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June 16, 2009

Tweetup Planning in 140 Characters

In this post: Jaimy shares some quick and easy steps for planning your first (or, next) tweetup …

Jaimy SyzmanskiIf you’re like me, you live for planning. Every ounce of every second of every day, all you think about is the next second, and how you’re going to make it go exactly as planned.

Or, you go with the flow and rarely plan for anything, unless you think you’ll get in trouble if you don’t.

For the latter folks, you may be wondering how these magical get-togethers called ‘tweetups’ (meet ups with people from Twitter) come to life. How exactly do you plan for something with people you barely know in ‘real life’?

It’s easy, I promise. (Don’t believe me? Look at this face, and my love for animals: http://www.twitpic.com/7k217 – I wouldn’t lie to you.)

Here, I’ll outline each step to planning a tweetup in 140 characters or less. That way, when one of them really jumps out at you and changes your life forever, you’ll easily be able to share it with your followers with a simple cut and paste! (Genius, I know.)

Tweetup Planning Step 1: Start a hashtag for your tweetup, so people can easily collaborate on Twitter. (i.e. #oshtweetup)

Tweetup Planning Step 2: Begin @ or direct messaging people in your area to gauge tweetup activity interest. Use the hashtag to build buzz.

Tweetup Planning Step 3: Confirm the venue and date, then make reservations if necessary.

Tweetup Planning Step 4: Create a TwtVite (http://www.twtvite.com/) and tweet your RSVP. Encourage local tweeps to do the same.

Tweetup Planning Step 5: Periodically tweet about the tweetup until the minute before the event. Spread the word on other SM platforms, too.

Tweetup Planning Step 6: Arrive at the tweetup at least 15 minutes ahead of time. Stake out your group’s spot.

Tweetup Planning Step 7: Bring nametags and markers to the tweetups. Have tweeps write their @ name and real name on their tag.

Tweetup Planning Step 8: Bring a camera and video camera if possible. Have another tweep bring one too – The more pics, the better!

Tweetup Planning Step 9: Have fun, make conversation, welcome new tweeps. Tweet from event and post TwitPics for those who couldn’t make it.

Tweetup Planning Step 10: Stay the full scheduled time if you are ‘hosting’ the tweetup.

Tweetup Planning Step 11: The next day, post photos from the tweetup on Flickr, Fb or other photo-sharing sites. Tweet their URL.

Tweetup Planning Step 12: Within the following week, have any video posted from the event.

Tweetup Planning Step 13: Follow up on any connections or conversations from the tweetup. Thank all who attended with a #followfriday shout.

Tweetup Planning Step 14: Start planning your next tweetup! Try for one per month to keep everyone engaged.

So, in 14 short and easy steps, you can plan your first (or, next) tweetup. If you want to go above-and-beyond (you over-achiever, you), there are a couple other steps you may want to consider …

Sponsorship: Many local companies are willing to sponsor your tweetup with an in-kind donation. Consider approaching relevant companies (who already have a presence on Twitter, if possible!) at least three weeks out, to ensure you receive the item(s) on time.

Website: If you anticipate your tweetup-goers will generate a lot of content, you may want to purchase a domain name. This can be a great solution to keep everything in one, easy to find (and promote) place.

If you have any other tweetup planning questions or tips, let me know!

P.S. The next #oshtweetup is being planned for early July at Peabody’s Side Yard. More details soon to come 🙂