By Cynthia Shannon, Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Berrett-Koehler had their first Tweetup early November. Here’s how it all happened…
Scene: The Berrett-Koehler conference room. Dark green carpet, a bookshelf filled with books in foreign languages, and it smells of rich mahogany. A fan is spinning softly in the corner.
Present: Kristen Frantz, VP of Marketing (@PubGal); Katie Sheehan, Publicity Manager (@SheeKat); Cynthia Shannon, Rebel Publicist (@cincindypat); Marina Cook, Sales Manager.
Marina: We have all these authors coming in for the Green Festival next week: Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, John Perkins, Joe Sibilia…
Katie: Don’t forget Kirk Boyd!
Kristen: Maybe we should do something special for them…
Katie: Yeah, we should plan some sort of event or something. Perhaps a dinner like we did that one time…
Cynthia: How about a Tweetup?
Katie: What’s a Tweetup?
Cynthia: It’s like a meetup, but you tweet. Plus there’s usually alcohol involved.
Katie: Ooh, alcohol.
Kristen: What would this cost us?
Cynthia: It depends what we want to do. We could have an open bar for a few hours, or we could give the credit card and ask the server to cap it at a certain amount, say, $200.
Marina: A friend of mine manages E&O Trading company. We could go there, I’m sure she could hook us up with some specials.
Katie: And then we could promote it on Twitter?
Cynthia: Yep! We could use the hashtag #Tweetup and #sanfrancisco, and anyone who comes will come.
Marina: But won’t that include strangers? Like, people we don’t know? Would we want to pay for people we don’t know? I mean, they would be strangers and I don’t know if that’s something we would want to do.
Katie: But that’s the point, we would reach a new audience. We could have books there from the authors and they could sign them.
Kristen: Sounds good to me. Does everyone agree?
Cynthia: We just need to make sure we tweet about it…
Monday before the Tweetup at the Berrett-Koehler office…
Katie: Geez, I haven’t heard back from any authors about whether they can make it to our Tweetup.
Cynthia: Maybe it was a dumb idea. Maybe we should just not do it.
Katie (reading her email): Ooh, I just got an email from Kirk Boyd! He’s definitely going to make it! And Joe Sibilia said he’s coming with a friend!
Tuesday before the Tweetup
Katie: Ibrahim can’t make it. He said he’s going to an event that YOU set up for him in San Jose.
Cynthia: Silly me.
Wednesday before the Tweetup
Katie: Oh wow! I just got an email from John Perkins! He’s coming to our Tweetup, and he’s bringing a friend!
Cynthia: Wow! Now we have like, 12 people coming. We better start Tweeting!
Katie: Maybe we should put something up on Facebook.
Cynthia: Done and done. (Cynthia sets up an event on Facebook via the Berrett-Koehler page and invites 25 of her local friends. 8 RSVP yes, 3 RSVP maybe)
Friday, Day of Tweetup
Cynthia: Ok, now we need to take it up a notch.
Katie: Me too!
Kristen: Me too!
Katie: Are you coming to our Tweetup tonight?
Maria Jesus (International Rights): Yeah! I’ll meet you there, I’m waiting to hear back from a contact in Japan.
Scene: E&O Trading Company. The waiter points them to the area at the front that is reserved for them. Cynthia and Katie set up a few books on tables, and put a Berrett-Koehler sign in the window.
Cynthia: We should probably order some wine and food before people get here. That way we don’t have to worry about anything when guests arrive (this comment would prove to be completely pointless, as Cynthia worries until the end of the night)
Katie: Let’s get two red, two white, a few appetizer platters…
Waiter nods and writes everything down while Cynthia uses TweetDeck for iPhone.
Kirk Boyd arrives. Some Berrett-Koehler members arrives.
More Berrett-Koehler people arrive. Cynthia has uncharacteristically not touched her wine, but is tweeting up a storm on her iPhone through the TweetDeck app. Katie is having a blast chatting with strangers browsing the books while waiting to be seated.
Katie: And THIS author is here today! Look, he’s right over there! You can come say hi, we’re having a Tweetup.
Middle aged man waiting for his table: What’s a Tweetup?
More food and wine gets ordered.
John Perkins arrives with friend.
Finally, a stranger arrives. Lili Balfour, a 40-something woman dressed in a suit.
Cynthia: So great to have you here! How did you hear about the Tweetup?
Lili: What’s a Tweetup?
Joe Sibilia arrives with friend. Orders another round of food. Berrett-Koehler people look tired, but stay in the game, and drink more wine. Laughing, mingling, talking, eating.
Kirk Boyd: Hey! Who wants to get some pizza?
Kristen: I do!
Author and VP of Marketing walk off into the night. Katie pays $300 bill.
Waiter: Did you have a good time tonight?
Katie: Oh, it was wonderful. We had our first Tweetup!
Waiter: What’s a Tweetup?