Last night I organised my very first #copywritersunite night.
I actually have a degree in Events Management but don’t let that fool you. Since graduating, I’ve been working in a different industry and had never organised anything like this before. I was really nervous!
What is #copywritersunite?
It’s a Twitter hashtag that copywriters can use to connect with, support and celebrate each other online. From that hashtag, #copywritersunite nights have evolved so that people can actually meet in real life.
How did I find out about #copywritersunite?
Why did I decide to organise a #copywritersunite night?
I like working on my own as a freelance copywriter but I miss being around people sometimes. My cat isn’t the best sounding board for ideas.
I looked on the #copywritersunite Twitter account to see if there were any nights happening near me, in Sheffield.
I honestly hoped there would already be a night someone else was organising that I could join in with. There weren’t any #copywritersunite nights in Sheffield yet. However, there did seem to be a need for one. I figured I might as well set it up.
Where did I decide to have the #copywritersunite night?
I have quite a good knowledge of the pubs in Sheffield. Over the last 10 years, I have researched Sheffield pubs extensively. Selflessly. I may have frequented some enough to have befriended some of the local bar staff. And knowing lovely people who work in pubs definitely helps.
Based on that wealth of experience, this was my criteria for choosing a pub:
Well-known to people who live in and near Sheffield
Fairly central location
Car park nearby
Friendly and helpful staff
Not too loud
Able to provide us with nice bowls of chips
Good selection of drinks
I would feel comfortable there on my own in case no one turned up
There are quite a few pubs in Sheffield that meet that criteria but I went for the Devonshire Cat. Nom nom nom their chips.
How did I organise it?
I wanted to organise a night that would be genuinely useful and fun for the people who might attend it. So, I started by asking the people who had responded to my first tweet what they would want.
When I phoned the pub to reserve a space, I was really nervous. I had no idea how many people were going to turn up so I didn’t know how much space we’d need. When I explained what I was trying to organise, the staff at the Devonshire Cat were really helpful. I asked questions and listened to their advice. Together, we’d get something sorted and it would all be fine.
I then set up an Eventbrite page for the night. I wasn’t sure whether this was the right thing to do. The idea of #copywriterunite nights is that it’s a no tickets thing and Eventbrite is designed to sell tickets. Even though my tickets were free, I was worried that having to register might put people off, make it seem more formal than I intended and that just by having tickets at all people would think I was missing the point. I tried to make sure I was really clear about why I’d created the Eventbrite page.
I am glad I created that page. It helped me keep track of how many people were planning to come along which meant:
I felt reassured that I wouldn’t be the only person there
I could help the Devonshire Cat plan how much space we’d need
How did I find the time to organise it?
One of the really fantastic things about #copywritersunite nights is that you don’t need to create an agenda or find speakers. I didn’t need to do much at all. That was perfect for me because I had a really busy month in March and didn’t have a lot of time to plan anything.
How did I advertise it?
I had a lot of support here from Vikki Ross, the original creator of the #copywriterunite hashtag and nights. She is incredible. Vikki tweeted about my #copywritersunite in Sheffield, retweeted all of my tweets about it and even posted about it on LinkedIn. Thank you Vikki.
I also had support from other #copywritersunite night hosts in other cities and @HelpSheffield. Thank you!
Basically, I mainly relied on other people!
What would I have done if no one turned up?
You might have guessed by now that I was quite worried about no one turning up. It’s one of the reasons I set up the Eventbrite page. I also chose a pub where I’d feel comfortable on my own if that did happen.
But then, if no one turned up it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. A shame, yes, but not really that horrible. I’d have just gone home.
Was it worth it?
Meeting a bunch of mostly strangers you’ve only ever spoken to on the internet can be scary. But it can also be fun and rewarding. Chloe from mark-making shares her experiences of another #copywritersunite night here. Here’s another post about going to a #copywritersunite night by Honor.
Would I do anything differently?
I think so, yes. The first #copywritersunite night in Sheffield went really well but there are things I’d like to improve on.
I’d like to invite people who might not necessarily consider themselves to be copywriters but do write for a living. Bloggers, writers, content writers. People who aren’t sure whether what they do is actually copywriting or not. Let’s just be nerdy about writing together.
There’s more I could have done to advertise my night if I’d had the time. As a member of ProCopywriters, I could have used their site to advertise the night to other members. I’ll do that next time.
I posted a quick selfie at the beginning of the night so that fellow attendees would recognise me when they walked into the pub. I really liked that idea but I think next time it’d be good to include the #copywritersunite hashtag in my selfie tweet!
Is there going to be another #copywritersunite night in Sheffield?
Yes! I’ll be on the Twitter asking people what date would work best soon.