Once you've decided to run a Virtual Event, you'll need to enable the Virtual Event admin tools. Turning the feature on will make these changes to your event site:
- Provide access to the Virtual Auction site settings.
- Add the Virtual Control Panel.
- Activate the Virtual Invitation Templates so they can be sent via email or SMS.
- Change the "Gala" labels in the catalog to "Virtual" to make the item forms more intuitive for your data entry team. When items are entered, you choose how you want the item to sell (via paper/paddle at a gala, virtual bidding, or online/mobile bidding). The software uses a shared flag for Gala vs Virtual. When the Virtual feature is enabled, the "Paper/Paddle" option is replaced by "Virtual" and all existing Gala items are updated to Virtual. If the Virtual feature is disabled, all of the Virtual items revert back to Gala. This is by design and allows you to switch to a Virtual event without having to rework items already entered.
To turn on the Virtual admin tools:
Go to Admin > Site Settings > Virtual Event > Turn on Virtual Event Setup and Management
Once enabled, the full menu of settings will display. Click on the embedded help icon for details about specific settings.
Three setting options to pay particular attention to:
Start Event Date/Time and length of event: we use this information for scheduling dedicated service capacity for your event. Your virtual live auction pages are not restricted outside of this time block - you'll still be able to test ahead of your launch, your supporters can join the virtual event ahead of time and linger after - the window just allows us to allocate server capacity correctly to ensure the highest quality livestream possible.
Note that a third bid style is provided for Virtual bidding: Single Bid via Amount Entry. This option allows the auctioneer to lead the bidding and suggest the amount (eg who will give me $500?) while allowing bidders to place bids higher (or lower) than the auctioneer's suggestion.
There is also an option to provide add custom instructions to the Need Help? link provided to your guests that may be having a hard time viewing the video. Default text is provided for the most common issues, but you can add instructions for anything unique to your event - and provide a way to reach your team if someone can't access the site.