#TorbayHour live tweetup. The view from #Unit7

#TorbayHour Live Tweetup at Unit7, Beacon Quay, Torquay

Last night we attended our first ever #TorbayHour live tweetup, which was hosted by the lovely people at Unit7 on Beacon Quay in Torquay – and WOW what a view they have – they can’t possibly get any work done!  And if the view isn’t distracting enough, then the foosball table definitely is…yes we played it…and yes we lost to @Quickstore_Tq but to be fair he must be a pro!

#TorbayHour is a brilliant initiative that allows local businesses to engage with other local businesses no matter how big or small, in a way which could never be replicated so successfully in any other format.  It’s virtual networking on Twitter every Monday between 8pm and 9pm, timed perfectly so that (usually) all the work is done, children are in bed and you can sit down with a cuppa, your phone / tablet / laptop and join in the banter whilst salivating over the pictures of cake that John from Dot’s Pantry likes to post just to taunt everyone…I expect business is good for John on a Tuesday morning after we’ve all had the night to dream about eating that cake!!

The live tweetup is an extension to the #TorbayHour virtual networking hour and happens every month at a different venue within the TQ area.  It starts a little earlier at 7pm and gives everyone a chance to meet up and put faces to Twitter handles whilst trying out some of those cakes everyone has been tweeting pictures of – here’s last night’s chocolate offering:

#Foodporn #ChocolateCake

Meeting people we network with on Twitter was an interesting opportunity to see how our business is perceived and how our brand’s personality comes across.  Some people had assumed I was male simply from the nature of our tweets, so I seem to have managed to successfully separated the voice of our brand from my own.  In the real world though, I’m not male, I’m not as confident (which is why I’m not such a fan of traditional networking events) and I’m not nearly as funny!

So is it Super-Social…Or a Little Bit Anti-Social?

Come 8pm and #TorbayHour started on Twitter, giving everyone who couldn’t join us at the live tweetup the chance to join in the conversation.  And the strangest thing happened…

#SocialMedia at it's finest

…Our conversation dwindled as everyone got ‘social’ on their phones/tablets!   Occasionally someone would come out with a funny quip relevant to what they’ve just read on the #TorbayHour stream, and the rest of us would be frantically scrolling to try and find it!

We just couldn’t decide if we were being super-social – networking virtually and in person at the same time, often with the same people we were sat in the room with….or anti-social – staring down at our screens rather than making eye contact and properly engaging with the people actually there in front of us. Either way it was an interesting evening, though a strange concept walking into a room of people you already ‘know’ yet you have to ask everyone who they are…far less daunting than traditional networking events though!

The #TorbayHour Take Over

From next Monday (8th September 2014) #TorbayHour will also be live on radio thanks to the Music Mill in Newton Abbot, a genius idea giving all of us local businesses in Torbay the chance to meet online, in person and now interact on radio too, and if the success of #TorbayHour so far is anything to go by, this will be another brilliant opportunity for local businesses to get their name in front other local businesses.  More info here.

Thanks to James and Martin for organising it all, and if you’re reading this post, join in with us next Monday on #TorbayHour!


Written by:

Joanne Holloway


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