Today’s post comes from ILN Program Coordinator Kate Byrne.
What is a tweet up?
One of my favourite types of library events is the ‘Tweet-up’, a informal sub-event that happens alongside many conferences or more formal events. For those unfamiliar with the term, a tweet-up is simply an opportunity to meet IRL (in real life) people you have met online via the social networking tool Twitter.
Where/when do they happen?
They tend to be semi-organised meetings (eg. meet at this place at this time) but all are welcome (whether you tweet or not) and they are a great opportunity to get to know colleagues better in an informal setting. They can happen pretty much any where but might be at a bar, a coffee shop, a restaurant or just the foyer or a conference building. There is a a very active community of librarians on Twitter in Australia, so it is very common for a tweet-up to be organised alongside an existing event, such as a conference. However they are a very affordable opportunity to network since you don’t have to have registered to attend a conference (which is often pricey) to take part.
I’ve joined tweet-ups in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane here in Australia but also in Singapore and Helsinki when I attended the IFLA congress.
I’ve noticed that whilst use of the term ‘Tweet-up’ is common here in Australia it seemed to be less well known by international colleagues at IFLA.
What can I get out of it?
Tweet-ups are networking opportunities. They are great opportunities to meet new people as well as catch-up with colleagues you might tweet with all the time but don’t get to meet very often. I love to hear about what my colleagues are up to and what are the new developments in their libraries. I can also hear about new projects happening in the profession with opportunities to follow up afterwards if I need to know more.
How can I attend one?
Why just attend one? Why not organise one? Just pick a time and a public place (adjacent to an existing event is helpful as people are already gathered together) and do a call-out on your social media of choice – Twitter works well as it is such an open environment. Don’t forget to use the conference/event #hashtag so that other attending the conference/event can come along.
Remember your cyber safety too! Always meet in a safe, public space – no dark alleys kids!