Category Archives: Events

professional and social networking events

Recap: DC Experiential Meetup

DC Experiential Meetup 7/2/2013On Tuesday, July 2nd, I attended the DC Experiential Meetup at the Digital Exchange (816 North St. Asaph Street) in Old Town Alexandria. The event was organized by Brightline.

Hugh Forrest and Tod Plotkin speak at DC Experiential Meetup
Hugh Forrest and Tod Plotkin speak at DC Experiential Meetup

Featured speakers Hugh Forrest, Director of SXSW Interactive, and Tod Plotkin (Green Buzz Agency), Founder of What’s Next DC, addressed the question, “How do agencies get their experiential and interactive work in front of audiences?


During the event there were virtual presenters on display, a video booth for attendees to make sharable music videos, and various interactive games to play.

Join the DC Experiential Meetup and tweet about the meetup using the #dcexp hashtag!
Follow Brightline on Twitter (@brightline_int)!

Artomatic 2012 is Here!

Artomatic 2012 lobbyArtomatic 2012 is a free art festival taking place in Crystal City, Virginia over several weeks in May and June. The event is being hosted in a former office building scheduled for demolition. Artomatic will feature the works of over 1,000 artists being displayed across 10 floors. There will also be workshops, live musical performances, and more.


Be sure to check out Artomatic 2012!


Welcome to Artomatic 2012Dates: May 18 – June 23, 2012

Location: 1851 S. Bell Street


Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Monday and Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday and Thursday: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Friday and Saturday: 12:00 PM – 1:00 AM


Foursquare Day 2012

4sqday 2012 Monday, April 16 is Foursquare Day. People will gather all around the world to celebrate this social media holiday inspired by the popular location-based social networking platform.

Here are three #4SQDay party options (in alphabetical order) for those in the DC and Baltimore metro areas.



The Best Foursquare Day in Charm City will be taking place from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm at Bad Decisions (1928 Fleet Street) in Baltimore, Maryland.
The event is hosted by Joe Zuccaro (@joezuc) and along with the door prizes, they even have their own Foursquare Day specialty drink, “The Square Root“!

Bring a can of food to benefit the Maryland Food Bank (@MDFoodbank). Find out more information here: Baltimore 4sqday



4sqday buttons
photo by @nutzareus

Last year, I had the pleasure of attending the Montgomery County Foursquare Day 2011 party and as much fun as that was, this year’s party looks set to top it! The MoCo crew will be returning in force to Dogfish Head Alehouse (800 West Diamond Avenue) in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

The event is organized by Ching-Yao Yu (@nutzareus) will feature $4.16 beer specials, raffle prizes, and of course foursquare swag! Gaithersburg mayor Sidney Katz, will once again be in attendance to proclaim Foursquare Day.

Rounding out the festivities will be the launch of the Social Media Club Gaithersburg Chapter (@SMCgburg) with guest speakers Shannon Renee Mouton (@ShannonRene) “Top Ten Reasons We Check-in” and Ann Bevans-Selig (@annbevans) “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Foursquare Wins and Losses for Business”.

Dogfish Head Alehouse will donate 10% of all food purchases by the entire restaurant to Manna Food Center (@MannaFoodCenter). Last year $700 was raised!

Find more information here: Gaithersburg 4sqday


Washington, DC

Check In to DC for #4SQDayDC from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM at kstreet lounge (1301 K Street NW) in Washington, DC. The District’s Foursquare Day party will be hosted by Melanie Spring (@sisarina) and Lisa Byrne (@Dceventjunkie).

The first 100 attendees get a drink compliments of Pappas Group. Find out more information and RSVP here: Washington, DC 4sqday


Give to the Max on November 9th!

Give to the Max: Greater Washington

During these trying economic times, it’s easy to tighten our belts and draw closed the proverbial purse strings as we transition from our more carefree “Grasshopper” mode into “Ant” mode and stash cash to weather a financial winter storm.

However, we have to remember that the nonprofit organizations and the causes that they support are caught in this storm as well. When the economic seasons change, their reliance on our goodwill can turn to dire need.

On November 9th, 2011, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC communities will be participating in the Give to the Max campaign. The goal is to raise 3 million dollars in 24 hours for area nonprofits.


Flash Mob Fun


On Wednesday, November 2nd, I had the pleasure of being a part of a Give to the Max lunch hour flash mob in downtown Washington, DC. I joined members of the Razoo team and other supporters to help spread awareness about the upcoming event. Check out the video!


Activities Leading Up to Give to the Max Day


November 7th: there is also a panel discussion that will be taking place as part of DC Week: The Era of Civic Groundswell

November 8th: tune in for a virtual town hall at 4PM Eastern for opportunities to ask all of your questions about Give to the Max Day.


Here is a video with Terri Freeman, president of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and Bill Hanbury, CEO of the United Way of the National Capital Area discussing Give to the Max Day.


Remember on November 9th to help the Greater Washington DC area Give to the Max!


Recap: Tweet Meet

Community Business Partnership (CBP) building

I finally had the pleasure of attending a Tweet Meet at the Community Business Partnership (7001 Loisdale Road, Suite C) in Springfield, VA on 10/14/11.

Tweet Meet is a free weekly event that takes place on Fridays from 1pm – 2:30pm. Dannelle Shugart (@beyourboss) and Juli Monroe (@1to1Discovery) instruct participants on how to develop social media strategies for their businesses.

We discussed several topics based upon questions raised by the participants.

  • Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter
  • Using third party applications (HootSuite and Tweetdeck) for greater efficiency.
  • Mobile devices (iPhone, iOS5, Android), tablets, e-readers, netbooks, laptops and various iPhone and Android apps.

Among those in attendance were:

James Meyers (@cheezcakejunkie) of Celestial Cheesecakes

Natasha Grant (@Natasha_cool7) of Cool 7 design

Leandra Finder (@llfcap) from Dreamcatchers Childrens Entertainment

Virginia Colin (@VirginiaColin) of Colin Family Mediation

Carmen Chong (@CandCUniqueGift) from C&C Unique Gifts and Gift Baskets

Joanne McAlpine (@BroadcastSunny) of Broadcasting Sunny –

Sally Rood (@SallyRood) of Science Policy Works International

If you’re in the Springfield area on a Friday afternoon, check out Tweet Meet! I look forward to making it out for another event.




Why Tweetups are So Damn Cool!


You don’t really get going on Twitter until you’ve attended a tweetup. Having an opportunity to meet people who you follow and/or meeting people who you might not have met otherwise grows and strengthens your Twitter community.

If you are new to Twitter or even not on Twitter at all, attending a tweetup can place you on the path to greatly enriching your Twitter experience.

Here are a few reasons why I think that tweetups are so damn cool!


A tweetup is a scheduled get together to give people an opportunity to meet members of their Twitter community in real life (IRL). It’s fun to be able to place a voice to the tweets (and in some cases a face to the avatar) of people you’ve been interacting with virtually.

Shards of Ice

No need to break the ice, its already been shattered. At a tweetup, there is usually no need to struggle with an icebreaker because your timeline provides you with material to discuss. I remember the time I walked into a DCTweetTwine Tweetup at L2 Lounge and was immediately greeted with comments on the Twitpics I had tweeted of my lunch. Without having to think of anything to talk about, I was engaged in conversation about the lunch that I had at Tuscana West during Restaurant week. Here are the photos that garnered all the attention.

Salad at Tuscana West

Main course at Tuscana West

 Dessert at Tuscana West






The Quick Follow

Unlike with LinkedIn or Facebook, which require two actions – (1) an invitation/friend request and (2) invitation acceptance/friend confirmation, Twitter allows a user to “follow” anyone immediately. The follow is one way unless the Twitter account being followed decides to follow back. However, the follower now has an opportunity to initiate a discussion, even if the initial tweet is nothing more than “Enjoyed meeting @ccooks3 at the event”.

The Tweetup Hashtag

Most tweetups have a hashtag associated with them, such as @Sisarina‘s #DCTweetup events. The hashtag helps to build a community around the event. In the days leading up to a tweetup, there are typically several tweets about the event. Tweeps will ask who’s going, mention how they’re looking forward to meeting twitter friends IRL or even comment on how they can’t make it but wish they could. The hashtag is another great post event means of meeting or following up with people.

Tweetup Big Ups

There are three kinds of tweetup big ups or shout outs: pre-tweetup, tweetup and post tweetup. Each one provides you an opportunity to virtually meet and interact with fellow tweeps. These shout outs tend to go hand in hand with the tweetup hashtag mentioned earlier. Some of the tweetup big ups are by virtue of Foursquare check ins.

They all translate into mentions – that’s you big uppin’ or getting big upped by your Tweeps! So give a shout out. Put on a hat, a pair of shades, pretend you’re holding a guitar and do your own Chuck Brown impersonation. Wind me up tweep! Wind me up tweep! Special dedication going out to…

If you don’t have a chance to meet everyone before the end of the tweetup, don’t worry. There will definitely be a series post tweetup tweets the evening of the event as well as the day after, along the lines of “Great to see…” or “Gr8 2 C…”, “Enjoyed meeting…”, “Good catching up w/ …” etc.

Just follow the event hashtag and you’ll have opportunities to virtually meet people that you can look forward to adding to your IRL list at the next tweetup!




Recap: Pseudo-Techies Meetup

Pseudo Techies Meetup

The inaugural Pseudo-Techies Meetup was Thursday, May 12th at Barcode Restaurant, Bar and Lounge (1101 17th St. NW) in Washington, DC.

The event was organized by Hanna Tadesse (@HannaTadesse), Alla Goldman (@AllaGoldman), and Lisa Byrne (@dceventjunkie).

Pseudo-Techies goal is to provide opportunities to collaborate and develop business relationships for non-developers/programmers in the DC Tech community. Although the focus is on “those who don’t code”, everyone is welcome to join the group.

Among those in attendance were @davfalcon@digitalsista, @JustinGutwein, @listentoleon, @murray_tracy, @npersona, and @transportgooru.

The Bivings Group (@bivings) created a #pseudotechies SLURP 140 for the event that is visible here:

Join the Pseudo Techies Meetup to stay in the loop for their monthly happy hours:


Recap: EDGEWORKS Dance Theater’s 10th Anniversary Gala

EDGEWORKS Red Hot & Riot Gala sponsors & underwriters

This past Thursday, May 5th @dance_DC, @WhitneyStringer and I were in attendance for the Red Hot & Riot Gala: Celebrating EDGEWORKS Dance Theater’s 10th Anniversary.  The event took place at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre(641 D St. NW) in Washington, DC.

Founded in 2001 by choreographer, Helanius J. Wilkins, EDGEWORKS Dance Theater (EDT) has performed throughout the United States and internationally.

Gala Special Guests included Pulitzer Prize Journalist Clarence Page (Honorary Chair) News4 anchor Aaron Gilchrist (Master of Ceremonies), and Sarah Massey (Massey Media)

The crowd was treated to a performance by EDGEWORKS that ended with the audience and the performers literally dancing out of the theater and into the reception area.

After the performance attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, drinks and music from a live reggae band.

EDGEWORKS gala appetizers EDGEWORKS gala beverages






Recap: MeatUp4 – The Challenge

Meatup 4 challenge: The 9 pounder at BGR the burger joint
Meatup 4 challenge: The 9 pounder at BGR the burger joint

On Wednesday, May 4th a brave group of souls converged on BGR: The Burger Joint in Dupont Circle for MeatUp 4: The  Challenge.

In one corner was The Champion, a behemoth of a burger: The 9 Pounder (9 pounds of meat, 15.4 pounds total)!

In the other corner, The Contenders: @DArkMEATHOOK @diverightin @handpecked @erikblevins @mcschoon and yours truly, @ccooks3. Supporting the Chow Down 6 were @packersgirl and @ardosi.

BGR patrons as well as passersby stopped to stare in amazement, take pictures of the gargantuan burger or urge the team on.

The MeatUp 4 Team has the 9 Pounder on the ropes
The MeatUp 4 Team has the 9 Pounder on the ropes

Early on, the team was off and running and had the 9 Pounder in trouble.  But the champion fought back off of the ropes to stagger the team, thanks to a few milkshakes that helped to take out a few members.

The remaining members grubbed on to the virtual cheers of several tweeps watching the burger challenge tweets coming through their timeline or following the #MeatUp4 hashtag.

Just like in Rocky 2, in a final salvo, both the MeatUp team and the 9 pounder hit the canvas, only one would get up by the 10 count.

In the end, the chomps turned to chumps as the 9 pound burger edged out the team in a close bout.

But rest assured, there will be a rematch!


Upcoming Event – MeatUp4: The Challenge


This Wednesday, May 4, from 7 – 10pm the fourth MeatUp will take place at BGR: The Burger Joint in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, DC.

The event is organized by @DArkMEATHOOK, @chriskder, @handpecked, @DiveRightIn, @WashingTina, @packersgirl, @dance_DC,  and @ErikBlevins.

This group of cool tweeps is gathering the troops for a team challenge: The 9 Pounder. This BGR burger consists of 9 pounds of meat, 15.4 pounds total, and feeds 10-15 people.

I’ll be there, come on out and meet some of your tweeps!

MeatUp4: The Challenge
Hashtag: #meatup4

BGR: The Burger Joint
1514 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

Previous MeatUps

MeatUp 3: The Search for Sustenance

MeatUp 2: Hunger Never Sleeps

Lets all Meat Up…  –