Fans of the Taste for Los Al Silent Auction will be in for a big change this year, as mobile bidding will be introduced.
Attendees will be able to browse the auction items a few days in advance. Like what you see? Place a bid from the convenience of your smartphone. Then when you’re at the event you don’t have to always be near the auction tent. You can mingle or check out some of the great food offerings, and still monitor your items to see if others have outbid you.
“The auction has been a very successful fund-raiser for the participating booster clubs, raising close to $100,000 a year collectively,” said Taste chair Larry Strawther. “But over the years we have encountered some consistent challenges, and complaints. We’ve had our eye on this for a while and with the improvements in technology, it seemed to be the year to try it out.”
The ultimate goal, of course, is to raise more money for Los Alamitos High School activities, but expected side benefits will be smoother traffic inside the auction tent and easier access to bidding.
Another big advantage of the mobile auction is you don’t have to be at the event to bid. Get sick and can’t go – you can still bid. Get tired and need to go home, you can still bid. Want your grandparents, or alumni, to be able to bid or at least check out the items? Give them the code and let them go to town.
“Historically, the auction was actually a number of independent auctions under the same tent. We provided the logistics, tent, lights, power, tables, etc — but the clubs sought out the items and each group made their own display and presentation and provided their own manpower.”
We went with OneCause and BidPal because of their overall and local experience, said Strawther. “They were highly recommended for their service and support by a number of the local elementary schools, and they have also been used by some other local charities such as National Charity League and this October they will also be used at Pathways to Independence’ annual fundraiser in Park Estates. And most importantly, they have done multiple events with attendance larger than ours.”
But the Taste and one of the largest silent auctions anywhere. “At our largest, we had 114 silent auction tables. I’m not saying that number makes us the largest around, but I wasted a night on a Google search and couldn’t find anything bigger. ”
With approximately 3,000 attendees, with all tables closing at the same time, there were big concerns if the system could handle that. But BidPal they have worked with crowds Operating, The taste provides some significant challenges.
BidPal is part of the suite of programs provided by OneCause which has assisted over 5,000 organizations. They have provided mobile bidding at over 20,000 fundraising events, and helped nonprofits raise more than $1.5 billion. ”