3 Tips for a Better Silent Auction

silent auction tableThe silent auction is a great opportunity to build community involvement into your event and allow almost every guest to participate. Keep in mind Silent Auction bidding is just like department store shopping. While it is a relatively simple to put your silent auction together here are a few tips to improve on.

1) Don’t overcrowd your tables.
If your bidders can’t see what they are bidding on they won’t participate. When you have more items than space combine items together into packages. Varying heights for displays is a great tool to make more items fit in cramped spaces.

2) Use signage well.
When the basket is full and covered in cellophane wrap it is very difficult to know what is inside. Use signage to properly list all the items in the basket. Include values of items, exclusions and expiration dates as well as donors names. Your guests will appreciate a better shopping experience and your donors will like that their name or business is displayed prominently.

3) Multiple closing can be a great tool.
Closing all of your silent auction items at one time can create a buyers market. It may not allow your guests to be actively bidding on all their favorite items at one time. Incorporating staggerd closings into your silent will help this. It also allows for some extra time on the higher priced items. Staggered closing also helps create a sense of urgency that may lead to greater success in the Live Auction portion of the event. When using staggered closing be sure to have clear indicators at each closing. The simplest way is to color coordinate balloons with a different color for each closing but there are a variety of ways to do this.

Happy bidding!