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If you’re a Twitter fan, you might wonder what all the tweets bearing the ‘#oxsconeoff’ hashtag are about.

WORD-right scone practice!

WORD-right scone practice!

#oxsconeoff is the Twitter tag used to announce the one and only, now world famous, Scone Baking Competition, being held at 2pm on Bank Holiday Monday (May 3rd) at Fallowfields Hotel, Kingston Bagpuize, Oxfordshire!

No doubt you were taught as a child not to eavesdrop … but this is exactly what I did on Twitter a couple of months ago, and look where it got me!  There was a ‘conversation’ going on between Anthony Lloyd (@FallowfieldsUK) and Tracey Jefferies (@TraceyJefferies) on the subject of scones.  I happened to see this and tweeted saying ‘must make some scones – haven’t made them in ages’.  And the dye was cast!  Anthony Lloyd set us up for a scone-making competition at the Community Day on May 3rd at his Oxfordshire hotel.  The competition hotted up when Sarah Steel (@nurserysarah) got involved.  Fortunately she is now back from her extended holiday in Cyprus, courtesy of the volcanic ash, but it was a near thing!

Home-made scone

Scone with whipped cream & WORD-right's home-made bramble jelly

Needless to say, all 3 contestants are canvassing votes on Twitter from their supporters.  Perhaps next we should take on the politicians and form an #Oxsconeoff Party in time for Thursday’s election!  Of course my fellow competitors won’t stand a chance, and if you check out the pictures you’ll see what they’re up against.  Just don’t tell them … OK?

The event, which runs from 11am until 5pm, is an action-packed day out for all the family.   Local radio station JackFM will be there to join in the fun.  Among the attractions are a host of stalls, guided tours round the Fallowfields Farm, Falconry Displays, and a fun dog show.  There is a small entrance fee on the day, with the proceeds going to charity.

The highlight of course will be the scone-making competition, with the audience being roped in for some tasting and voting.  No doubt there will be much nobbling of judges going on through out the morning, before we get down to the challenge … with jam and cream at 20 paces.

So what do you do next?  Take yourself and the family along to Fallowfields Hotel on Monday and join in the fun.  Oh … and don’t forget to vote for me (@WORDright)!

And … if you’re wondering what all this has to do with marketing a business … I’m a firm believer in raising our profile in the local area, be that with scones or anything else (providing it’s legal, moral and decent, of course!).

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Much has been written about the Oxfordshire Tweet-up held at Fallowfields Hotel on Monday 18th January, so I thought it was time I added my twopenn’orth.

The networking event was organised by Anthony Lloyd, owner of Fallowfields and passionate Twitter enthusiast, and Kevin O’Brien from Abingdon’s Web Power. It was thought to be the first large-scale business Tweet-up to be held in Oxfordshire and some 50 people attended.

So what was different about this event?  After all, it was just another networking meeting … right?  Wrong!  The atmosphere and the dynamics of the group were totally different to any other networking event I’ve been to.  Here was a roomful of complete strangers, greeting each other like old friends.  While most had never met in the flesh, relationships had already been forged in the virtual world of Twitter.  Newbury dentist Richard Charon, summed it up perfectly in his blog by referring to people as his ‘Twitter buddies’.

Fallowfields pie

Supper at Fallowfields - picture courtesy of Tim Kirby

The Tweet-up would have been a real eye-opener to anyone who doubts the effectiveness of social networking.  There were no barriers, just a lot of positive networking, punctuated by much laughter and good humour. From a business perspective, it was a very positive experience for me and I went home feeling like I’d spent the evening at a great party!

This post wouldn’t be complete without mention of the fabulous supper laid on by Fallowfields.  Monday is the legendary ‘pie night’ at Fallowfields so we were treated to a choice of 3 delicious pies, aptly renamed for the occasion as ‘Tweetpies’!

I’m looking forward, like all the rest of my Twitter buddies, to the next Tweet-up and would like to thank Anthony and Kevin for making it all possible.

Instead of the usual ‘is there a doctor in the house’, the call was for a dentist at the first Oxfordshire and Berks ‘Tweet-up’, held last night (Monday 18 January) at Fallowfields Hotel, Kingston Bagpuize.  The event was the first large-scale business Twitter get-together to be held in the area and was attended by 50 local business people.

During supper, Newbury dentist and Twitter enthusiast Richard Charon, was called to the phone.  Karen-Louise Allen, one of the local radio Jack FM team who should have attended the event, had called to say she couldn’t make it.  She had accidentally swallowed a dental crown and was there a dentist in the house!  Karen-Louise wasn’t registered with a dentist and Richard’s Newbury practice was too far away.  However, a room full of business people skilled in networking, brought the power of Twitter to her rescue.  Members were asked for referrals for an Oxford dentist who would see Karen-Louise the next day.

Richard Charon comments, “People’s reaction to Karen’s mishap is typical of the Twitter community.  Everyone rallied round to help and in seconds we had the name of a possible Oxford dentist for Karen.  There was a lot of laughter and good humour, but that and helping other people is what Twitter is about.”

Twitter, the online social networking phenomenon, has a strong membership in Oxfordshire and surrounding areas.  The Tweet-up was the brainchild of Anthony Lloyd, owner of Fallowfields Hotel (http://www.fallowfields.com)   and Kevin O’Brien of Web Power (http://www.web-power.co.uk).  A dedicated online portal was created where Twitter

Fallowfields Dexter beef 'Twitter pie'

Fallowfields Dexter beef 'Twitter pie'

members could book their places.  With the viral nature of Twitter, news of the event spread quickly.  The meeting was held in the Fallowfields’ marquee and, after some informal networking, the guests sat down to enjoy supper, with a choice of three ‘Twitter Pies’ on the menu.

“I’m passionate about Twitter” said Anthony Lloyd, co-organiser of the Oxfordshire Tweet-up.  “This is the first Twitter get-together to be held in the county and it’s been a great success.  Not everyone who attended is a Twitter member, but I don’t think it will be long before they join.  It was good to see so many people who have only ever spoken on Twitter, greeting each other like old friends.  It is very positive for the business community.  Everyone is keen to meet up again and I think the Oxfordshire Tweet-up is set to become a regular event in the local business networking calendar.”

– ends –

Note to Editors

Fallowfields (http://www.fallowfields.com) is a country house hotel in Kingston Bagpuize with over 300 years of history. Once the home of the Begum Aga Khan, Fallowfields offers luxury accommodation set in 12 acres of grounds.

The hotel boasts its own kitchen garden which supplies the restaurant with pesticide-free home-grown fruit and vegetables.  The hotel’s farm is home to Dexter cattle, rare-breed pigs, chickens and ducks which provide much of the meat on the restaurant’s menu.

Richard Charon (http://www.newburysmilemakers.com) is the Dental Practice Principal of Richard Charon at Newbury Smilemakers.  He specialises in treating anxious and phobic people using Dental Sedation techniques.  Richard also trains dentists in Dental Sedation in both Britain and Ireland.

For more information, please contact:

Anthony Lloyd, Fallowfields Hotel
Tel: 01865 820416
Email: anthony@fallowfields.com

Joy McCarthy, WORD-right
Tel: 01608 642845
Email joy@word-right.co.uk

www.word-right.co.uk

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