Your guide to hosting a successful auction in 2022

Auctions have easily become the staple of events and gala nights. No matter where in the world you are, if you are getting ready for an event, chances are, you will see an auction on the event list. Auction is a selling process where guests and attendees openly or anonymously place bids for acquiring auction items at a desired or appropriate price. The main reason why auctions are an important event is because they are often associated with a charitable cause and the funds raised during an auction are donated to support the cause.

If you are new to the world of auctions, you might have heard about the term silent auctions. Basically, a silent auction is like a typical auction event, albeit with a slight but important difference. In a silent auction, guests place bids on auction items using bid sheets, websites or a mobile app based bidding software. The difference between a traditional auction and a silent auction is the absence of an auctioneer in the latter. Typically, silent auctions are hosted during the main event or post the dinner or cocktail hour. The results of the winners are announced after the auction is over, and the winners receive their prizes subsequently.

Silent auctions have been used for fundraising by individuals, non-profits, charity organisations and companies. Typically, a silent auction follows the same rules as a traditional auction, but some organisers implement additional rules related to bid increments, and buy-it-now prices for guests.

To place bids at a silent auction, guests can be given either bid sheets, tablet devices or a mobile app. Bid sheets are physical sheets of paper where every auction item is listed along with a tab for guests to place their desired bid for an item. In a mobile app auction software, guests can place their bids using the app’s input fields directly.

So, what are the advantages of hosting a silent auction, when compared to a traditional auction?

Firstly, a silent auction is easier to run, as it does not require the presence of an auctioneer during the proceedings. Guests and attendees can place their bids easily using paper or technology based alternatives. In a silent auction, there is little work required from hosts and coordinators during the event.

Secondly, a silent auction is more suitable for a main event or gala night where guests want to be part of a simple, no-fuss experience. Silent auctions do not detract guests from the event’s ambience, and therefore, presents a more relaxed, laid-back bidding atmosphere.

Thirdly, silent auctions work on anonymity, and if organised properly, this can be a good way to raise more funds. Because of the format, guests cannot see who is the highest bidder at any given time, and this encourages guests to place higher bids than a traditional auction.

Now that you know the benefits of hosting a silent auction, the next important part is how to plan your auction to make it into a successful fundraising event.

Here are some proven tips and tricks for your charity auction.

  1. Create an auction guide: Having an in-depth auction guide will help your guests navigate through the fundraising process with confidence. Guests want to know what the auction is about, and what cause is being supported by the auction organisers. The auction guide should cover details about the charity, and also include descriptions and photographs of the auction items.
  • Choose the right items: The success of any auction hinges on what auction items are at display and sale. If you are planning on hosting a silent auction, start by asking what type of items will appeal to your guests. It will also help to do a basic profiling of your guest list to know their interests and expectations, and based on this information, come up with a mix of interesting, valuable and priceless items for auction.
  • Advertise your auction: This one is a no-brainer, to raise more funds, you need to reach more people, and for that, you need to advertise your auction. Ideally, you should start with the promotions a month before the auction date. This will give you enough time and scope to reach out to guests and grab their attention. You should also use social media to advertise your auction, and attract more people to the event.

Are you all set to host your next charity auction? If yes, then it’s time to take the leap of faith and host your auction virtually. The benefits of choosing an online-only silent auction are many, and you will save time, money and resources while doing so.

If you are looking to get started in this direction, check out Charity Auctions Today – a one stop platform for hosting silent auctions online which offers a host of features such as – online storefront, guests management, payment collection and more. With Charity Auctions Today, anyone from a first-timer to an experienced person can host an online auction. All it takes is a few minutes and you can set up your next virtual auction without any hassles.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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