Exclusive Interview with WineTwits Founder Stephen Gilberg on Spit and Twit

Stephen gilbergI had the pleasure of attending the Spit & Twit wine tasting yesterday hosted by City Winery and WineTwits. A column on the event will be running in MediaPost’s Social Media Insider, which includes a bit of the interview with WineTwits founder Stephen Gilberg. The full interview runs exclusively here:

David Berkowitz: What exactly makes Spit & Twit different from other wine &
spirits events you’ve been a part of?

Stephen Gilberg: The level of interactivity I saw at the event was amazing
and unprecedented.  People were following other people’s notes in real
time (both via their hand held devices and onscreen) and you could see traffic
flow to certain tables as the wines at those tables were being talked about.

Now, searching through WineTwits.com after the event, all of this interaction
and information lives on as a resource for both those attending and not
attending. A typical event provides no means of openly sharing your notes
both online and onscreen, in real time.  Check out all of these notes
entered by @HDL: http://www.winetwits.com/tweets?user_id=34451

Here is the Spit & Twit page: http://www.winetwits.com/events/1311

Ultimately what made this event different, IMHO, was the tasting platform
powered by both WineTwits LIVE and WineTwits MOBILE.

DB: Did you find the crowd there was more interested in spitting or
twitting?

SG: Definitely a mix. I found that the crowd was very interactive and open
to talking, chatting, twitting and tasting. The event logged nearly 400
tweets and growing!

DB: For these kinds of gatherings, do you find Twitter to be especially
important during the initial promotion and buildup, during the event itself, or
afterwards?

SG: It’s definitely a learning process and its going to change as the market
develops, but utilizing Twitter & Facebook are central to the event’s
success.  You still need to reach out to traditional media to attract
consumers. Email blasts are important as well. The next day the
event lives on as people are still tweeting about it, and it’s now a resource on
WineTwits.com that will continue to grow.

DB: Are these kinds of events just for active tweeters? Or do you find that they
pull in new people to participate with Twitter or other social channels that
might be involved?

SG: These events are definitely not just for active tweeters.  I do know
the event definitely helped to drive home adoption of twitter use and really
got people talking about Twitter and how they use it for business and personal.

Thanks Steve for the wine and event and social media insights. You can find him on Twitter at @winetwits.