I've been using Yelp! for a little less than a year to find places to eat and thoughts on businesses around me, and now I've been to two of the CMYE events! I got an email from the Tampa Bay community manager inviting me to the Sunday event at Burger 21 because I had recently been there and written a review about it. I was so excited to be included in one of these fun meetups. I see so many of my Tampa blogging friends attend the Elite events, and I'm always a little jealous of the fun they get to have!
The last Yelp! event I attended was at Datz in November, and it was a Livin' La Vida Local event. I don't know all the differences in the events, but I know there's always free food and fun people to hang out with!
This event was particularly fun because Tim was able to come with me to meet a couple of my blogger friends. Because of his working schedule and MBA course load he's often busy during my events, but I was excited that he was off and able to come on Sunday.
The event was at Burger21 in Westchase, which isn't far from where we live. We arrived and checked in, and we found a seat on the patio. Though it was muggy out, it never rained and made for pleasant temperatures to be sitting outside.
When we sat down we found all of the condiments on the table. I'm a sucker for sauces, and this little spread made me want to create something like this at home. I seriously don't forego condiments on anything I eat.
I learned that at CMYE events, much of the food is comped, but not everything is free. We paid for our sodas, but my goodness there was so much free food we were satisfied and didn't even end up eating dinner Sunday night. They were offering cheesy sliders, black and bleu sliders, chicken tenders, and the turkey skinny in terms of main fare. They also were bringing around cups of sweet potato and regular fries.
We knew we liked the food because we eat at Burger 21 a lot, but I'll say I was surprised about how delicious the turkey patty was. It was creamy, moist, and flavorful. I use turkey meat a lot at home, but it always seems to get dry while I'm cooking it. This definitely wasn't dry.
They also brought little milkshake samples, and I tried the strawberry. Tim had one of each, because he loves milkshakes, and his favorite was the bananas foster.
We had so much fun at the event! There wasn't quite enough seating for everyone to have their own table, and we ended up sitting with a couple I'd never met before. We had so much fun talking about their favorite places around Tampa. They're both Yelp elite, and we added each other while we were talking. They've got some serious reviews! I will definitely be checking their profiles next time we're looking for a new restaurant.
Our favorite part of sitting with them was learning about their restaurant crawls they do. They take weekend days and just make their way around different parts of town to cover new restaurants they've never been to. Just the Saturday before they said they had hit up 6 or 8 places in one fowl swoop. I told Tim afterwards that I wanted to plan one of those days!
I also saw Nichole and Jen; Nichole won a free burger a month for the rest of the year because of a tweet during a contest for the event!
And then I had to get a picture with the Yelp sign with Caroline! She and her husband were celebrating exciting news (I don't want to say it here because she hasn't posted it on her blog yet), so she was excited to be out and enjoying the day.
And then, Caroline nominated me for Yelp! elite! I found out yesterday that I was accepted! Now I'll be able to attend all the amazing events they plan around Tampa for the elite crew! I can't wait to be part of the group. To be elite you have to have written 30 reviews, but I don't know what the other requirements are.
Yelp is such a neat website and phone app. If you want to go to these events in your city, just create an account and get writing reviews on their site! They have no idea whether you publish blog posts about your events or not, because a lot of Yelpers aren't bloggers. They just want you to stay active reviewing places and checking on on their site and on the app. The events happen quite frequently, and they're so much fun! The next Tampa one is going to be for anyone with an active account, and Brett (the Tampa Bay community manager) said they're expecting somewhere around 600 people! Isn't that crazy?! I can't wait to find out where it's going to be!
I just feel like I need to mention that this event isn't sponsored or required or paid or anything. I just had fun at the event and feel like it's worth sharing since you can all go to events like this in your cities!
Do you use Yelp for find businesses? Do you write reviews? Have you been to a Yelp event?