No More Excuses
The grandest goal in using social media is to bring your online connections offline, chest to chest. There’s nothing better than making a real, tangible relationship that leads to a transaction because it validates your efforts. People use the excuse that “it’s too hard” to organize events and I call bullspit.
All you need is the internet, a bar or restaurant, nametags and a sharpie (and you don’t need hundreds of hours, check this out…).
Event Planning in Under 1 Hour:
Want to meet all of your friends from Twitter and Facebook but no one in your city is mobilizing to get offline? Want to put a face to a name but are intimidated by some of the larger tech events in town? Whatever the case, it’s easy, here’s a quick case study:
5 minutes: last week, we realized it had been over a month since Austin had had a Tweetup, got with our friend @chelseabot to determine the location- she wanted downtown (yuck, parking issues) and I wanted uptown (closer to my house of course), so we went with a trendy bar called Gingerman downtown.
5 minute: I checked the local event calendars and determined that Thursday, July 9 wouldn’t conflict with anything and is a good happy hour day.
5 minutes: emailed the owners to let them know we’re having a free meetup with our friends and expect about 50 people to show up (make sure they are staffed for a Thursday).
2 minutes: set up an invitation on TwtVite that features a map, time, place, RSVP management (even prints up nametags with Twitter avatars!) and an embeddable widget for you blog. Then, I twittered publicly that we’re getting together for happy hour. (Facebook just simplified event planning, so it’s this easy on FB too; use this option as well)
30 minutes: direct messaged the link with a personal invitation to a bunch of Austin friends and said everyone’s welcome even if they’re not on Twitter.
5 minutes: saw that like over 100 people were coming, notified venue that the group grew, asked for a table for the entry way so people can put on nametags when they come in (you’ll need to provide name badges and sharpies).
And that’s it! So simply throw a happy hour to put faces to names. It isn’t about you, it belongs to the city. It isn’t for a birthday, a product launch or a home sold, it’s for socializing in person. Don’t call it your event, don’t say you’re the sponsor, simply spend a few minutes organizing and promoting an event in the name of bringing online efforts offline.