Monday, July 5, 2010

Virgin America Launch Party

As most of you may know, I've started this food blog merely three months ago. I've always been passionate about food, whether it is eating it, cooking it, baking it, or just simply taking pictures of it. I used to post all my food pictures on Facebook, and I did it so frequently that some of my friends suggested that I should just start a food blog  (they were probably sick of getting my Facebook update alerts). My food blog quickly became my hobby, and never did I think that I would get anything from it besides the satisfaction of writing and updating my blog.

However, my first so-called "freebie" was an invitation from Spotlight Toronto for me to participate in the Stratford Culinary Tour back in May (if you haven't checked out my blog series about it, see the first post here). You wouldn't believe my excitement, to think that only after one month of starting my food blog, I was already given a chance to learn more about food. The best part about the Stratford culinary tour though was really meeting other food loveres. Through the Stratford trip and Twitter, I have also met other foodies and friends.

Imagine my excitement when I got an email two weeks ago from Klout, an analytics service that tracks users’ influence on Twitter, informing me that because I have "so much Klout", Virgin America is offering me a free round-trip flight to either Los Angeles or San Francisco! I was totally ecstatic since again, it has only been three months that I've started blogging and been on Twitter. Is this too good to be true?  My first reaction was "is this a scam?". Well the answer is "no" because I've already booked my ticket  to Los Angeles for 9 days in August! I can't wait to try out this plane (wide black leather Recaro seats, mood lighting, free inflight wi-fi).

Here's a short background of this Virgin America / Klout campaign.

Virgin America has always been known for using social media for marketing, hence, to promote its Toronto flight (its first extension out of the States), it has partnered out with Klout to give away free tickets to social media influencers. Klout finds influencers that are right for the brand and campaign using a Klout Score (a metric of overall influence and tracks over 25 variables), 
a topical score (evaluates people who are the most influencial in a given topic), and also location. 

Besides the free ticket, I was also invited to the Virgin America Launch Party last week at Thompson Hotel.

Open bar all night.

A list of signature cocktails.

Summer (@summer_luu) and I.

My feeble attempt at making this post still food related haha. Believe me there were tons of food there (i.e lamb chops, sliders, salmon tartare canapes and many more), but I managed to only get one picture - I was too busy mingling and walking around.

Sir Richard Branson, owner of Virgin America. He was swarmed by tons of people the whole night - I gave up trying to get a picture with him. 

There were quite a few celebs there although I didn't get a chance to see all of them because I was late (or just happen to be somewhere else when they showed up). Celebs include: Russel Peters, Ryan Cabrera (actor), Stacey Keibler (actress), Giles Marini (actor from Sex and the City), Brian Burke (Maple Leafs GM), Cheryl Burke (Dancing with the Stars), Eric Roberts (brother of Julia Roberts). Probably some others too. Drake was supposed to be there that night but he never showed up =(

Me, Summer, and Jo (@clickflickca)

The Twitter / Klout crew on the red carpet.

Thanks again to Klout and Virgin America for my free flight! =D