Last week in Chicago, we had the best time working with our partner Yappem, a new shopping rewards website and app, to throw one heckofa party for bloggers. Or really, an awesome party. In fact, it was called the Awesome Party. And you can kind of see why.

the awesome party chicago | cool mom tech

cool mom tech and yappem at the awesome party

[After the jump, see our fun party photos and learn how to win big on Yappem just for talking about the brands and products you talk about anyway.]

Along with our friends at One 2 One Network, we took over the gorgeous Crystal Garden at Navy Pier until the wee hours.

crystal garden at navy pier | cool mom tech

That may have had something to do with incredible guests, food worth breaking a diet for (hello, salted caramel cotton candy on LED glow sticks from Spin Spun?), a DJ who got everyone on the dance floor, a lot of fun playing with the Yappem mobile app–and at the end, designer raffle prizes from the kinds of brands you can discuss and engage with through the Yappem platform, from Apple and Coach to Samsung and Manolo Blahnik.

yappem cool mom tech awesome party

cool mom tech yappem awesome party

cool mom tech awesome party with yappem

It was the perfect blend of techie fun, and real life bonding sans phones, as you can tell. (And hilarious to see what everyone said they’d spend $12k on should they win, which they plastered across a board in big colorful sticky notes.)

cool mom tech yappem awesome party photos

yappem party with cool mom tech

cool mom tech yappem chicago party

For us, the best part might have been giving away two $12,000 shopping sprees. Also some Louboutins. And Michael Kors bags. And a Samsung Galaxy Tab. But especially those big checks.

cool mom tech yappem party winners

One of the things we like about Yappem is how fun and addictive the platform can be. It’s based on the premise of giving all people a voice to talk about the brands you like–and don’t like–and to be rewarded for doing just that, with Yappem coins that you can trade in for gift cards from popular stores and retailers.

Nice touch: The cards are sent digitally right to my Gyft app which I already use anyway.

Basically, it’s about gamifying shopping–“gamify” being the hot retail buzzword these days. To earn coins you engage with other users, or to earn a lot of coins at once, you can complete “missions” like sharing a recent Target store experience, recommending a kids’ toy or posting a photo of your latest shoe fetish, each with its own hashtag. It’s pretty easy–and we have our own Zappos gift cards to show for it already. (Whoo!)

yappem app | cool mom tech

yappem brand communities | cool mom tech

yappem community posts | cool mom tech

Obviously you need to be the type of person who’s really into earning freebies and sharing shopping experiences and haul photos, but if you are, this will be up your alley. Plus it’s a good way to just find new products, or ask a community to help you decide between two things you’re struggling with, from which next Netflix series to watch, to which HTC phone to buy.

Now it is a new platform, so the guys behind it are very responsive and truly appreciate feedback. In fact, you can earn 100 coins just for giving them suggestions, whether about functionality or anything, really; I asked for a way to promote favorite non-profits. Turns out they were alredy working on it.

And to everyone who came out for the party…you all were what really made it awesome. Even more than designer shoes. Thank you. -Liz + Kristen

Log onto Yappem through the website, or download the Yappem mobile app for iOS or Yappem for Android and starting earning coins to redeem for gift cards. (If you’re on another platform, you can work right through your phone browser.) And thanks to Yappem for being such a fun sponsor to work with!

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