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Thoughts on the #PrestonTweetup

Posted on - 18th October, 2010 - 9:30am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Events, People, Things To Do, Tweetup, Videos

Image courtesy of Peter Adams

Preston Tweeps gathered together for the third Preston Tweetup last Tuesday at the New Continental. In association with Stage 9 Marketing and They Eat Culture, the event was a great success with around 40 attendants. I’ve put together a few notes and thoughts from the evening, what went well and what could be improved for a future meetup.

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Overall it was very encouraging to have a good turnout. It was the first event that I’ve ever organised and to have the support of the Preston digital community was really encouraging, not only for the evening itself, but also to bear in mind for any future events.

The topic we discussed was “How can online communities help strengthen offline communities?”. The consensus was that online networking has made it much easier to get to know people with broadly similar interests, as well as allowing businesses to find new customers that can benefit from their services.

Below is a word cloud I’ve made from all the tweets on the night so you can see what we were talking about (click on it to get a larger and more interactive image):

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1. Good turnout. The turnout proved that there is a demand and an audience in Preston for events like this. With that in mind, I’d like to organise the next get together sometime in early December.

2. The topic was too vague. A few people mentioned to me that the topic for the evening was too broad an area. Indeed on reflection it sounds more like the sort of thing a university dissertation could be written on rather than a topic to be discussed over a few hours in a pub. A learning point for next time would be to give people a clearer idea of what to discuss.

3. Bring more structure to the next event. One of the things that was lacking from the evening was some kind of rough timetable. What I’ve learnt by going to events like the Manchester Social Media Cafe is that it helps to have some structure as well as socialising. In future I’d like it if we had a organised presentation session followed by questions and a quick break, then another formal session before leaving the evening open for networking, chatting and merriment.

4. The Continental is a great venue. The Continental in association with They Eat Culture, really help foster these kind of events when there often isn’t much going on elsewhere in Preston. The event space we were allowed to use was perfect; using a projector screen, sound system and seating area.

5. Broaden the appeal. How about making the next Preston Tweetup more about other forms of social media? Maybe bring in some guest speakers to give one of the aforementioned talks. Get in touch with local businesses who might want to offer a case study of how social media has helped them? If any of the attendees of last week’s Tweetup are interested in this then get in touch, my email address is at the bottom of the page.

Daniel Bentley also put together some video footage from the night.

Thanks once again to the New Continental, Stage 9 Marketing and They Eat Culture for all their help. Let’s make sure the next one isn’t too far away!

You can also read some other takes on the Preston Tweetup by some of our attendees at the Stage 9 Blog, Walker Studios and Code and Effect.

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