Fusion Live Auctions have both in person and virtual attendees. These tips are specific to fusion events where in-person attendees place bids and donations using bid paddles while remote attendees place bids/donations on the virtual platform.
Best Practices and Tips:
The challenge of a fusion event is designing one event for two different audiences:
- You'll be providing different instructions/access for guests attending in-person vs virtually - so it's a good idea to setup registration options to allow you to communicate with each group. All guests using bid paddles MUST be issued a ticket (can be free and/or imported). Asking virtual guests to register by "buying" a $0 Virtual only ticket has the advantages of driving all supporters to the same registration page/process and allows your team to easily exchange tickets for guests that need to change how they attend.
- Think about how in-person guests engage during a live auction and try to mimic those tendencies with your livestream feed: when all eyes are on the presenter/speaker, show a camera feed with a close-up shot of the stage. When the auctioneer makes a call for action (starts the bidding), switch to an angle view that shows both the auctioneer and audience. When the final bidders are being cajoled to increase their bids, try to show close-ups of the final bidders deliberations and decisions.
- If pre-recorded videos are projected for the live audience, incorporate the same pre-recorded video into your livestream feed - rather than simply filming the projected video to avoid the distortion/degradation inherent in images of images/screens.
- Plan carefully how you will keep the in-person and online bids synched in the software and keep the auctioneer informed of online bids. Your team must manually record in-person bids in the software to ensure that online bidders are aware of the current high bid. An auctioneer view is provided to show ALL bids, but it can be difficult for Auctioneers to scan a screen while interacting with a live audience. Discuss how to use spotters to signal/highlight bidding activity to an auctioneer that is juggling two audiences.
Things to Consider or Avoid:
- Be careful that a virtual option doesn't merely cannibalize your gala attendance. Fusion events make a lot of sense when your supporters are geographically dispersed or when it is otherwise impractical for many to attend in person. But Fusion events are twice the work (and expenses) of a gala OR virtual event and - so you'll want to be confident that your efforts will result in MORE participation rather than just shifting participation from in person to virtual.