What to pack/bring to a tweetup

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Definitive Tweetup Attendee Gear List

Are you heading to a day-long or multi-day event where you anticipate using social media to document and share the experience with friends, family and followers? Perhaps you have been selected to attend a formal tweetup event, such as an upcoming NASA Social (@NASASocial), ESA Space Tweetup (@social4space), Space Camp Tweetup (@SpaceCampUSA), or similar? Whatever the situation, you’ll want to arrive prepared, and the best way to do that is to develop a gear list. This is my attempt at providing a definitive tweetup attendee gear list that you can whittle down, as needed, to suit your situation.

NOTE: “Bring half of what you think you need, and twice as much money” is a humorous, but effective, guide to packing, especially if you’re a gadget geek. You only have two hands, so maybe you don’t need to pack your laptop, iPhone, iPad and Amazon Kindle! As for bringing twice as much money as you think you need, that definitely applies anytime you visit a location with a well-stocked giftshop!

Standard Travel Essentials (Non-Electronics)

Electronics / Geek Gear (Not a comprehensive list)

Networking & Personal Items

If You Have Access to Your Car (such as at a Kennedy Space Center NASATweetup)

Formal, organized tweetup events, such as NASA Tweetups held at Kennedy Space Center and other NASA centers, provide attendees with seating, access to powerstrips or recharging stations, and wi-fi. Bear in mind that the wi-fi and cellular network can and does get bogged down during periods of heavy usage, so you may find yourself drafting tweets or posts to send later.

Above all else, enjoy the experience and meet as many people as you can. The most rewarding take-away from a successful tweetup is to have shared time with a diverse collective of talented and passionate people who share some of the same interests as yourself.

Tips for KSC Tweetups

Tips sent from Sheila Adams (STS-133 NASATweetup alumnus)

Reminders: - Get a good picture of you in front of the shuttle on the launch pad. Can be used for an avatar later. Also, this will be the closest you will get than others! - It's easier to tweet on the first day, less press and all. Launch day the bandwidth goes down. Take more pics than sending out tweets on launch day. - I believe you will get a pass for the Visitors Center. It may be good for several days until the launch day (may be good afterwards too). If you get to the Visitors' Center, get a shirt that says (I was there). Also, you can get a letter mailed to you on the launch date. Ask at the counter about it. I got mine upstairs. Also, check to see if there are astronauts doing autographs. Each day, there may be different ones there.

Launch Day - Wear something bright (yellow or orange) so others can find you in the pics. I stood on the side near the count down clock (but not in front of it). Get a shot of you in the T-minus time and then don't forget T-plus time! - The flag for Atlantis will be up on the flag pole. When the Discovery mission got scrubbed, it got pulled down. - Head into the media building at some point on launch day. Look for the booklets for the Atlantis on the side wall by one of the doors and grab one. At this point, I think the press have all the info they want, so why let them go to waste. You can go in, but obviously be respectful of the workers. I was surprised to see the chairs in there. They look like they are from the Apollo days. - Walk around the tents of the broadcasters. More than likely, you will find celebs, former astronauts, etc. I met Bill Nye there. He gave me a sound byte for my kids Earth Day project. Have paper for autographs too. - I had a sign that wished the astronauts a safe journey from my students for their drive by to the launch pad. The astrovan will stop in front of the building to let off some other astronauts/workers then go on their way. Not sure what time that will be for you. Bring a flashlight if it's early? - Bring snacks, and water. There's no food there. You can go back to your car during the time there. - Bring the code for the wireless on a piece of paper, much easier if you have to reenter it.

- Enjoy!

Sheila @Sheila_A

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