What’s In A Name?

Online. It’s a word we use a lot in our lives; an adjective that modifies hundreds of our daily activities: shopping, dating, meetings… and auctions, of course.

But when applied within our little corner of the world, I’m afraid it can be confusing. For people approaching our company for the first time, the role that online plays in our offerings can be hard to tease out. Here’s a few statements and definitions to help you understand what we mean when you hear that word come out of our mouths:

  • We sell online software. You (the auction chair) can use it to produce many different types of events, and when you do, you do so through a web browser and an internet connection, regardless of the type of event you are producing.
  • You might choose to run an online auction – which has no physical gathering place, but exists only online. Guests bid using their computers or smartphones or tablets only, usually over a period of 1-3 weeks.
  • You might choose to run a gala fundraiser, and have the guests present at that gala (along with perhaps some of your supporters who cannot attend) bidding on auction items using their smartphones. This sounds a lot like the option above, but actually requires a lot more support features, given the need to get a couple hundred guests up and bidding quickly, without the leisure of a week-long timeframe. In this scenario, online is one word we could use to describe the bidding. But in order to reduce some confusion, we in the industry usually refer to these as mobile-bidding auctions.

So. Online can refer to the way you interact with the software to plan an event, or it can refer to a style of event itself, or to a style of bidding – although in that case, we prefer to sub in the word “mobile.”

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