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Snapshot: Best of Kunming Awards Ceremony

By in Features on

During the last two months of 2013, GoKunming users first nominated, and then voted for, their favorite local businesses. People could vote in two ways — on the website itself and for the first time, via WeChat. The number of ballots cast across both platforms was unprecedented — nearly ten times as many as were cast in 2012.

As the results rolled in, we here at the site decided such high levels of interest necessitated recognition of some sort. This led us to plan the first ever Best of Kunming Awards Ceremony.

The event was held the evening of January 6 at Alei Lounge Club & Tapas Bar. It was attended by representatives from all nine winning businesses, who received awards and commemorative plaques. Over one hundred supporters, friends and hangers-on joined in the festivities, which included speeches by China's greatest outdoorsman, Jin Feibao (金飞豹), and local media mogul Zhang Zhen (张臻).

In addition to the awards ceremony and general revelry, GoKunming CEO Yereth Jansen and co-owner Adrian Golobic gave attendees a sneak peak at the website redesign, which is planned to be operational later this week. Tommy Hung and Alyssa Li elucidated our plans for the future in a short speech entitled A New Perspective, which doubles as GoKunming's new motto.

The night was a resounding success and we plan to duplicate and expand ceremonies next year. Below are some sights and scenes from evening. Thank you to everyone who made the event possible and everyone who attended as well. And of course, congratulations to all of the winners.

Linda Lin, owner and founder of Wonders of Yunnan Travel, outside of the awards ceremony on the red carpet.

Alyssa Li, Yereth Jansen and Adrian Golobic give an introductory speech before the awards ceremony got underway.

The owners and employees of Lost Garden Guesthouse and Restaurant watch over the proceedings. They took home the award for Best Guesthouse.

Selman Pataudi and Ma Xi (马曦), owners of Vervo, receive the award for Best Nightclub from Zhang Zhen and Adrian Golobic.

The table of Sapore Italia, who graciously provided bottles of Prosecco for all of the winners. They also led the dance party at the end of the night.

Jin Feibao hands out the award for Best Minority Cuisine, which was won, once again, by Yingjiang Dai Restaurant just off of Green Lake Park.

Yereth Jansen and Alyssa Li unveil the new design and concept for GoKunming at the Best of Kunming Awards Ceremony.

Tommy Hung and Alyssa Li elaborate on the ideas behind A New Perspective, and explain the new concepts and features GoKunming rolled out during the evening.

Attendees of the inaugural Best of Kunming Awards ceremony pose for a picture during a break in the action.

Dos Amigos and Friends played several sets during the evening, including a rousing acoustic cover of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Rosie Zhang (far right), principal of Kunming Huayang Academy for Language and Culture, and two coworkers, accept the award for Best Mandarin School.

GoKunming co-owner Adrian Golobic gives a brief introduction before more awards are handed out.

Kris Ariel and Colin Flahive accept two awards for Salvador's Coffee House. Ariel adamantly reminded the crowd he suggested the name for GoKunming, thus saving it from being called kunminginfo.com.

Employees from O'Reilly's Irish Pub react after receiving the award for Best Bar.

Representatives from Green Lake Hotel receive the final award of the night for Best Hotel from Yereth Jansen.

Images: William Bayliss and William Gray (who can be reached at willgray[at]hotmail[dot]com)

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Does a tenfold increase in voting cause any suspicions? Were all the voters GoK members? Anyhow, congratulations to the winners and it looks like a well-organised event. Looking forward to the revamped website.

Agree with Ocean.

Also, looking forward to the new site!

Was BillDan handing out the awards?

The spike in voting was directly attributable to us encouraging people to vote via WeChat. This is the first year we explained the voting procedures in Chinese. Voters participating in this way were required to follow GoKunming's WeChat official account. This was to ensure one person could not vote multiple times. Voting was not limited solely to people with registered GoKunming accounts, as we were trying not to exclude any part of the community. As far as we know, BillDan was not involved.

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