Farewell Ealing Tweetup…

I wrote on my Computer Weekly blog here about the handover of the Ealing Tweetup to Hayden and all the other regulars at the event. It’s been a lot of fun putting these events together and seeing how the event has grown over time – it’s a shame to say goodbye, but I’m sure it’s going to continue growing because the event has a great amount of momentum behind it now.

When I could see the event getting bigger I thought about how it could easily be sponsored. Getting some free food and drinks would make it more attractive to the regulars and would help to start bringing in a bigger audience.

Of course, getting corporate sponsorship is a double-edged sword. It’s great to get free drinks, but it can be hard to keep something like a Tweetup as an informal gathering once companies start pumping money into the event. They want to know who is attending, what company attendees are from, what position they hold, and especially whether there are any people from the media in attendance – being close to the BBC and Sky in west London that’s been quite a common occurrence anyway.

But I don’t think we ever let the sponsorship take over the tweetup. People have been directed together, go and have a chat to so-and-so, but there has never been a formal name-list, name badges, list of attendees. It’s never been that kind of event and I hope it stays that way, even if it means buying a pint in future.

I’m really grateful to the companies that have sponsored the Tweetup – namely 1e and Xerox. They have all realised that to go ‘too corporate’ would ruin their involvement in the event and instead of people feeling genuine gratitude at their help in pulling together something interesting, there would have been a negative reaction at any over-controlling nature.

I hope future sponsors of this, and similar events, can also see the value in getting positive mentions online and building relationships with the blogging community. Good luck for the future tweetups in Ealing!

Introducing the Ealing Tweetup

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2 responses to “Farewell Ealing Tweetup…

  1. Mark
    Firstly a huge thank-you to you for organising all the previous tweetups and for making it such an easy event to participate in.
    Secondly, I think you’ve raised a very good point about trying to get the sponsorship balance right between being too corporate and too informal. I firmly believe that when the mix is correct there is ample scope for a company to contribute to the event, whilst still making it flexible enough for casual Twitter users to come along.
    We now hope to keep the same momentum up that you’ve started.
    Hayden

  2. Having attended my first tweetup last week, I’d have to say the answer to getting the right sponsorship is to get them down to the event before agreeing to becoming involved financially.
    Any potential investor worth their salt would surely realise more would be gained by a discreet informal approach?

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