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How to Host a Memorable Virtual Gala

November 18, 2020
5 mins Read

4 Tips for Planning a Virtual Gala

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has put many aspects of our lives into disarray, it hasn’t put a damper on charitable giving. When adjusted for inflation, charitable giving for 2020 is up 2.4 percent. If an in-person gala isn’t advisable in your area, an alternative for your fundraising efforts is a virtual gala. A virtual gala is a strictly online affair for your fundraising event. Instead of hosting at a physical location, your donors will participate via the internet.

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Expert Tips for Hosting a Virtual Gala

  1. Decide If You Prefer a Live or Pre-recorded Virtual Gala

Both live and pre-recorded events have the ability to be successful. Though a live event often does a great job of capturing the excitement and enthusiasm associated with a live gala, it requires more preparation, equipment, and labor hours. A pre-recorded affair may be a better alternative if you’re working with limited volunteers or don’t have access to the equipment and resources necessary for a live virtual gala. If you opt for a pre-recorded gala, limit recordings to an hour or less to keep your donors engaged and excited for your cause.

  1. Determine the Format & Flow for Your Gala

Next, you need to decide how you envision the gala itself. Is your gala normally a live auction with dinner and live music, or do you usually have a plated lunch with a speaker? You can take your usual format and adapt it to a virtual gathering. For example, suppose you typically sell tables for dinner and live music. In that case, you might recruit restaurant sponsors who can safely deliver prepared meals to your donors. Your donors can then gather via Zoom or their preferred messaging app for a virtual dinner.

  1. Get Your Donors Involved

Try to keep your donors involved as you plan your virtual gala. Let them know the date and time of your gala as soon as you can so that they can plan accordingly. During the event, encourage your donors to interact with one another and the event hosts.

You might set up a live chat so that guests can make comments and ask questions. Designate a hashtag for the event so that attendees can share photos to their social media accounts. If it fits with your event’s flow, you can even set up breakout rooms within Zoom so that attendees can chat in small groups with one another, your hosts, and your speakers.

  1. Invest in Quality Sound Equipment

See that you use professional-grade equipment for your virtual gala. This will ensure that your event has clear, crisp audio. If you don’t want to purchase equipment, renting is an excellent alternative. You may even be able to get a company to sponsor the event and donate the use of their equipment in exchange for recognition.

Consider a Virtual Photo Mosaic

A virtual mosaic is a great way to generate engagement and offer a unique experience to guests. This unique feature serves as a fun memento for attendees and hosts alike, combining each person’s photo into one beautiful mosaic image. To learn more about how to incorporate a virtual mosaic into your virtual gala, including sponsorship opportunities, contact us today at 702-819-9618.