It is essential that you and your team put as much effort into getting people to your live stream as you would have getting them to a physical event. Take our word for it, nothing is worse than putting time and energy into an event that no one attends.

Here are a few suggestions for you and your volunteers:

  • Call everyone. Have someone from your team or a volunteer call every person who has ever been involved with your organization. This helps create some of that personal connection that can sometimes get lost in a virtual event. Make sure they know when your event is and ask them if they plan on attending. Ask them to invite people they know. 
  • Get other people to share your event on social media. It is not enough to simply share a link on your organizations social media page. Most social media posts get lost in algorithms unless there is enough activity connected to it. If you want people to see it, it needs to come from their personal friend’s page, not just your organization’s.
  • Have a silent auction. We strongly encourage events to have a silent auction. This gets people involved prior to the event and also helps prevent guests from having to get familiar with your auction software during your live event.
 Other ideas to create “buy-in” or commitment to your event:
  • Consider selling tickets. Guests are much more likely to show up & participate on event day if they have already committed to purchasing a ticket.
  • Get creative and find ways to add tangible, physical value. Consider including or selling “swag bags” (i.e. a bag or box with goodies like a t-shirt, snacks, stickers etc.) that will be sent to each guest in time for the event. Get volunteers to make and deliver food to local guests who are watching at home.
  • Host watch parties. Get volunteers to host small watch parties at their home. This is similar to having table captains sell tickets for their table at a dinner gala – it helps people commit to attending your event. Make your hosts responsible for getting a certain number of people to attend.
  • Consider having a zoom pre-party so guests are prepared to watch your live stream when it starts. Maybe hire a virtual mentalist/magician as entertainment.
  • Have some kind of social media contest or a door prize that guests must be watching the live stream to win.
  • Limit your live auction to 3-4 items. We find that 3-4 items is the perfect balance for virtual events – with too few items, you loose money, but too many items, you lose your audience’s attention span.
  • Collect good pictures of each item. Remember with a virtual event, pictures are all guests get to see before they purchase an item. Have someone who can take video of each item? Even better!
  • Keep item descriptions short and clear. Remember that the descriptions you provide are what guests are going to see and get answers from.
  • Send your auction items to Smart Gala via this Google form.

In order to launch your custom auction landing page, you will need to send your Smart Gala team the following:

  • Name of Event
  • Event logo
  • Organization logo
  • Any graphics that have been made for the event
  • Fundraising goal for the event
  • Logos and levels of event sponsors
  • Anything else you’d like to feature/say on your auction site…

In order to launch your video live stream, you will need to send your Smart Gala team the following:

  • A show flow or production timeline (details what should happen when)
  • All video/picture elements to be included in stream
  • Name of streaming platform of your choice (we recommend Youtube for quality and for ease of access for guests without social media accounts)
  • Choice of account to run the stream from
    • Choice 1 (recommended) If you choose to stream from one of your social media accounts, we will need temporary access to that account in order to link our streaming software to your live stream.
    • Choice 2 Or, if you prefer, we can stream from one of our Smart Gala accounts

Keep in mind, all Smart Gala elements can be customized to fit your unique organization & event – these are just general recommendations.