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With Virtual Auctions, Managing the Calendar is Everything

I’m here to have a bit of a “let’s get real about this new world we’re living in” conversation. No matter whether project management is totally your thing, or you’ve taken a more “grin & bear it” approach in the past, I’m here to tell you about the best way to produce a great virtual event. Set deadlines in advance—and meet them! I’m coming to you from the command center of, “Wow, you really need to get ahead of your virtual auction.”

Because here’s the truth of it: virtual auctions don’t just magically happen. They take time. Time, time, time, time, time, time, time. But trust me folks, it’s time well spent. Just like you would plan your live event over a year, you need almost this much time* to plan your virtual event. We actually recommend a 12-week (3 month) minimum to set up an event that’ll really knock it out of the park.

*And if you’re working with less, you need to manage your time even more carefully!

Now, your event may look like movie magic in the end – a lot because you’re sharing an incredible product: your mission. But in order for this to happen, you need to be in the driver’s seat – just like you would be if you were producing it live. This is no longer an event, it’s a broadcast.

Photos provided by The AV Department

And broadcasts need to be produced. Broadcasts have similar needs as a live event for a great script that truly shares your mission in compelling, understandable and powerful ways. You need time and project-management to create a distillation of where your organization is in time and space. You need time to build a narrative arc that packs a punch. I recommend filming your speakers in advance…and giving them time to adequately prepare. Plus, you need to keep the energy and magic alive in this broadcast space. Let’s make sure you’ve got a bit of candy to hit your fun-deprived stay-at-home audience in the joy-receptors! And all of that takes planning.

But I’ll tell ya one of my favorite returns on this investment. Because this is a broadcast, it can (and will!) have a beautiful after-life. Not enough people attended? Keep showing the broadcast to your audience for weeks or months to come! Have a thousand friends who need to know how you’ve pivoted in these times? Send them this link—or just the edited highlights. Need some great content for your newsletter? This is it.

Or even more pressing, do you need to create a “fill the gap” campaign to make ends meet in the toughest funding year on record? Your broadcast is a great tool, sharing story-based, heartwarming, community-building content about WHY your donors should help fill your gap. In many ways, it’s the ultimate organizational video. You can share an image of your funding thermometer close to the goal and explain what hitting this goal will give your organization in these challenging times.

And it’s yours for the low, low price of some advanced planning and careful time-management. I know you’ve got it in you. Start your clocks, fundraisers!



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