“The show must go on” for the Benefit Auction Specialist designation class of 2020. For the first time ever, the class was offered virtually on Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Thanks to the generosity of the Foundation for underwriting this class, and to the creative work of the NAA staff, this popular show did, indeed, go on, with Lance Walker CAI, BAS, CES, and myself, Scott Robertson CAI, BAS, as instructors.
Because of the virtual format, we incorporated additional resources with guest presenters from all over the nation. NAA President Terri Walker, CAI, BAS, CES,opened our session.Benefit Auctioneer and Foundation President Christie King, CAI, AMM, BAS, discussed the importance of the work of the Foundation. CEO Hannes Combest, FASAE, CAE, maintained a watchful eye on the class throughout the course. She also spoke about the NAA, the importance of investing in designation classes, and the benefits of being an NAA member. Trisha Brauer, CAI, BAS, frequent BAS instructor, taught an inspiring unit on business development.
New for this year’s course was the addition of a 4-hour unit on Virtual Fundraising Galas. In addition to the virtual classroom work, the course included a panel discussion on virtual fundraising galas by pioneering industry experts, Misty Marquam, BAS, Freddie Silveria, BAS, and Cathy MacPherson.
According to attendee Tarryn Jordaan: “The module about the Virtual Fundraising Events was crucial and of immense value to us in this time of COVID.”
Much to our delight, students were motivated, asked great questions, and greatly increased their knowledge, remaining engaged and interested with 8 hours of instruction each day. Virtual education works, and it worked well at BAS 2020.
Libby Pollack said, “Due to my schedule, I could never attend the Designation Academy in person, this virtual experience was perfect for me”.
NAA Director of Education Kristina Franz said, “We look forward to when in-person education can be done again, but are so thankful that virtual education is a viable and valuable option to learn and interact with fellow students and instructors!”
Jason Troutman, a student in the class, mentioned, “Not only did we learn together as a class, we really enjoyed ourselves.” Of the students responding to the after class survey, 100 percent agreed the class was helpful and important to them as an auction professional.
Once the class was complete, Lance Walker stated, “I was skeptical at first regarding the BAS designation being taught virtually, but it turned out great. I guess you can teach old dogs, like Scott and me, new tricks.”
-Scott Robertson, CAI, BAS