Behind the Scenes of Yelp's Coveted Elite Event
In this day in age, when a strand of anonymous hair is found in one's food, there is a knee-jerk reaction to report it on Yelp. But since the Broward-Palm Beach Yelp launched last March, the user-generated review site can be more than a catharsis to restaurant debacles, in fact nowadays it's just like any other social network -- except you have the chance to actually meet your fellow Yelp comrades the old-fashioned way, face-to-face (gasp!).
Over acrylic paints and red wine, Yelp held an event last night for its Elite Yelpers at Painting with a Twist. While it was explained that becoming an Elite Yelper is more attainable than the name sounds, it was also mentioned that each person in the room was chosen for his or her panache, or "it" factor as the Yelp team likes to call it.
The fourth event held under the newly-launched Broward Palm Beach community, almost 50 of Yelp's most highly-recognized reviewers attended to mingle with others that have as much to say as they do.
Amid the tweeting and instagramming (#YelpPaints), reviewers tied on their aprons and began their art lesson, a silhouette of palm trees in front of an ocean horizon at sunset. Slightly reminiscent of elementary school art class, everyone acknowledged that this wasn't your typical event. "It's different from the other events so far," Brenda P. points out. "The others have been at restaurants. Here we can stand up, walk around, and talk to more people."
However, as Monica S. puts it -- she's actually Yelp's director of marketing for the Southeast U.S. -- it's a common misconception to assume that only restaurants are reviewed on Yelp. "While it seems like a foodie mecca where all these new restaurants are being opened and reviewed, only a small percentage of what is reviewed on Yelp is restaurants. You can review anything." It turns out shopping is the largest category on Yelp.