SneakerBall Streamlines Auctions With Wireless Bidding Devices
Sports Alliance director of events Tricia Barry stuck to the Alliance's proven formula of separating the spacious National Building Museum into three distinct sections for the event. Predinner cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, along with the silent auction, were hosted in the east section, while the award gala and dinner (which ran $7,500 a table) took over the center section, and the after-party was kept to the west section of the museum’s main floor. But though the layout stayed the same, Barry did change a few details to improve the silent auction and attract a whole new set of attendees.
“The cocktail and silent-auction time is always a little hectic, as guests love to mingle with friends and the athletes and it’s also hard to go around and see all of the items available. This year we teamed up BidPal to help ease the process,” Barry said. “When they checked in, guests got a preloaded handheld device that allowed them to bid from anywhere in the venue, know instantly when they are outbid, and find out which items didn’t have any bids.” The new technology seemed to have a positive effect on the bidding, as the silent auction, live auction, and raffle raised $85,000, topping last year's total of $70,000, for the Sports Alliance’s initiatives and the Greater Washington Sports Collaborative.
Another new aspect of this year’s gala was the effort to boost attendance by offering after-party-only tickets to an additional 200 guests. The $125 ticket covered the open bar, multiple desert stations from Windows Catering, arcade games, and music from DJ Kirby Ham.
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