We work on lots of projects that come with there own pressures and challenges
but, as they say, life is full of surprises. One day, we got a phone call asking to
deliver a media campaign with silent auction at London’s Mansion House. The
event – which was a tuxedo three course dinner was going to be live streamed,
with on-demand content on the site and also raise as much money as possible for
a charitable educational project in the Sub-Saharan region.
With a tight budget, we were first presented with the challenge of the tablets – as
we needed several of them on each table and neither of our teams had a stash
lying around somewhere in the corner. Most hiring services charged a fortune
for a stack of tablets delivered to Mansion house in rush hour and the fact that
they were going to lying around on tables with lots of liquid by their side, really
didn’t help the insurance and the general quote. With 70 percent of the budget
spent, we finally had a deal.
By this point, we also knew that it was cheaper for us to develop our own app
that using one of the established silent auction software, which just wouldn’t
make it viable for this type of charitable cause. This turned our Kingland Road
studio, into a temporary weekend camp, where all of us ate, slept, designed and
coded for a bank holiday weekend so that, by Tuesday, we could present our
client, International Bankers Guild, with a working app for approval.
While our client loved the end result, we still had our doubts. We had to
guarantee that the software would work on the day, and the only way to do that
was to test it on the same tablet in the same venue as the final event which, in
this case, happened to be Mansion House and which, last we checked, was not
available for the public to randomly wonder into and connect to the server to
After negotiating one more tablet for an extra day, managed to get ourselves 24
hours for testing time, which we used wisely by standing outside the venue and
ringing their internal office non-stop until they finally picked up.
Luckily for us, the Mansion House has incredibly friendly management who
showed us around the whole venue in advanced, and let us spend ages on testing
out software on their WiFi. So with the final bit in place, we were ready to roll.
On the day, it was amazing to see how the most difficult task of the whole event
was also the one that brought the most success. Half way through the dinner,
people started checking out all the items, passing on the tablets, and out-betting
each other with the speed of light. We even had to take them off people by the
end of the event, as they were making ‘their last bets’.
In total, the charity raised £140 000 in two hours, getting 5 times their money