TwitFaced 2011-2016, with love

I can’t thank you enough for making TwitFaced happen, I knew absolutely nobody when I moved here a couple of years back and thanks to TwitFaced, I’ve made loads of mates so cheers for that, made life here in Manchester great. (TwitFaced attendee, April 2013)

Al

Tonight will see the last ever TwitFaced take place at the brand new Stage and Radio venue in the Northern Quarter, fittingly once the location of Manchester’s first ever nightclub.

We can’t wait for it and plan to go out in typically raucous style. Stage and Radio is going to be packed to the rafters for our 13th event and capacity-abusing ticket sales of 275+ indicate there is plenty of life left in the old dog. But it’s definitely time to call it a day and leave the door slightly ajar for a one-off comeback event sometime in the future.

Both my own and Simon’s personal situations have changed over the past year and though TwitFaced remains a labour of love, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to dedicate the time required.

It’s hard to believe five years has passed since the original idea was hatched. For a few years at least, TwitFaced played an important part in accelerating business and personal connections across this amazing city. Nearly 5000 sign-ups, over 3000 attendees and easily thousands more relationships forged across multiple sectors.

And though TwitFaced still holds a magnetic pull for so many, we have to admit the job is done. That initial purpose – to transpose Twitter conversations to face to face dialogue – has been diluted. If Manchester was disconnected back in the summer of 2011, it’s damn near incestuous now.  That unique proposition and our innovative approach rapidly accelerated TwitFaced to cult-like status and by some distance, the biggest networking event in the city with over 700 people registering for our last free event at Manchester 235 casino, ahead of our decision to charge and expand the entertainment offer.

Leave your card and ego at the door.

CEOs, graduates, entrepreneurs, artists, lawyers, designers, students, managing directors, actors, special forces, pop stars et al. Twitter is a great leveller and TwitFaced adopted the same ethos pulling allsorts together. Where else would you see the Spinningfields Mafia, Manchester Party Crowd and NQ Hipsters in the same room?

I’m not sure Paul Calf, Jimmy Saville, The Wet Bandits and Steve Stifler should ever really figure at a business networking event. But they did.

Innovation such as the various apps we developed to help crowdsource music, introduce new Twitter connections and of course, the popular Wheel of Booze game. It was quite clever stuff for the time and lack of obvious supporting budget.

On the other hand, I appreciate it’s never been everyone’s cup of tea. Our in-your-face approach might be mine and Simon’s take on the Manchester we remember and also happens to be the people we truly are. No shrinking violets. Let’s have a chat. Dance like nobody’s watching. Leave your attitude and business cards at the door. Now neck that. Cheers.

You’re alright you lot.

I want to thank some of the amazing people and companies that have made it oh so enjoyable to deliver an event that has brought so many special people into my world.

Firstly, Simon Calderbank, who has been an extraordinary event host and organiser-in-chief. Our DJs, Mark Hogg and Martin Glynn, as well as Jamie Scahill for earlier contributions. Dave Greaves and Cata Pereda for polishing our rough edges. Al Mackin, Dan Nolan and Christian McGinty for amateur DJ stints in the early events. My ex-Creative Director, Steve Buckley for the name & logo. Gareth Poole for the app. Ian Adams and Ron Gilmour for photography services. Magician, Anthony James and Mr Mentalist, Chris Rawlins. Natasha Turkington for being the first TwitFaced attendee. Bernadette Kelly and Helen Ramsbottom for venue advice. Thom Hetherington, Chris Marsh, Steve Kuncewicz, Laura Thomas, Paul Grimshaw, Simon Bowers and Mike Henderson for consistently being first class flag-wavers. On the night helpers, Aisha Riaz, Samantha Bell, Sian English and Ben Hobson. And last but not least, my Studio North colleagues, Hannah Swarbrick, Shauna Carysforth, Roisin Metherell, Stuart McMullen and Nicola Wyld who devoted hours of personal time to aid and abet the TwitFaced cause.

All of our sponsors but in particular, Manchester Confidential, Melbourne Server Hosting, theEword, Run2 (formerly Upsearch), Riskbox, MRJ Recruitment, Galloways Printers, WeAreDigitl and Fatsoma.

I’m sorry – I know there are so many others deserving of a mention but I’ll make it up to you in person.

But for now, for one last time, let’s rock Stage and Radio later on tonight. Smile at people, chat to strangers, take a chance, be yourself, make someone’s evening, be inspired. Get TwitFaced.

@MichaelDiPaola (Founder) 

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