11 October 2009

Roundup – 1st MuscatTweetMeet

To begin with, despite the name Twestival this gathering was a meetUp of several twitter users of Oman held for the very first time in this magnitude.

In its true spirit #muscattwestival had no VIP, no stage, no speeches, no marketing but just loads of fun. All twitter-tweets regarding this event appear under hash tags #muscattwestival.

In an optimistic note, the turn out and the enthusiasm of OmanTweeters for this meetUp was so high that Muscat could organise a twestival by 2010 coinciding with the global event for a charitable cause.

#muscattwestival was just a casual gathering nevertheless still me, muscati and kishorcariappa took the lead to coordinate. An online invite was posted at Twtvite to maintain a transparent score-board of attendees: anyone can see who confirmed and who would try to make it for the gathering. The venue at Barista café - Al Masa Mall was exclusively reserved for the event from 7pm-8pm on the 8th of October 2009.

The date, place and time were decided by all tweeps in a democratic manner through tweets and responses. Daily updates of confirmations were posted in Digital Oman blog and tweets from me. shafeekmk blogged about #muscattwestival encouraging his readers to attend but just couldn’t make it to the event.

In addition blue_chi posted about the event in his

blog. shweman managed to enjoy the second half of the meetUp and was glad she could make it. marypaulose and bluice4 caught up with commitments in the last minute and sent their regrets for not attending. omanair marked social media history in Oman by becoming the 1st corporate twitter user to attend the #muscattwestival.

Just as muscati and kishorcariappa suggested Initially #muscattwestival started as a casual meet but due to its significance as the first kick-off in Oman and the number of confirmed attendees, sort of a logo was created by my son 45vvA7h. The simple design included a twitter bird image with a blue speech-bubble saying Tweet Meet Oman in white letters. I got this image screen-printed as a simple banner and also arranged for stickers to be pasted onto raffle gifts that pooled in the last minute.

Event agenda
The only agenda of #muscattwestival was to have no-agenda. Yes, it was meant to be a casual meetUp over coffee for socialising with fellow-tweeps and networking. However, it was necessary to know who had attended the meetUp and put a face to the tweep names. Raffle took 1/3rd of the scheduled time of 2hrs as several contributions came in the last minute. Tweeps took turn choosing the winners and over 20 gifts including gift vouchers, books, flash memories etc were distributed. But from 7pm to 8pm the tweeps had free time to network exclusively.

Officially no upfront fee was collected but in order to motivate tweeps to attend I came up with the idea of gift bags for all participants. eOman (where I work) instantly gave away 25 eOman gift hampers containing T-shirt, cap, car shade, mug and a pen in support of this event. They also donated flash memories which went for the raffle box. Later rekhabaala courteously added exclusive cook books published by UMS – Al M’ara for all tweeps.

As a last minute surprise omanair attended the #muscattwestival along with cartons of T-shirts, caps and key chains. The goodies-bag was open for any tweep’s contributions, say in the form of their corporate gifts.

muscati and kishorcariappa donated gift coupons from borders and centre point respectively. TI3GIB all the way from UK, gave away his copy of ‘Lost Symbol’ by Dan Brown through Makorani. Tweeps 7shr and raideraid from Nawras brought a few more caps, T-shirts and the Omani blogger team members gifted key chains bearing their new logo. Barista our free-venue sponsor also gave away discount coupons for the tweeps.


Full of vigor, padmajamenon meticulously managed registrations helped generously by varun__kv. They had tough time matching twitter ids to names to the real people who turned up. It was fun to watch them interrogating almost everyone except me verifying their eligibility but alas landed up registering everyone who turned up for #muscattwestival even without prior online confirmations in the true spirit of the event.

Raffle baffle
kishorcariappa and arun4 started the raffle uncertain of the proceedings but later got more confident and involved most tweeps around into the process. Fumbling with the gifts, I forgot to drop my slip into the raffle bowl while Alucard187 was the only tweep chosen to pick a winner and in all sincerity picked his own name winning the gift. Tweeps giving and receiving the gifts became instant celebrities smiling wide, for several cameras in front of them clicking incessantly.

Live tweets
Although the venue was Wi-Fi enabled, tweeps were so excited about the event that not much of action was fed into twitter live. Exceptionally Maithams, sbtm77 and raideraid managed to live tweet during the event. One of Maithams live-tweet reads “Just finished the raffle at #muscattwestival. Now ordering coffee 4 a nice sit down talk”.

Although posing for photos was a concern for many tweeps early on, later during the event almost everyone caught on with the spirit of having group snaps. More than 6 cameras went clickety-click all the while but blue_chi’s group snap set in timer mode perhaps captured almost all attendees in one single shot.

Here are a couple of links where tweeps have posted #muscattwestival photographs:

Blue_Chi article in GlobalVoices

Blue_Chi Photos on FaceBook
Maitham's photos
Makorani's photos
Muawiyah's photos
Sangeetha’s photos


  1. Oman makes its entry into the Arab Social media world thanks to spotonpr. Here is a tweet by them about our event: Bookmarked your MuscatTweetMeet story & will soon appear here . :)