Case Study:  How the Yelp Elite Took Over the National Gallery of Art

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Almost everybody thinks of team building as an employee investment.

And for the most part, they are right. For many companies, the goal of team building is to build a stronger and more productive work team that has learned how to communicate and overcome challenges together. Examples of team building activities include Scavenger Hunts, Hacky Hours, and Secret Santa.

But team building isn’t just for employees, it’s for other stakeholders too, including investors, mentors, contractors, suppliers, and more — anyone you want to build a great working relationship with.

That’s why we are thrilled to share the story of Yelp, who brought a group of 20 Elite Yelpers on a fast-paced tour of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. as a fun reward for their contributions to the community. Read below for the full story.

Art makes our guest feel like dancing!

Help For Yelp: The Most Important Asset of Online Review Platforms

For online platforms like Yelp, Facebook, and Quora, users are EVERYTHING — without their dedicated and consistent effort to produce useful content, the website would stagnate. That’s one of the reasons Yelp invests in fun events for their top reviewers, the Yelp Elite, to thank them for their time and effort as the most frequent commenters on their platform.

Earlier this year the team from Yelp got in touch with us to organize an event for 20 of their top Yelp Elite at the National Gallery of Art.  They were a group of Washington D.C. locals who love to explore and find new things to do throughout the city. For Yelp, we were an easy culture fit, and their team quickly committed to a team building tour. The event, and pressure, were on — it was time to plan an event for 20 of the most active critics in the country.

Molly: Swag and Storytelling

Mission: Have a Really, Really, Really Good Time

When companies do employee team building events with us, we often customize their activities to promote company values, mission, culture, etc. But Yelp’s goal for the Yelp Elite team building tour was simple: make sure everyone has a great time at a new and unique experience in D.C. With the museum’s galleries as a backdrop, the tour gave the Yelp Elite a setting to connect with each other in a casual way.

The result? Mission accomplished! We led the Yelp Elite group on a museum adventure that included the fascinating stories behind the art and artists, juicy gossip about the National Gallery, fun activities like “Buy, Burn, Steal”, and lot’s of fun photos. While a handful of Yelpers were outgoing from the start, many were introverted. By the middle of the tour, everyone was fully engaged, interacting, and building new friendships. Win!

Hannah and Molly getting the Yelp Elite group ready at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Check out these great testimonials from the Yelp Elite, and read the full set of reviews on Yelp.

Nury G. said, “I wish there were more than 5 stars to rate this event.”

I wish there were more than 5 stars to rate this event.

As always, thank you soo much Kim for such a fantastic idea.

Granted, I’m a bit biased because the National Gallery of Art happens to be my favorite museum in DC. Now I definitely have more of a reason to say it is.

Molly, our guide, was so much fun, but more importantly, very knowledgeable. She is definitely responsible for my gratitude to Andrew Mellon and his generosity and for believing DC could be known for great art. After this tour, I also have a lot more appreciation for Degas’ little dancer.

Out tour was interactive, we made up stories, and even found new friend for Van Gogh. Molly had a polaroid camera that captured us in our best attempt to pose like Mercury 🙂

Thank you Yelp! And Thank you Kim for an awesome event.

Power moves and poses: Yelp Elite comes on tour

Katherine L. said, “This was probably my favourite Elite event to date.”

Hack this – museum goers!!! This tour was such fun with Molly – an unabashed proverbial self-professed art nerd taking us around to provide background to the art, the artists and the melodramatic history from then and now! Who knew there could be this much action-packed fun in just 2 hours?

Usually, I passively walk about the galleries here and am in my own head and just impressed with what I see. With Molly, I was intrigued by the aesthetic and the historic. It was so interesting to walk around in here with this energetic guide providing such detail and fun-fact-filled stories! Who knew that the NYTimes created such controversy for the art world??

I have a new found appreciation for art. This is the point of Museum Hack- to make it more interactive and to spark more interest. No more boring carry along talking electronic wrist swinging guides… This is the way to go: mix in a few fun photo and live-physical challenges related to the art and the time periods.  Voila!  Instant entertainment with educational value for art appreciation!

With so much knowledge, I know that I will plan another Museum Hack tour. It was awesome for Kimberly to organize this and fabulous to be so well taken care of by Museum Hacker Molly! This was probably my favorite Elite event to date. Hands down (or down and up: mu-seum!)!!!

Who posed best? You decide! Posing at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

And Lauren C. said, “Loved loved LOVED this event!”

Loved loved LOVED this event! Museum Hacks was such a fun experience.  

Molly created a fun modern museum tour that kept us highly entertained.  She told fun back stories about the artists that really brought history to life.  The two hours passed by so quickly – I wish the tour was longer!  

Museum Hacks makes going to the museum fun again.  The typical tour tends to drag on and packs you so full of dates and facts that history just seems like… history.  Molly was upbeat and refreshing.  She talked to us like a friend telling us a story about something that happened.  It was informative and put a modern twist on the typical tour.

I left there with a new appreciation of art and would definitely be interested in checking out another tour with them!

Muuuuuseums! Yelp Elite doing a team cheer at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

And here is an email we received from the Yelp team that organized the tour with us.

Thanks for checking in — here is the recap email that I sent over to the team but on a personal note, I had a blast! You really have such an amazing team and their enthusiasm is catching.

First off, thanks to you for making Yelp’s Museum Hack at the National Gallery of Art a huge success. Everyone had a wonderful time and I spend all of the latter part of my information Wikipedia-ing all of the awesome art and stories I heard!

Even though the event was a few hours ago the reviews for the event have already started pouring in and I wanted to share a few snippets with you:

“Hack this museum goers!!! This tour was such fun with Molly ashamed e proverbial self-professed art nerd taking us around to provide background to the art, the artists and the melodramatic history from then and now! Who knew there could be this much action-packed fun in just 2 hours?” – Katherine L.

“It was definitely an experience that I couldn’t have gotten on my own. The full two hours were busy, and they pulled every trick in the book to make it active and interactive. A lot of history was interspersed in there, but it was digestible. They said at the end that they could do another tour without repeating anything, and I’m inclined to believe them.” – John B.

Museum Hacks makes going to the museum fun again.  The typical tour tends to drag on and packs you so full of dates and facts that history just seems like… history.  Molly was upbeat and refreshing.  She talked to us like a friend telling us a story about something that happened.  It was informative and put a modern twist on the typical tour. – Lauren C.

To read the other reviews in full visit (I expect more to pour in the next few days) http://www.yelp.com/biz/yelps-museum-hack-at-the-at-the-national-gallery-of-art-washington

Thank you again and I hope this is the start of a long partnership to come.

Tableau Vivant with the Yelp Elite team at the National Gallery

Want to do a Fun Team Building Tour With Museum Hack?

We love hosting companies at the world’s best museums. Our offerings include Team Building Tours, Hacky Hours, Scavenger Hunts, and more — and every team building event is customized just for you. Want info and pricing? Get in touch with the form below and our concierge will follow up ASAP. The call is no pressure and not sales-y.

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