Obviously, you must have an amazing, super charismatic auctioneer and some really fun items for this to be a success. We’ve seen some auctions that were real lost opportunities because they weren’t planned out effectively or the auctioneer didn’t really have any experience or energy to get the crowd’s attention. This isn’t a TED Talk, you need to grab them away from their dinners and drinks and get everyone in the mood to spend money for an amazing cause!
- Have the best possible multi-media to sell the items. Just because it’s a trip to Bermuda doesn’t mean it’s easy to follow or an easy sell. Details, details, details.
- Have an area near the entrance of the event or where guests are mingling before they are seated with large posters advertising the auction items. Give them something to look forward to and make sure they know the details that the auctioneer might not get around to explaining in the heat of the moment.
- Practice with your auctioneer. Have them go over the items earlier in the evening and make sure they know how to sell all the finer points.
- Make sure your sound is on point and everyone can hear it in the back.
- Consider keeping it old-fashioned with paddles or just a hand raise. So many of these events have gone hi-tech with the iPads or the texts and it misses the point. If someone is spending money they might be more encouraged to get into the heat of the moment if they have a rowdy table or they’re encouraged by their friend’s and tablemate’s reaction to a bidding war with someone else.
- Have a very moving video presentation of your organization right before the auction. Make sure people know exactly what their dollars will do. Does it cost 100 dollars per person or animal you’re hoping to help? Let them know. Have your auctioneer know and after winning bids have them yell out you just sent 100 people to therapy or 20 kids to summer camp.
Auctions are so hard to put tighter and get the donations that need the bids. Don’t lose sight of the most important things you need to really get the best dollar amounts for your charity and your event.