Virtual Live Item Setup

There are several ways of setting up items for a Virtual Live Gala depending on how you want them to behave. The main choices are:

  • whether you want online bidding to be allowed on the live items beforehand or not; and,
  • whether you want manual or timed closing.

Basic Setup

We recommend setting up the Virtual Live Auction Items as follows:

  • item Type = Live (see Unknown link 'LiveItemDetailed');
  • Participate in online bidding = Yes (enabled); and,
  • Starting bid & Bid increment as required (although optional these should be set to avoid the $1.00 defaults being used).

For ease of use the Item# should be set up so that live items are item#'s 1, 2, 3,... This can be done at a later time, if needed, after items have been added using the Item Numbering functions.

The Live# field is not used for Virtual Live Gala.

In order to participate in online bidding, the effective online window for the item must be active during the live event.

If you have an online auction open that will be open during the virtual live auction, the default online bidding time (set under Website Online Bidding) should naturally be set open during the virtual event. You should confirm this although there is nothing else you need to do.

If you don't have an online auction at all, you can set the default time set under Website Online Bidding to be open during the virtual event.

If your online auction bidding time will not overlap with the virtual event then you will need to specify the override online bidding start and end times on each Live item to cover the virtual event window.

Opening Bidding

By default, when you create an item it will be open for bidding and will be available to bid on based on the Online Bidding default start time. See Online Bidding Times for more information about this.

If you want bidding to open before the virtual live event, ensure the effective online bidding start time for the "Live" items is set to when you want bidding to start for the "Live" items (and make certain they are open for bidding -- which they will be by default).


If you want to open bidding for your "Live" items prior to the actual virtual, or in-person, event at the Online Bidding default start time you do not need to set a specific Override online bidding starts at for the items themselves.

If you do not want to allow for any bidding on the "Live" items before the virtual/in-person live event, you should close the "Live" items immediately on creation (this will prevent any online bidding). See Open/Close Bidding for information on how to make these changes on more than one item at a time.

During the live event, as you select each item to be auctioned, you will can open it for bidding using the Live Auction Controller via the Monitor Auction Live Auction tab.

Manual Closing vs Timed Closing

With Manual Closing the item will only close when you click the Close Now button on the Live Auction Controller. To use this style of bidding, for each live item set Closing mode = manual.

With Timed Closing the bidder will see a countdown timer and the Live Auction Controller will show timing controls to set the closing time up to 2 minutes out. To use this style of bidding set Closing mode = timed. Also ensure that the effective online bidding end time is set for past the end of the virtual live event (so the items don't close earlier).

As each item is selected in the Live Auction Controller the actual closing time will be set to a minute or two in the future.

If you are using timed closing, we also recommend configuring our Bid Extension Rules feature set to automatically extend bidding when a bid is placed near the close. This may help with internet latency ("lag") if you expect to see it being a factor during the event.

This Bid Extension feature is configured from the main Auction Dashboard under Website Online Bidding by specifying a Bid extension trigger window and Bid extension duration time, each in minutes. For example, in the case of a virtual live event, a "trigger window" of 0.3 (i.e.: 20s) and an "extension" of 0.25 (i.e.: 15s) may work well.

Virtual Paddle Raise Set Up

A Virtual Paddle Raise can be set up in one or two ways: a series of individual items, each focused on a single donation level that will be selected in turn during the live event; or, a single item that presents buttons to allow the bidder to donate at the level they choose.

Paddle Raise Series

If you want to go through a Series of items at, for example, $5,000, $2,500, $1,000, etc. then set up each item as follows:

  • Type = Donation (see Donation Items Detailed);
  • Value = amount of the donation level; and,
  • Title and Description as appropriate to inspire donors.

The item#'s for these should be arranged so that the items are numbered in the order you want to present them, and come before, after or in the middle of the live auction items depending on where you want to do the paddle raise. See Item Numbering for more information on this.

Single Paddle Raise Item

For a single paddle raise item set it up as:

  • Type = Donation (see Donation Items Detailed);
  • Donation levels = comma separated list of levels, for example 2500,1000,500,250,100 you can include an * (added to the list and separated with a comma) if you want bidders to be able to include their own donation amount; and,
  • Title and Description as appropriate to inspire donors.

One option would be to set up a Paddle Raise Series for use during the live event and a Single Paddle Raise Item. Then, when the live event is finished, you can leave the Single Paddle Raise Item as the last item in focus so it remains on that page for anyone to donate to.

Last reviewed: February 2023
Virtual Live Item Setup