Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tweetups Are Cool, Despite the Name

Okay, so I put together my first tweetup last week. Half of you reading this post have no idea what that is, and I'm pretty sure a few of you rolled your eyes (I know I did the first time I heard the term). But here's the deal, despite the dorky-sounding name, tweetups are a great way to throw together an event with little effort or investment.

When we're talking about a tweetup, we're really talking about a casual event where people from Twitter meet in the real world. In this case, my first tweetup had a special guest: best-selling author, speaker and overall nice guy David Meerman Scott.

I'm a fan of David's books and I follow him on Twitter. When I found out he was going to be in town for training with a local company, I reached out to him through Twitter to see if he'd be interested in doing a Tweetup (joining some Atlanta folks for happy hour).

He quickly agreed to do the event, provided it was in Norcross, convenient to company where he was doing his training the next day. Now for those of you not in Atlanta, this is like having a New York City event in New Jersey - it's hard to pull much of a crowd. David said he was fine if only 10 people showed up. I thought that was awesome. Here's a guy that delivers keynotes for 600 people and he's willing to come grab a couple of beers with us. A lot of speakers I've met in the past would not be so generous with their time. It's gestures like this that help David create a World Wide Raves wherever he goes.

Despite the inconvenient location and a healthy dose of rain, more than 50 people came out to the event. The crowd was diverse, including local executives from Fortune 500 companies and well-known startups, reporters and bloggers, and of course, book-toting fans hoping to get an autograph. They all did (myself included).

I really looked at this event as an experiment. I wanted to see what all this tweetup hype was all about. The truth is, any of you on Twitter can put together a tweetup and get a bunch of people to show up and meet in the real world. And while I'm not going to go out and order a tweetup badge anytime soon, chances are good I'll host another tweetup again soon.

If you want to see some pics from the event:
Thanks to everyone that made the trip to Norcross for this event. And a special thanks to Three Dollar Cafe Norcross, those guys were awesome.