3/9/15

Ambition in Kensington Palace

Auction Fever hits Palace

We had the privelidge of working with Ambition on their 90th Anniversary Royal Gala Dinner at Kensignton Palace earlier this month .  We facilitated the online auction which took place in the lead up to and during the live event The results were outstanding. An impressive 85% of the silent auction target was achieved before the event had even begun.

During the event guests actively engaged in the bidding process, enjoying the facility of being able to use their personal smart phones to both browse and bid on over 80 fantastic items. Auction fever took hold and the silent auction went on to exceed the target by 33%. Four bidders battled it out for the most coveted item, a bespoke tailoring experience, which received 36 bids in total with the final bid achieving over £1,000 - more than 12 times the opening bid!  

This is what Lucy Davies, Head of Communications at Ambition had to say about the silent auction.

You achieved 85% of your silent auction target before your event started. How, when and who did you promote it to?

We issued a series of branded mailshots to staff, trustees and key Ambition stakeholders (customers, suppliers, donors, gala dinner guests and youth sector partners), on a regular basis starting 2 months prior to our gala dinner event. The mailshots included instructions on how to register/bid and highlighted where the money raised was going. This was supported by on-going social media activity, tweeting regular links to the individual prize website pages and @mentioning donors. We also emailed all donors once their prize was live and included the e-shot as an attachment, asking them to forward this to their friends and colleagues. We actively encouraged staff to get the bidding going by sharing the mailshot with their friends and family. Soon it turned into an office bidding-war which proved lots of fun! We feel this then encouraged others to bid as they weren't arriving at an empty website page.

What would you say about your overall silent auction results?

We were delighted with the results. It far exceeded our expectations. The technology was very user-friendly and it quickly became quite competitive. Dee and her team were quick to respond with any queries and had a can-do attitude which really instilled confidence in the GalaBid team.

How did your guests find the experience of using their smart phones for the silent auction and payment?

Our guests really took to using their smart phones to bid. It proved much easier than we expected. There were still quite a few guests who needed help to register but they quickly got in the swing of it. We were delighted that three-quarters of the winners paid promptly via their phones. The Stripe payment gateway has proved easy to use. All payments were received within 14 days of the event without the headache of issuing invoices etc.

What advice would you give other charities who are planning to their silent auctions at and before events using bidding technology?

Go for it - it helped to generate interest in our event and brought us new supporters. I'd also invest in branding your page, so it becomes a smart shop-front for your organisation. Several winners found us via Twitter including a celebrity super-fan based in America. Our paths would never have crossed otherwise!

Why did you choose to work with GalaBid for your silent auction?

They were competitively priced and offered a degree of flexibility about how we ran the auction. We weren't bound by rigid timescales, number of items etc. This helped make it an attractive option.

How was your experience of working with the GalaBid team?

Dee was incredibly knowledgeable and willing to deliver a bespoke service, which made it a pleasure to work alongside her and her team. They were quick to respond, helped us overcome technical issues and provided an excellent service. We would highly recommend.

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GalaBid is CrowdComms’ fundraising software, developed inhouse, which facilitates bidding, donations, purchases, payment for and management of all fundraising activities before and during live fundraising events, galas, golf days etc.

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