Recently I started to venture out IRL to meet up with some of the lovely local tweeps (Twitter people) I’ve been conversing with online. I’m really not a big fan of traditional networking or making small talk – mind you I don’t think anybody really is, but it’s sometimes a necessary evil. The thing about being a WAHM I battle with constantly is the isolation, so I know it’s essential I get out & converse face to face, & fortunately there’s a new way of doing this nowadays which is fun & even pain-free.

Anyhoo, I finally made it my first no-fuss coffee morning in Sydney, & what’s so appealing about this is it’s simplicity. A casual arrangement (albeit weekly), in an informal setting where peeps from diverse industries get to talk business or otherwise, collaborate & support one another. Yes it is a form of networking, but the thing that struck me is the true sense of community that can quickly develop.

Whenever I attend I’m met with a hub of animated conversations ranging from new online developments, tools, connections, prospects, to business ideas & opportunities, & before I know it 2 hours pass leaving me feeling invigorated & with a positive vibe lasting for days!

On any given weekday you can be sure to find such a get together near you, but first you need to know how to find them. I’m using Sydney as an example, but you can pretty much follow my tweetup tips in any town/city you live in:

1. Pave the way beforehand & start breaking the ice online with those who already attend tweetups (Twitter meetings) or coffee mornings. Search via Twitter existing hashtags (these are used to tag specific topics. See examples listed below) that cover most areas. There are new ones springing up everywhere so be sure to also search for keywords such as “coffee morning/s“ “tweetup“ “networking meeting“ etc along with the suburb or city you’re interested in

2. Don’t forget to also search via google for any blogs or external sites in development such as Tony Cosentino’s site, tweetups.orgetc

3. Once you find a heap of tweeps who attend &/or live in the area, follow & start to converse with them. Establishing a few connections before you attend goes a long way!

4. You’ll find most keen to grow their coffee morning “tribe“ & getting the word out ensuring there is always a mixture of new people, so make sure you also help to promote it by tweeting & RTing (Retweeting) the information/link

5. When you finally get there, be sure to introduce yourself, your Twitter handle & circulate. Don’t just stick to 1 person because it’s easy, & don’t forget to bring those business cards!

7. When you get home/to the office be sure to tweet about how it was including the new Twitter handles of the people you met along with the appropriate hashtag

8. Keep track of that hashtag for a few days afterwards so you can follow all those who attended that you may not have had a chance to meet, and be sure to strike up online conversations with them for next time

9. I also create a list of tweeps I’ve met (see examples here & here) – this ensures I’m spreading the word about that particular community & I don’t forget who I met or where/how I met them!

10. Also be sure to check out interesting & popular coffeecasts or vlogsshowcasing the coffeemorning/tweetup attendees

Sydney tweetups/coffeemornings
North Side: #nscm
Inner West:#wscm
East Side: #escm
North West: #nwcm
Northern Beaches: #nbcm
Ultimo: #ucm

So, why not discover a tweetup or coffee morning near you?! Better still, find a local cafe, speak to the owner & get their ok & create your own using free tools such as Twtvite & to announce it to the twitterverse.

If you know of any tweetups in your area, please be sure to drop a comment & link here so I can help spread the word!

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