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11 Tips For Better Tech Event/Tweetup Planning

April 22, 2011 1 comment

In the past number of months I have planned – or been a member of a planning team for – a number of tweetups, meetups, and events. Much as I would like to say that every event I have been a part of has been a massive success that simply isn’t true. A lot of these events were huge successes but some of them were less so. In the past couple of months I have also attended a large number of tweetups, meetups, and events in Toronto purely as a guest. What follows will be the things I have learned in planning and attending these events so you can better plan your own events.

Before I begin, let me make one thing clear, this post is meant solely to share the wisdom and experience I have gained in event planning and is not meant to reflect badly on one event or another. As such, no specific names will be mentioned. If you figure out what event I am referring to (and many of the things I will mention are not specific to one event) please DO NOT name any names in the comments be it organizers or venues or the actual event itself.

  1. Make sure there is good cell reception with as many different service providers as you can: I was at an event recently (no specifics will be mentioned) and it was a superb event. However, as it was very much a tech oriented event I was surprised and disappointed to find that the place this event was held in had absolutely terrible reception on my cellular provider’s network. In fact, I kept losing reception both on EDGE and on HSPA (aka 3G). This was an event with a Twitter wall that was constantly updating and yet many of the people at the party couldn’t post a tweet due to the horrible reception in the venue! At another event I attended, and granted I am still unsure if this was the intent of the planners because the event was 1960’s themed, there was absolutely ZERO reception in the event due to the fact that it was held in an underground venue. The party and the venue were extremely cool but pretty much everyone at the event was invited because they had a membership in this group through Twitter. The vast majority of us WANTED to tweet about this spectacular venue and party we were attending with pictures, words, and videos but we couldn’t because getting reception meant a far walk upstairs simply to  get any signal. At the very least, the event should have installed some Wi-Fi hotspots and let attendees know the password.
  2. Internet test: Wired and/or Wi-Fi: Don’t just take the venue’s word for it that everything will work, go check it for yourself. If you are going to allow guest to use Wi-Fi and you need an Internet connection for yourself as well, make sure you have a hard line. I was quite embarrassed when I once had to ask guests to get off the Wi-Fi so we could stream video of the event and everyone using Wi-Fi was leaving us without enough bandwidth.
  3. WiFi Password prominently displayed: Assuming you are allowing everyone on the Wi-Fi don’t just post the password on the event website. People won’t necessarily see it no matter how prominently you have it posted. Post it on big signs on the walls (or on screens if you have them). People will still almost definitely ask you for the password anyway. Read more…
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