On the evening of January 12, amidst unseasonably nice weather, the dedicated team behind GoKunming put on the sixth annual Best of Kunming Awards Gala. The night featured the recognition of the 15 winning businesses and travel destinations, as voted for by the Kunming community in December.
We began with a quick rundown of the event's schedule and also explained how attendees could win any one of the 28 lucky draw prizes — worth a combined 50,000 yuan — prepared in cooperation with our sponsors.
Highlights included the beta-launch of the website GoLijiang, our continuing collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organization and a preview of a 12-episode travel television show called Yunnan: The China You Never Knew that we plan to release soon.
Then it was time to begin giving out the awards in our 15 categories, a complete list of which can be found here. There were new faces, old stalwarts and a few surprises.
Co-hosts Vera van de Nieuwenhof and Joanne Miao anchored the evening, breezing through the program in a tidy 90 minutes. Along the way, the two dance troupes, Kunming Tango Meeting and Salsa 5, engaged with the audience and kept things festive. They were backed up by our sound team, DJ Yiyun and Philippe Semanaz.
Local tavern Wooden Paradise provided expertly made drinks and, for the first time at the awards, tasty victuals.
Around 250 people attended The Best of Kunming Awards Gala this year, meaning each person had around a one-in-ten chance of winning a prize. We began by giving away calligraphy classes from Kunming National Institute of Confucian Culture.
Other prizes included stays at SilkTree Hotel, Songtsam resort in Shangri-la, the Hilton Garden Inn Shangri-la, Moon & Chalice Boutique Hotel and Angsana Xishuangbanna. We also handed out bottles of Italian wine provided by As You Like, Prosecco from Sapore Italia, Dali Bar energy bars and drinks, fresh-roasted coffee from Brooklyn Pizzeria and tickets to two Yang Liping shows, Dynamic Yunnan and Peacock of Winter.
Thanks are also due to the ACMEC Conference Center and Yunnan Chengming Advertising Cultural Industry Park Management and Development Company for providing the venue. Thank you as well to Barfly, Cantina, Salvador's Coffee House and Turtle Club for helping us sell advance tickets for the evening.
All in all, it was a wonderful night made possible by the collaborative effort and hard work of dozens of people. Thank you to all of our sponsors and performers, as well as those who attended and everyone who took the time to vote for their favorites on GoKunming.
Special thanks to Crystal Zhao and Su Yi for tying together all of the loose ends, Joanne and Vera for hosting with grace, to Rene Xu for creating all of the design work needed for the event, Tang Min for for making sure everything was on the up and up, Giorgio Giacomelli and Michael Premo for shooting the event, Rita Huang for creating our travel show promo video, Alexandra Vasilyeva and Magic for taking photos.
If you'd like to see even more pics from the night, check out our album on Facebook. We can't wait until next year. See you then!