Last Thursday, I jumped on a train from my hometown of Colwyn Bay to Manchester for the latest MancSEO meet – a monthly get together of Search Industry Professionals in Manchester to have a few beers, discuss ideas & generally have a good time. It’s great fun, and this was my second one, however the crowd swelled at this one to include Social Media Bods, General Web Monkeys and people interested in one site & service – Twitter. Yes, it was the Manchester Twestival.

For the unaware, a Twestival is a Twitter Festival – whereby twitter users around the world have a few drinks, share stories, geek the hell out & raise a lot of cash for charity (this year it was Concern). I missed the first one which was on a similar date last year, but was fascinated & watched streams of the event, which looked fun. I even touted the idea of having a North Wales/Llandudno Twestival, which would’ve been fun & there was a little bit of interest (so much so that in one drunken night I had about 10 attendees, press coverage & a band – furthermore I probably could’ve got Britannia Wrestling – who has a twitter presence – to do a couple of matches), but alas my general bone-idleness meant it didn’t go ahead. Instead, I was off to the Manchester one.

I arrived fashionably late to the party, about 20 minutes after it all kicked off, but immediately started mingling with the faces behind the avatars, I stuck to begin with speaking to people I’ve met before such as @search_magician, @shanejones, @mckayrc & @peteyoung, but as the beers flowed (which they did rather quickly I hasten to add – whoops), I started speaking to more and more people.

One of the highlights of the day was an auction, where people donated some great prizes including flights & video cameras to raise money. I did fancy a flutter myself & entered the bidding for the crate of beer, £200 worth of Nando’s Vouchers, 4 sessions with a personal trainer and a Silver Econsultancy pass for a year. Alas, people around me had more money than me, and outbid me early in the proceedings.

The second highlight was the paper plane flying competition to win 2 return flights to Jersey (from BMI Baby). I was rushed towards the end of the proceedings and after extensive testing, a plane was created & entered I wasn’t confident. However, a cheeky overarm throw lead to it soaring through the air & landing nose first in a wine glass – the kind of shot that isn’t seen. Sure it wasn’t the furthest, but if you are scheduled to land at Gatwick Airport but land at Luton, that’s a mistake.

From Gez Daring

Although I didn’t win outright, I did go into the flyoff, whereby the slightly more weighted nose (which I thought would cause it to crumble in the air) did end up making the flight trajectory better, I won the flyoff & the flights to Jersey. Before you ask, my mum has first refusal, which is brave of me as she’s never flown before.

After the evening’s main festivities were wound down, we then had an acoustic set from Rook & The Ravens & a DJ Set from Chappers, but people started to leave the venue, myself included, as it was a school night – no other reason!

Was a great event & my first real geekfest I attended. It won’t be the last, well done to all those (of which the most noticable was Katie Moffat) who organised it! The total raised was a whopping £5295! Well done people!

Other People’s Thoughts on Manctwester

I’ve seen other posts on Manctwester throughout the blogosphere – feel free to share your Manctwester Twestival posts in the comments!

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