On Wednesday 16 March 2011 I was lucky enough to fly down to London from Glasgow to attend one of the legal networking events of the year. Hosted by Brian Inkster and Linda Cheung, the tweetup, which is the technical term for a twitter meetup, had 77 Twegals RSVPing and, subsequently, meeting up for drinks.
For comprehensive reviews of the event, please see the following accounts:-
Brian Inkster’s Lex2011TweetUp: When Virtual Became IRL (in Real Life) ;
Linda Cheung’s Lex2011tweetup: All the leading tweeting lawyers in a bar. How could it not be fun?; or
Thomas Valenti‘s #Lex2011Tweetup – A twegal experience in London – Thank-you.
For my own experience of the event including pictures, which can be clicked to show full images, please see below…
The Tweetup in Pictures
First Drinks in at 4.30pm
Having had a solid afternoon’s sightseeing, following a morning POW-WOW with @NetLawMedia’s Darren Armstrong, I was greeted by co-host @LindaCheungUK and @HeatherTowns as soon as I walked into Holborn’s All Bar One. One of the unique products of having spoken to both of them on twitter before, I felt like I had known them for a long time, when in fact I was meeting both for the first time.
Sitting down to an iPad presentation courtesy of @HeatherTowns I got to see how a professional uses various forms of twitter software. I thought I had seen it all. I was wrong and I’m glad to report that I’ve since subscribed to the Pro versions of both Tweet Spinner and Hootsuite. In that respect, @LindaCheungUK‘s and @MarkBower‘s start-up company @Connectegrity, which takes some degree of concentration on pronunciation initially, may well be the next-generation of social media software, particularly for law firms and professionals in the UK.
The Event Proper: Faces and Avatars
A few ciders later, the venue had flooded with lawyers, many of whom I was meeting for the first time. As above, those with whom I have shared many a good twitter chat were those I felt I had known before, such as:-
@colmmu who had previous strong connections to my former Diploma provider at the GGSL in Glasgow,
@MotoringLawyer, who keeps us updated regularly on RTA other legal matters,
@jonathanlea, whose “lawyer to the stars” bio reference I’m starting to understand,
@IkenCEO, who provides very useful legal technology updates,
@AshleyConnick, with whom I connect most with blawging,
@legalbrat, whose blawg goldfish I feed on occasion
@Azrights, who provides useful IP updates, and
@ljanstis, who is working social media magic with law firm Boyes Turner.
Notably, I met @jonathanlea again the next morning for a couple of coffees by St Pauls for a very enjoyable and productive discussion on various aspects of social media, blogging and legal practice.
And there were also those with whom I have not yet engaged much previously on twitter, but with whom I look forward to connecting more, such as @andrewneligan, @grabbeh @benwheway, @conscioussol, @DavidAllenGreen, @dylanwhite, @aligeary, @markowen1, @lawyercatrin, @RupertWhite, and @petergroves, who does feature in a one of the photographs above.
Along with both my old flatmate from my previous firm, MMS, and @jonathanlea, I had a rather interesting discussion with @barneyc regarding consumer protection laws and web 2.0/3.0. Many other interesting conversations were had that night, although, due to both the discussions being too useful to convey here and me having consumed slightly too much cider to remember, they shall not be rehearsed here ;-).
As mentioned by others, without a doubt the award for the longest journey to get to the tweetup went to @ValentiLaw whom it was a pleasure to meet.
Twy Another Day
Unfortunately, there were some people I didn’t get a chance to talk to, like @michaelscutt and @TheNakedLawyer in addition to some others, including @LegaleagleMHM who couldn’t make this event unfortunately for several reasons including late-night legal essay-writing. But, as @BrianInkster notes, there are thoughts of another tweetup in the near future, comments or suggestions for which should be made or consulted on Brian’s The Time Blawg .
I had a thoroughly enjoyable time and would definitely like to attend another such event.
Until next time…