How to Organize a Tweetup

Five Methods:Finding People for the TweetupChoosing a LocationMaking the Tweetup WorthwhileRunning the TweetupTweeting the Event

A Tweetup is one way to get to know your Twitter friends for real, many of whom you've probably never meet face-to-face before. A Tweetup offers an opportunity to share interests, information or ideas in a real life get-together. Organizing one requires planning, a willingness to run the whole show and the ability to tap into the interests of your followers. If you're keen to organize such an event, this article has some ideas to get you started.

Method 1
Finding People for the Tweetup

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    Follow and be followed by people in your area. It's best to know some of the people who will attend and those who are local are your best bet. You can usually see where people come from by reading their location status on Twitter, although some people choose to keep this secret. Focus on the people you know to be local or who can get to the location with ease. That said, don't dismiss people who might be able to turn up even if they live somewhere other than locally––people travel a lot and may be able to drop in when in your area on business or they may even make a special effort to turn up, especially if they can get a cheap flight or a lift with someone else.
    • To narrow down people who are in your local area, there are services such as Twitterlocal[1] and Twellow.[2]
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    Send out a general invitation tweet to see if there is any interest in a Tweetup. Name the date, time and location, along with giving a very clear reason for the meeting. For example: Tweetup 4 Coffee Lovers - Barney's Coffee Shop Tues Mar 4th 6:00 PM.
    • Be prepared to accept ideas and suggestions from your followers. Perhaps you suggested a certain time but most of those keen to come suggest that an alternative time would work better––be flexible about it. Or, maybe you have suggested that the event will be to do X, but many of your followers suggest that maybe Y would be more interesting. Again, be flexible and ready to take on board what everyone is enthusiastic about.
    • Answer all questions about the Tweetup clearly on your Twitter account, so that all of your followers can gather the information together.
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    Consider making a specific hashtag relevant to your Tweetup. Having a specific hashtag can help your followers recognize tweets specifically relating to the event, as well as finding all relevant tweets quickly.
    • Encourage retweeting so that the message gets spread far and wide.
    • You may need to try a few times before finding a hashtag that is free to use. Aim to keep it as short as possible––Tweetup can be abbreviated to TU, for example.
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    Find other ways to spread the message. Although this is primarily about getting your Twitter friends together, there are other resources online for gathering the masses. Make use of them and use at least one of the online meeting sites as well as your Twitter call-to-action. Sites like and Eventbrite are very helpful for spreading the word even further. If using such sites, a link can be supplied on your Twitter invite too (saying something like: "more details on Meetup").
    • As well, use Facebook and Google+ as another avenue for spreading the word. Any social media networking site can be used to promote your Tweetup.

Method 2
Choosing a Location

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    Look around for venues. If you are a mover and a shaker in your neighborhood, you might need a larger venue than the corner coffee shop. Be sure it will fit your needs. And importantly, actually go to the venue to check it out. Inviting people to a place you've never been to before, only to discover it's dingy or unsavory, will disappoint your guests. Some things you will want to take into consideration are:
    • The type of people that will be attending: Students? Professionals? Artists with their tools?
    • The formality of the event: suit and tie or jeans and t-shirt? If you're suggesting a cocktail party, the guests will need evening attire, while a chat about artwork around the coffee table only needs jeans.
    • The kind of money that they might be able to spend. Don't choose an expensive restaurant if you're inviting people who are stretched for money. Always consider what would be fair to expect of people to spend––for a first meeting, probably enough to spend on a cup of coffee and a cookie is all you should expect.
    • Parking and seating. Make sure there is enough. It can help to tweet parking or transport advice to guide your guests.
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    Decide whether it's going to work simply turning up somewhere as a group or whether you need to book the venue. This can be a bit tricky because not everyone who says they'll turn up will turn up, so bear in mind that your numbers are likely to be fairly fluid and booking a hall for an expected 100 people when only five turn up can be an expensive waste of time. For your first Tweetup, keeping it simple is the best approach––choose somewhere that doesn't need to be booked and have a back-up plan if more people turn up than your chosen venue can handle.
    • If more people show up than expected (this event is being broadcast across Twitter after all), such as people you weren't sure about coming turning up after all and bringing a friend who brings their friend, then be sure to have an alternative ready. Perhaps move from the little coffee shop to the big one down the street or go to the park if it's good weather. Again, keep it simple and consider the suggestions of others.
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    Choose a setting that will make your guests feel safe and comfortable. If it's a large venue, make sure you aren't on the wrong side of town. If it's a small one, consider something like a library or a coffee shop––a public setting will help people meeting you for the first time feel more at ease.
    • Make sure the location matches your group's style. If your fellow tweeters are all beer-drinking bikers, a library might not be the best place.
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    Ensure that the place has wi-fi. Twitter users will expect that they can tweet, so it makes sense to check this out in advance. Of course, there will be exceptions, such as if you've organized a back country hike or a tour of the cellars where no signal gets through, but within reason, have wi fi available.

Method 3
Making the Tweetup Worthwhile

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    Be sure you have some kind of draw. While you might garner a little group of devotees to meet up at the local coffee shop for a "get-to-know-one-another" chat, this won't be sufficient for most of your followers. While networking is a valid and motivating reason for getting together, there needs to be a substantial reason beyond this to encourage people to leave their cocoon of routine and to come along to your event. Give them something to talk about by having something more than just a chat over coffee. Here are a few possibilities:
    • A speaker - do you know someone who will be of great interest to your followers? Perhaps a renowned blogger, an expert in wine tasting, a recovering shopaholic or someone who has inspiring messages to pass on?
    • A shared activity - if your followers are grouped around a mutual interest such as art, craft, beer tasting, collecting, etc., you will likely have a ready-made activity idea that springs from that interest. Of course, if you need materials or to book a location, you may need to recoup costs or ask for bring-your-own items, so know all of this well in advance.
    • A shared meal - for the gourmands, the lovers of eating out and the tweeters who share every intimate detail of meals about town, a shared meal might be just the draw card needed.
    • A topic of common interest to discuss (be prepared to get things started and to moderate a bit) - this could be tied in with a speaker, it could be guided by a loose agenda or it could be simply an occasion for everyone to share their thoughts about something that matters to the local community, such as the proposed demolition of heritage houses to make way for a freeway. If the topic is something people are passionate about and are dying to get together to talk about, it may be all you need to rally the troops.
    • A place to explore together, such as a museum or park - this is great for the active people who love to learn as they do/go/walk/cycle/etc. You might like to make the event coincide with an exhibition, a special event or a visiting specialist's talk.
    • A barbecue or party - this can be really useful where you're trying to get a community to come together for a particular reason, be it activism or simply getting to know one another.
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    Plan what to do about food. If you will all meet at a restaurant and split the bill, say so. If a super large venue, consider having it catered. Either way, spell out in advance what food is available. If there is no food, it's just as important to let people know, in case they plan on turning up starving.
    • If alcohol is involved, make it clear that it's pay-for-your-own. That is, unless you have a bottomless pocket.

Method 4
Running the Tweetup

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    Give everyone a name tag. Provide large labels and pens for writing their Twitter handle on the label. Encourage this from everyone, as it's the best way people will get to know one another initially––recognizing a Twitter handle can be a wonderful icebreaker.
    • If you know the names of attendees in advance, you might like to print off labels for them. However, this may not be realistic unless you have an exact list of participants.
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    Get out there and talk to people. Start conversations. Introduce one another and, as organizer, try to move around. When you're the organizer of the event, you're responsible for ensuring that those who have gone along to it are having a good time and are getting into the spirit of the occasion.
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    Embrace everyone who attends. Even if you meet someone whose tweets have annoyed you, remember that this person has made the effort to turn up. And getting to know people for real is a whole lot different from being irritated by their online babble! You may find you have much more in common than you realized by extending a warm handshake and being willing to listen.
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    Be helpful and gracious. At the beginning of the event, thank everyone for attending and explain what the Tweetup is all about, and what you hope that the attendees will get out of the event. At the end of the event, thank everyone once again, both for attending and for making the event worthwhile.
    • If you would like contact details or indications of enthusiasm for future Tweetups, leave a list for placing details on, along with a marker, and encourage people to fill this in at some stage during the event.

Method 5
Tweeting the Event

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    Tweet about the event as it unfolds––before, during, and after. Be constantly positive and encouraging. Many people will balk about meeting up with people they don't know, or don't know very well. Even the best of us can be crowd shy. But if people read about how much fun people are having and how interesting the event is, some may be curious enough to come along or will at least be aware that your next Tweetup is definitely worth attending.
    • In the days after the event, continue tweeting about it. Mention to particular individuals how great it was to meet them, make comments about things learned and suggestions for future get-togethers. This will help to maintain the momentum and shows everyone that the event was a success and that it was taken seriously.


  • If possible, get hold of people's email addresses. This will make it easier to keep tabs on everyone and to share more voluminous information than Twitter allows for. It's also a good way of sending out follow-up information, such as materials from the event and upcoming events. Always BCC a group mailing list unless people have given permission for their email to be made public; people don't necessarily agree to others seeing their personal email addresses.
  • This article refers to meeting people who follow each other in a group setting. Meeting someone one on one is a date.
  • Depending on the size of the Tweetup, be sure that there is an adequate sound system. If you have a speaker, you want this person to be heard.
  • One way of finding ways to help coordinate your Tweetup is by searching for sites that are geared for actual Tweetups.


  • Meet in a public place, especially the first time, unless you already know everyone who will attend.

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