. If you want to change the dynamics of your networking efforts, I encourage you to take it offline, attend a Tweetup!

Has attending a Tweetup helped you in some way? Tell me what happened and how it’s turned out! If you’ve never attended a Tweetup and have questions, feel free to ask in the comments, I will gladly reply with an answer.

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