Now, what exactly is a Twestival? How does it differ from Tweet-ups or similar events?
A Twestival (or TwitterFestival – Twitter & festival makes Twestival) has some similarities to any Tweet-ups in a way that Twitter people will connect offline for social catch-up or networking purposes.
There are 3 main elements that make Twestival so special:
1) The scope of Twestival is much larger than other events and there are many volunteers involved.
2) Twestival is open to all sorts of people within the Twitter communities, So although most participants tend to be early adopters still, there are many different and diverse new people and industries present.
3) The third and most important element of Twestival is that it supports a social cause by raising funds collectively and bringing awareness.
So when and how got Twestival started?
Well, about a decade ago, to be precise (in September 2008), a small group of Twitterers (or Twitter fans) from London, UK, set up an event that allowed local Twitter community members to meet in an offline setting and to meet the individuals and the faces behind the platform’s avatars. Now, this website is mostly about education, but we all know in what way modern technology and communication is essential for up-to-date education. So there’s the link between Twitter and education.
The festival offered some enjoyable entertainment, and the visitors could have some drinks, eat a little snack, and there were also fundraising activities to support a local charity for the homeless. The organizers managed to set up the entire Twestival event in less than two weeks. There were more than 300 visitors and the money raised for the charity purpose was unexpectedly generous.
There were additional Twestival events in Vancouver, Toronto, and at more locations around the world. Many visitors and participants had the conviction that Twitter offered a fine way of bringing people together, also for great social causes and educational purposes.
The first Twestival events received significant media coverage media so many were enthusiastic about organizing a follow-up again in London. The people behind Twestival decided to organize one event every three months, but they were not sure if this Twestival concept would raise sufficient support in other cities across the globe.
Maybe it would be more powerful if multiple cities all around the globe would host the same event on exactly the same day for all people connected through Twitter with just one charitable purpose. So the next big event was set up for February 12, 2009, and this time the event was labeled Global Twestival. This was truly a collaborative effort and a very exciting experience.
So what happened on Thursday, February 12, 2009? Well, the Twestival event had gone global. The main event happened in London while simultaneously, many exciting Twitter events were happening all across the globe in many major cities.
The organizers had set up a website named www.twestival.com that enabled all organizers to design their own specific pages for their cities to upload all sorts of information, for the coordination of things like registration and participation, to highlight sponsor logos, for donations, link to educational websites, and to connect to multimedia sources.
Twestival events around the world could set up as small or large events as their local Twitter communities could be able to support but there were some key Twestival elements that required consistency and recognizability. Beyond these elements, however, every city was free to set up the event in the way they preferred.
Connecting the cities
Communication and Technology are key elements of the Twestival event. The central organization worked hard to partner with companies in order to live-stream the events across the globe so people would be able to connect even in case they couldn’t attend one of the festivals in person.