I’ve always known about Google Places and it has helped me explore restaurants and bars in the City.  But besides reading the reviews from Google Places members, I never once thought to share my experience on the website until now.

Google has come up with a way to make your reviews benefit you.  I follow Southern Hospitality on Twitter and noticed a tweet about a Google Places free happy hour.  I assumed it was in relation to Social Media Week so I decided to attend in hopes to network and snack on some barbeque sliders.  However, I gain so much more from this happy hour.  I learn that Google has a community group in New York City and they host free events with the partnership of local businesses in the City.  The catch to attending the free events and winning prizes is to actively submit Google Places reviews.

I met with a group of active reviewers and they shared with me all the free things they have won with Google Places.  Some have won gift cards, shopping sprees and tickets to a Broadway show.  Others have been able to win a spot on a bus crawl to the best pizza and ice cream spots or win a 5-course meal to restaurants.  After listening to their enthusiasm about this program, I knew that I must sign-up.  The benefits for me will be to meet new people and trying new things for FREE.  I was also told that Zagat has a similar program.

The group told me to sign up ASAP so that I could enter the contest to win a seat a Midnight Brunch.  I entered the contest and began to review immediately and I won a ticket.  Tonight I will be dining with other winners for a Brazilian Carnaval experience.  Midnight Brunch is an exclusive supper club and is well known for its dining experience hosted by Emily Cavalier who is the founder and chef of the club.

 Look for my post tomorrow on my 1st Midnight Brunch experience but in the meantime: Follow @GoogleNYC,  Like Google New York and sign up for the newsletter so that you can start winning, too.

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