What Is all The Buzz Talk About Virtual Live Galas?

Virtual Live Galas,  what exactly are they? Virtual Galas are an online gathering of attendees that may allow the participants to interact with the host and each other electronically. A Virtual Fundraising Gala is an all online event where supporters can view a live stream from a “studio” and pledge contributions and /or purchase goods and services in support of any charitable organization of their liking.

Methodology and Types, of Virtual Fundraising Galas will differ at each event and is dependent upon what type of technology the hosting provider decides to use. If a silent auction component is included it would best be performed on a timed mobile bidding platform. A cash appeal sometimes known as a Fund-A-Need segment can be facilitated on a mobile bidding platform as well however could be promoted from the live streaming gala feed.

The Live Segment may be styled in differing ways. The Live Virtual Gala could be modeled like a fundraising telethon where an Emcee in a studio might present the item offered simply by talking about it. In this model “offers” could be presented to the Emcee though a text chat module. We call them offers rather than bids because there is no real way to control how the offers come in, no practical method to report to the attendees the current high offer is and no electronic control over increments or avoiding duplicate offers. Some charities have utilized webinar platforms and Facebook or You Tube streaming technology for this method with some level of success. A critical drawback to this method is latency issues. These platforms were not designed for nanosecond speed and will always cause a broadcast and chat delay of a few seconds and at times as many as 20 seconds. This of course creates real concerns if any type live auction is attempted using this type of technology.

We at Strategic Charity Auctions prefer to utilize Auction Simulcast technology for Live Online Auctions for these reasons:

  1. Simulcast technology was designed for live auctions, that send and receive broadcasting occurs in nano seconds, virtually no delay at all.
  2. A convenient attendee user interface features a streaming view of the auctioneer, Emcee or any other presenter.
  3. Photo(s) of item up for bid is presented on the same screen as the live stream.
  4. The platform features a real bidder applet which reports the current bid, the asking bid and reports to each participant if they are in a winning position or outbid in real time.
  5. The simulcast accepts mouse clicks or mobile phone tap bids in a split second, advancing to next the increment to avoid “tie bids”.
  6. Auctioneer has complete control over setting, changing the bid increment and closing the item to best advantage the event.
  7. Provides a reasonable alternative or an additional component to an assemblage of hundreds of attendees at any given venue.
  8. Simulcast Technology is mature, stable and has been used commercially for several years.

Our Future Vision of Virtual and Hybrid Fundraising Galas: The corona virus pandemic created an overwhelming interest in streaming technology and will affect the way that many people conduct business including nonprofit charitable organizations. It is our vision and hope that once we realize the “new normal” that mobile bidding software and simulcast auction technology are integrated into future live onsite fundraising galas and functions. Simulcast and mobile bidding platforms can accept real time bids both from “the floor” and online bidders.  Think of the advantages of engaging a wider audience of donors / supporters by providing both onsite venue and online participation at your future events. Contact us today to discuss how auction technology might benefit your charity organization.

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