Bonhams uses online event technology to deliver auctions

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Pylon One have announced their latest product, PreView – built for Bonhams, auctioneers and valuers, leveraging the core technology from their recently launched Delegate Live platform.

Creating a virtual experience that had only ever been possible in the physical form, to ensure Bonhams customers receive high-quality support for auctions, whilst maintaining the government guidelines for social distancing.  A transition enabled by the team at Pylon One, in under two weeks…

Often quoted as the ‘New Norm’, with the unprecedented levels of disruption to the way we work and with everyone mindful of the government guidelines on social distancing, the focus has very much shifted to ‘virtual events’ for the near term.

Bonhams, renowned globally for their auctions are no different and having worked with them for many years, it was a matter of hours, to convince them, that Pylon One could bespoke build, what has become Bonhams PreView in time for their next collectors’ motoring auction 30th May 2020.

Building on the Delegate Live platform, launched last month, Bonhams PreView enables Bonhams customers to see a live virtual tour of the car they are interested in and ask questions of the specialist, so they not only can see a vehicle’s condition but ask background questions to help them decide if they should bid etc.

Mike Lang, Sales and Marketing Director Pylon One said, “We are overjoyed that Bonhams PreView powered by Delegate Live has been deemed a success. The time lapse from the point of approaching Bonhams with our idea to the point of Bonhams PreView being used in anger was less than 2 weeks!

This has proven to be a fantastic joined up operation involving numerous departments from within Bonhams, such as The Motoring department, IT, Marketing and Compliance. 

Pylon One only launched Delegate Live a matter of weeks ago, with a focus on the virtual event, providing a simple and easy to use Q&A function, over text messaging.

Gratitude goes to the in-house development team for the speed and integration of our real-time video streaming and messaging capability that was completely customised  for Bonhams.

What is particularly exciting, is that we are seeing the green shoots of the events industry recovering, fighting back,  and we’re delighted to be playing a major role by thinking outside of the box and bringing innovation to the industry in double quick time.” 

Mark Gold, Business Manager, Bonhams commented, “We are delighted to have offered a service for our very loyal clientele during these challenging times – in a manner fit for the time – using cutting edge technology, without forgetting our core traditional values as auctioneers.

We saw an opportunity to try something new, so we enhanced the viewing experience prior to the Sale by launching Bonhams PreView, powered by Delegate Live; This enabled us to deliver interactive live video vehicle condition reports in the days leading upto the sale.  During the auction itself we streamed professional quality video content of all vehicles to all interested bidders and indeed to the wider online community who quite often just like to follow the sale.

Pylon One, who supported our innovative approach to virtual auctions, are an integral part of our team and have been delivering communications services to our UK and Europe off site motoring sales for the past 5 years. Bonhams highly value their proactive approach and unique skillset.

It was exciting to see so many of the lots selling and such enthusiastic bidding across the internet, on the telephones and via absentee. Over 500 people registered to bid from across the world and 59% of Lots sold were bought online – a testament to the service. Overall we achieved a sale success rate of 76% and an auction total of £2 million’

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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