A long time ago when Wi-Fi was about as reliable as a warm day in British summertime, some bright spark had a great idea: â€˜Let's make digital auctions work by setting up an independent network at fundraisers. Everyone can connect to the auction via tablets on tables. It'll be secure and we can guarantee the connection won't drop out just as bidders go to make that vital bid. Hurrah!' It was a move that transformed fundraising auctions. But technology has moved on. Wi-Fi is pretty much guaranteed to be fast and reliable in just about every location. Plus, the vast majority of fundraising guests can download auction platforms direct to their own mobile device. So why do we persist with putting tablets on tables at fundraising events when tabletsâ€¦.
Hiring tablets invariably incurs a cost. That cost may be upfront or built-in to suppliers' pricing model. However it's levied fundraisers will pay extra for having tablets on their tablets. Given most guests will bring their own mobile device to a fundraiser (and can download an auction platform straight to that device) does it make sense have table tablets as well? Â The BYO auction tech approach works perfectly so paying extra for additional tablets is wasted money.
Providing a tablet per person can be extremely costly. Most fundraisers provide a few tablets per table. This is a problem when it comes to sharing. Not everyone gets to see the auction as it happens which means people can miss out on bidding. And obviously less bids equals less money for the fundraising organisation. Using his or her own mobile device means everyone gets the opportunity to stay locked into the bidding action. No one misses out â€“ not least of all the cause or charity.
Guests don't spend every minute of a fundraising event at their table. Whether it's nipping to the bathroom, heading to the bar or chatting to other guests around the venue â€“ it's guaranteed they won't always be within easy reach of a table tablet. And if they're not in easy reach of a table tablet they're out of the auction's reach. By using their own mobile device, guests have ready access to the auction at all times. Personalised auction updates and real-time outbid notifications are guaranteed to keep people in the loop (even on the toilet!).
It's not that guests will wilfully damage a tablet, but let's face it most people are likely to treat their own devices with more care than they would a table tablet that belongs to a third party tech company. A tablet getting passed around from person to person is a situation ripe for a smashed screen or two. Throw alcohol into the mix and the likelihood is even higher. Placing the auction platform onto guests' devices means fundraisers don't have to worry about picking up the tab for a damaged tablet.
The table tablet was a great idea that changed the face of fundraising auctions. But fast and reliable Wi-Fi coupled with the prevalence of personal mobile devices means table tablets should be a thing of the past.