The Twestival Experience

Photo by Anastasia Chomlack, courtesy of Pique Newsmagazine

Chronicle of my experience at a Tweet-up. It’s an interesting kind of event where it’s socially-acceptable to alternate between talking to people and Tweeting on your phone. I’m awkward and critical of social media enthusiasm, so I was probably the wrong guy to send to this event. You be the judge.

Awkward social misanthrope dives into a lion’s den of social media enthusiasts

By Jesse Ferreras

– I’m on my way to Twestival, the second-ever Tweet-up event I’ve ever attended. Tweeting and talking makes for a weird social dynamic. #ohsnap

– Organizers are @amberturnau, social media strategist for @whistlerblckcmb, and @michelleleroux of Reine Communications

– Arrive @ Whistler Brewing Company at 7:30 p.m. Good, mid-sized crowd bucks Whistler trend of showing up two hours late to social events.

– Arrive @ door, realize I forgot to print my ticket. Please, door-lady, save me trouble of walking back to office to print it. #prettyplease

– Door-lady Heather Clifford has a guest list. No walking the length of function to get my ticket. #w00t

– Hashtag for the event, we’re told, is #twestivalwhis. On my iPhone the word tries to autocorrect as “Tweety Alecia.” Uh, not what I meant.

– Get a drink ticket from a lovely lady handing out candy on a carousel by @paintertainment. And an instruction sheet. #twyrrany?

– Candy-lady is @missboots22, better known as Tabetha Boot from @whistlrblackcomb. Other candy-lady is @laureneverest, also from @whistlerblckcmb.

– They’re each geared head-to-toe in colourful get-ups, with massive pink wigs, striped leggings and doll-like makeup.

– Both hand out candy to guests, @missboots22 from atop a carousel, @laureneverest from a tray she’s slung on her shoulders.

– I am halfway across the room before I realize who they are and I am far too ashamed to go back and say hello. #prideormisanthrope?

– Head straight to the bar. I’m craving a Powder Mountain lager from the time my sister took us on a brewery tour. Very popular item here.

– Pick up my beer from the bartender and the first thing I do is spill it. I pretend it didn’t happen until bartender hands me a rag. #uncool

– Look around and realize I don’t know anyone here. Thank goodness this is an event where Tweeting is socially acceptable, nay, encouraged.

– Big Mountain Rhythm plays an acoustic version of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” Strange, but it works. Like Maynard doing Joni Mitchell.

– I pull up Twitter, tell everyone I’ve arrived. I get an immediate response, saying I spilled beer all over their instruction sheet.

– My reply, since this isn’t a place where you confront people face to face: “Most passive aggressive Tweet ever.” #awkward

– Take a walk around, into the brewhouse where gracious hosts have laid out chips and hors d’oeuvres from Purebread across the street.

– Finally get to try Disfunctional Ale bread. Who knew that food made from discarded grain meant for alcohol could taste so good?

– In the brewhouse, organizers have set up snowboards you can draw and paint upon. I draw a Homer Simpson. It’s eerily accurate. #yeahboy

– I check out the silent auction. Lots of cool items here. One interesting item up for bid is from the Re-Use-It Centre. Gift certificate.

– How much is something worth when it’s essentially been donated twice? A $10 starting bid, apparently. They have some great stuff there, too.

– Back in the main room and at least one candy-lady looks a little tired. Big weight for @laureneverest on her head and shoulders.

– Spirited discussion rises up in middle of the room between @jacksoncrompton and @ralphforsyth. Asphalt, pay parking, bow-hunting come up.

– New CAO hire comes up too. For their sake I will not broadcast to the world the content of that conversation.

– Finally meet @michelleleroux, event co-organizer, in person for the first time. I choke on a piece of bread and pretend I’m not.

– @michelleleroux offers to slap the bread out of my throat. I decline. Bad idea. #Purebreadissogoodimchokingonit

– #itstshirttime 9:30 p.m. rolls around, time to head out. #twestivalwhis was fun but must get home in time for #JerseyShore.

– call co-organizer @amberturnau the next morning. #twestivalwhis raised $5,921, mostly from silent auction. Seems very happy with result.

– talk to co-organizer @michelleleroux, she says Whistler raised $0.59 per capita, the most of any #twestival organizer.

– Canada, seemingly a generous country, has raised the most of any country holding #twestival with $60,987.12

 

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About jesseferreras

Sea to Sky-based journalist. Snowboarder, cyclist, cinephile, bon vivant.
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