English ivy was brought to the United States for ornamental purposes; it looks so pretty scampering up a wire.
But the ivy’s introduction had some unintended consequences. It grows so aggressively, it overtakes small trees and damages mortar in brickwork.
Unintended consequences are also apparent in our virtual galas.
Nearly every week I am asked to troubleshoot a new problem that has surfaced, typically because someone has tweaked one area in an effort to improve the event.
The gala improves in the area changed, but the unintended consequence is that it now collapses somewhere else.
The latest tweak is tied to watch parties when using a webinar system or Zoom Meeting for your virtual gala technology platform.
Usually the idea of a watch party is introduced by a donor/s who is eager to introduce friends to your cause. It’s a kind gesture meant to make it more fun for the gathering party.
The flip side is that the new format may suppress bidding and donations for the nonprofit.
The webinar and Zoom Meeting approach works best when guests are individually (or as a couple) sitting in front of their computer. Each guest has their own unique login. But when guests gather, they are all share the Zoom login of their watch party host. Bidding and donating becomes cumbersome and may decline.
To avoid this, here’s my advice for Gala Chairs:
- Ask guests to take their charged phone, tablet, or laptop to the watch party. Though all guests can watch the program as a group during the gala’s pre-show, each guest should be logged in under their own name for the gala. (Even if they don’t bid or donate, having easy access to do so is important.)
- Ask each host to allow guests access to her home’s wireless network. Bidding via cell service is usually slower than using a wireless network connection, so in lieu of a direct connection to a router, we want guests to be using WiFi.
In today’s video, I go into details about this new unintended consequence of virtual gala watch parties.
Have you tweaked something in your gala, only to see it upset another area?
If so, share below.
Maria Emanuel says
My non-profit would like to get more information on virtual galas. Can I attend your next virtual gala event? Would love to see you in action!
Maria Emanuel (name from the past)
Sherry Truhlar says
Maria, the galas I’ve been working are private so, no, I wouldn’t be able to have you sit in. But as far as seeking more information on virtual galas in general, check out my virtual gala cheat sheet and in-depth “Conversation” virtual gala series. Both are great places to start.