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Galabid: Over A Decade Of Auction Tech Development

We've been working with silent auction technology for 12 years. In just over a decade, technology has changed remarkably. Our ability to develop auction technology that not only responds to, but anticipates, clients' needs means we've stayed at the forefront of fundraising technology. Here's a brief look at our history and how we've battled (and won!) some of the challenges along the way. Back in the Day The very first electronic silent auction we ran was in Western Australia for the WA Ballet. We used a device called the IML communicator and 500 or so smart cards – one for each guest. We had to burn the names of each guests onto the smart card the night before the event. Unsurprisingly we had more than one hiccup on the night. Our tech team came back to the office and looked pretty deflated. The technology had failed and our client ended up reverting back to paper bidding. We licked our wounds and fixed the issues and ran the next event successfully (and the next, and the next…). Gathering Pace We started getting feedback from the charities that they were raising more using the technology than they had previously using paper bid sheets. In some cases it was up to 50% more. We were onto something here. Silent Auction technology was a winner. We had charities calling saying their old process were difficult and they needed something new and easy. From the smartcard and keypad we decided to evolve our technology and built a PDA and in-pin number system. Pre-smart phones we had some big challenges. The first was getting hold of 250 hp PDA's in time for our first event. They had to be a specific model and in Australia we could only get hold of 150 from suppliers. We then got to work on eBay and bought every second hand HP pda we could get our hands on. Somehow we got them together in time for the event. We then had to build and make sure the software worked and also get a huge wifi aerial and ciscal router. On-site we learnt a lot about keeping the pdas on. The network and managed to get through the event with a happy client. Phew! We refined the solution and build a charging system for the 250 units plus encased the units in chunky Perspex boxes so that they wouldn't go missing. It was a challenging time but we got through and ran hundreds of events successfully with a lot of hard work. Remember these were the days where the server was on a computer at the event and not on the web. iPhones hadn't even been invented back then. Leaping Forward Past forward to 2012 and we decide to build GalaBid V1. It was a challenge and the first event we did was a friend's fancy dress party in Sydney. We used this test event and the system failed. We hadn't turned the servers up high enough on Amazon (which was new then). Several versions of Galabid later and thousands of event with millions of dollars raised for charities all over the globe, we are still pushing ourselves to build the best and to innovate in the market. Our passion is for fundraising and we want charities to succeed. We are determined to make a positive difference to great causes and that's why we consider ourselves to be market leaders in silent auction technology.

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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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