A TweetUp is a gathering of social media aficionados; the opportunity to meet face-to-face with people you may only know through their Twitter or Facebook feeds. My good friend Kathie of @carloverkat and I try to organize one every few months, and our most recent one took place in Pawtuxet Village in coordination with Friends of Pawtuxet Village.
It was a lot of fun! We worked well in advance with many of the Village businesses, and were able to have many of them participate:
O'Rourke's Bar and Grille
Basta Italian Restaurante
Water's Edge Cafe
Little Falls Bakery & Cafe
RiversEdge Flowers & Gifts
Twice Told Tales
Village Arts and Antiques
All of the shops stayed open to accommodate the participants, and we created a punch-card with all the business names on it. Attendees got a stamp for each business they visited, and at the end of the night, they turned in their punch cards. For every five business stamps, they drew a five-card poker hand.
Many of the businesses provided gift cards or baskets to use as prizes, and the highest poker hands won.
Businesses we visited reported a great turn-out, and we saw visitors from out-of-town as well as locals. It was a lot of fun to go in and check out the different shops and eateries, too. It's also so nice to finally meet Twitter and Facebook buddies face-to-face!
Since Kathie and I worked registration, we had less time to visit the businesses, and didn't get to nearly as many as we would have liked, but I was charmed and impressed by the ones we saw.
Our first stop was Libations, a liquor store right on Broad Street. They were offering wine and cheese samples and I ended up buying a bottle of "Mom's Time Out" wine. It's very dry and crisp, quite nice.
Some of the Village children had donned Colonial costume and were standing by to offer information about the Village and answer questions. They looked so cute, but were also very knowledgeable.
Our next stop was Waters Edge Cafe. Bear tried the lemon bars and loved them.
We made a quick stop at L'Attitude. They were very busy and we saw a number of TweetHoppers there.
Next up was River's Edge Flowers & Gifts. It's a great shop with items by local artists. I have to go back there and get some contact information!
We had time for one more stop before the 8:30 gathering at O'Roarke's for the card drawing, and that was Little Falls Bakery & Cafe. We snacked on pizza and macaroons. Yum!
At 8:30, everyone met at O'Roarke's Bar and Grill. There was live music and lots of lively conversation. It was a great way to wind up the night, and many of us stayed well beyond our 9:00 pm end-time.
Feedback from the businesses and the TweetHoppers was so positive, and Kathie and I spent the end of the night chatting with the participants. I have to give her credit...she easily did 99% of the work for this one.
I'm looking forward to our next TweetUp, this summer at the beach. And I hope we get the opportunity to do more TweetHops. There are tons of Rhode Island villages that deserve the attention!