From the Beginning
posted by FlyersRule
“What IS a Habs Tweetup?”
“Why are Habs Tweetups so popular?”
“I’m not sure I’d be comfortable attending an event where I don’t know anyone.”
“There’s a Habs Tweetup happening near me, but I’m a (insert other NHL team name) fan. I won’t be welcome.”
These are just a few of the questions or comments we regularly hear from folks who are intrigued by the Habs Tweetup concept. Maybe you’re one of those people who are thinking about joining the fun? Or perhaps you’ve attended a Habs Tweetup in the past and just want to learn more about these unique gatherings? Whatever the reason, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s take a look back at how the Habs Tweetup movement got started and where it’s heading in the future! (Oh and of course we’ll answer those questions listed above, too!)
During the 2009 playoffs, the NHL issued a challenge for people to organize local get-togethers for fans, and as the most popular Canadiens’ blog on Twitter, the team at All Habs jumped at the opportunity to show just how enthusiastic Canadian/Canadiens fans can be! The first ever Habs Tweetup was held on April 16th that year.
Although it was a short playoff run for the Habs, the Habs Tweetup brought together a committed core of people motivated to continue this new trend. All Habs had a vision for the next step: to bring together fans from all over North America, relying solely on Twitter contacts, to assemble in Montreal for the 2009 NHL Amateur Draft.
What began as an idea soon blossomed into a full-fledged, weekend-long event which included free tickets to the draft for Habs Tweetup participants (procured by All Habs after working to get support and endorsement from the NHL), a group breakfast and the tweetup itself at Ye Olde Orchard, and an epic USA vs Canada ball hockey game held in the Field House at McGill University.
Ably assisted by @kyleroussel, @metricjulie and @amandafortier (who later became known as the Montreal Fab Four), the first NHL Amateur Draft Habs Tweetup was a smashing success. More than fifty people from all over the Twitter-verse attended the various activities…and not just Montrealers! Folks traveled from Ottawa, Toronto, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Texas and even California.
In addition to the aforementioned activities, All Habs worked with Hockey Fights Cancer to acquire donations of autographed merchandise to give away as prizes in a fundraising raffle benefiting the Hockey Fights Cancer cause. Donations also came in from the Montreal Canadiens and from the Hockey Hall of Fame. Some autographs were even obtained in person as many attendees found themselves rubbing elbows over the course of the weekend with the “who’s who” of the NHL.
The first Draft Tweetup is still fondly mentioned today and was the foundation for many lasting Twitter friendships. Since then Habs Tweetups have become a staple for Twitter followers. Most often they’re held in Montreal, but have also taken place in Toronto, Vancouver, Moncton and in the US in Connecticut, San Jose and South Florida.
So if you’re considering coming out to a Habs Tweetup for the first time, don’t hesitate! You’ll be made to feel welcome as soon as you arrive and you’ll leave with a whole new group of friends eager to get together again. And don’t worry if you’re not actually a Habs fan – we enjoy meeting hockey fans from all across the league!
The Montreal Canadiens have one of the most committed fanbases in sports and a Habs Tweetup can happen anywhere Habs fans gather! If you need help getting one started, just contact us by clicking on the “Host a Habs Tweetup” tab at the top of the page. See you soon in a city near you! Go Habs Go!