More likely than not, you’re reading this from the comfort of your own home. We are, as my friend Amy said, on forced sabbatical.
It’s not our ideal sabbatical, but here we are.
During this imposed break, I’ve been following the journey of those I know who are ill, educating myself on virtual gala options, and working on other projects.
Short on time?
Date: Friday, March 27, 2020 at 1 PM Eastern
Title: The next 6 months: Setting a gala strategy in light of COVID-19.
Most importantly, people. I know of two with COVID-19.
One is the President of a private school in Washington, D.C.
Each December we share the stage at the gala. The local news outlets printed his prior two week’s schedule so others would know to get tested or to quarantine.
The other is a friend in New York, NY. The photo on my website homepage was shot by him.
March 3 he complained on Facebook about a test shortage. March 9 he was in the hospital. March 17 he was on a ventilator in a medicated coma. March 23 (yesterday) was good news — though still on dialysis, he is holding steady at 40% oxygen from the ventilator with stable blood pressure. Update: My New York friend passed from COVID-19 related complications on April 4, 2020, a day after he was moved out of ICU. April 12 1963 – April 4, 2020.
Time will tell if these are my only direct connections to the virus. I certainly hope so.
Second, I’ve spent time getting up to speed on all the challenges of “virtual galas.”
I’ve been thinking about what is best for a group, based on their budget, turnaround time, and goals.
Here are some of my thoughts about virtual galas.
- I don’t think a virtual event is right for everybody.
- Second, some nonprofits have been live streaming a modified “gala.” I’ve watched a mix of well-produced and clumsy events. At this point, I’m tired of hearing the word “pivot.” The word pivot eludes of grace. But if you watch enough of these events, you’ll notice that not all groups can pull off a live stream like a ballerina.
- Third, some auction committees are opting for webinar systems to engage. It has advantages and disadvantageous.
- Four, the vendor market is on fire! Some nonprofit auction software vendors have dropped their prices to attract buyers. Some are altering their software with new features to appeal to our new environment.
But the most important question is: what should YOU be doing.
What’s YOUR best course of action, if your gala is planned for spring, summer or fall?
I’ll share my opinions on Friday.
If you’d like to join me for an evolving conversation, sign up here.