The Farm to Table fundraiser event is hosted every year in September by The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) to show appreciation to all its partners and advocates for their financial contributions and undivided support. It is traditionally held on a local farm that produces food for the food bank. GBFB had to come up with alternatives for the annual in-person gala event given the COVID-19 pandemic.
GBFB, a naturally resourceful and responsive organization, reached out to VDA to help them produce a customized virtual fundraising event for its attendees. Hence, how the Farm-to-Screen virtual experience was born.
GBFB, in partnership with VDA, wanted to create a digital event that would cater to its key objectives. These were the same as its live fundraisers and the level of expectations did not change even with a shift in the format. GBFB was looking to:
VDA produced an animated 3D flyover video as part of the event’s e-invitation to get attendees excited about the Farm-to-Screen virtual experience. This created a lot of buzz and excitement from invitees on all social media channels.
With the host’s goals in mind, VDA created a virtual fundraiser that was an honest reflection of the actual live event. We constructed a 3D farm environment with a barn, an outdoor fireplace, a jukebox and many more interactive stations. The intuitive interface allowed for easy navigation through the virtual space, keeping attendees interested and engaged. Attendees loved being immersed in the hyper-realistic digital version of a familiar place and discovering carefully produced and curated digital content.
The ability to access the virtual experience from all devices without compromising quality helped to draw more attendees to the event and kept them involved in the experience longer.
GBFB wanted to host both pre-recorded content as well as live video options. To make the virtual experience more inviting and cozy, VDA designed a fireplace station for live chat sessions and an outdoor cinema site, where attendees could watch a selection of pre-recorded presentations on-demand. We placed a donation jar in every interactive station with the goal to maximize donation contribution from attendees, which proved to have been very effective.
The very first GBFB virtual fundraising event was a huge success. The total amount of attendees doubled and fundraising revenue quadrupled compared to 2019.