The Twestival experience 

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


- 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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