As part of the Miami trip last week, I helped plan a tweetup for Infusionsoft and it sure was a lot of fun and great learning.
If you haven’t been to a tweetup, they are quite simply networking type meetings, in-person, for those who are active on Twitter, or following a topic (hashtag like #GrowthConference ), or just interested in networking.
The best tweetups I’ve heard about follow these guidelines:
First: There’s a theme or focus of some sort; a reason to get together. It might be that, as it was in this case, people who own or run a small business or are in the midst of starting one that live in the Miami area or who attended the Growth Conference on Tuesday.
We also had a sub-theme of email marketing 2.0 because many business owners struggle with staying in touch with their prospects and customers. So, Infusionsoft brought in two experts, Starr Hall and Tim Berry (both of whom spoke at the conference as well) to share deep insights on how you successfully market online (@StarrHall) and how you use a business plan in a dynamic and ongoing way (@TimBerry). I wish I had recorded both of their short talks.
Second: Put the word out a week or so ahead of time and include a hashtag for your specific gathering or for a term to which you are connected, such as #GrowthConference or #SBBuzz or #Marketing. Like the above link for Growth, just type one of these hashtags into Twitter Search to see the latest conversations.
Third: Check out the Venue before you get there to make sure there is good wireless or cell coverage. People are often tweeting from the gathering.
What I learned and thought would be good for the next one: If you are a business focused tweetup, have laptops on hand for people to use if they want to tweet or post. Keep ‘em secured, of course. I would also have some signal, a whistle or bell, to catch people’s attention. We had printed business card size notes that each person received at the door. We included the key people who were at the event, but in the next one, I’ll make sure to print some ground rules or what-to-expect sort of notes like: We’ll ring the bell to get your attention, please send one tweet during the event, or what have you. I had planned to put up those little table tents with some information and didn’t do it. Next time, I will.
I’m still working through all we learned and all we did. More suggestions as I come up with them.
Follow TJ McCue on Twitter.