The Ultimate Auction Planning Checklist

The Ultimate Auction Planning Checklist

Hosting an auction is never an easy feat. You will be handling tons of shifting parts. Even if you’ve managed to put a remarkable team to handle the event, it still makes the monitoring process a bit overwhelming. However, you can simplify your planning process with the help of effective and modern event technology and some useful tips. 

We’ve gathered the ultimate pro tips on how to make your auction planning a huge success. Following these practices will help you run your event smoothly and minimise any stress. 

Plan and Decide Which Auction Type to Host 

When you think about auctions, several scenarios like an auctioneer announcing money amounts, arranging tables and making auction paddles are immediately what come to mind. While live auctions are a popular choice, there are other auction types that your organisation can host. So, it’s important to plan and decide what exact sort you should put on. These three are the most popular types. 

  • Silent Auctions 

This is an in-person type of auction planning where guests can browse the items arranged on tables. Guests often bid through writing an amount next to the item of choice. The use of mobile bidding software can increase donations by allowing guests to bid using their smartphones. Compared to live auctions, silent auctions are less integrated. You can easily interact with donors in person. 

  • Online Auctions 

This is a  digital type of auction that is similar to silent auctions. For you to host this type of bidding, your organisation must set up an online auction site. To enable online participants to browse items smoothly, the site must feature product images with their descriptions. The participants also need to register their name and credit card details on the site before they can start placing a bid. 

Given that there’s no physical gathering involved, online auctions are less costly, easier to plan and anyone from different corners of the world can join.

  • Live Auctions 

Live auctions are live performances where an auctioneer manages the bidding by means of item presentation and announcement of dollar amounts. For guests to place a bid, they must use bid paddles to get an auctioneer’s attention. Moreover, live auctions are often fun, fast and highly engaging for participants because you’ll have an auctioneer to handle the entire bidding show. 

Implement Software for Silent Auction

If there are gaps in your organisation’s event software during the auction planning process, take time to find and build new ways. Although not every event needs an all-around advanced software, there are some that are highly recommended.

    • Mobile bidding tools that boost bids and engagement during the auction event. 
    • Marketing software for smooth email and social media interactions. 
    • Dedicated auction toolkit to manage the event from start to finish. 
    • A CRM to gather and store data generated from the auction. 
    • Registration software for your larger auction program. 

Using mobile bidding software can be a turning point for every silent auction event. It makes bidding more seamless and fast. You can even enhance your guests’ experience and boost engagement. Also, these tools will make sending auction updates directly to bidders easier.  

Promote Premium Auction Items

Advertising big-ticket auction items in your social media posts, email blasts and website promotes higher bids and sells more tickets. Make sure to use a sufficient amount of images, sensory information and short video clips when describing every auctioned item. 

Obtain Pre-Donations and Advertise a Fund-a-Need

It is highly likely that more prepared guests are willing to pledge cash if you promote your special appeal beforehand, even if most auction purchases are due to impulse buying. You can contact your supporters before the event to know who would be willing to donate and at what amounts. Doing so will give you a better view of how much money you’ll need to meet your goal.  

Select Enhancers for Your Revenue

In addition to special appeal and live auction, there are plenty of ways to raise funds—from fundraiser auctions to silent auctions and a whole lot more. When choosing revenue enhancers, these are the things to keep in mind. 

    • Procure Table Captains 

People who are assigned to fill their table with family, friends and colleagues are what you called as table captains. Provide them with the needed language and collateral to attract people to your event. 

    • Set the Agenda for the Event 

The key to reducing confusion and keeping everyone focused on the event is to follow a fixed and fast-changing program. This will help you engage your guests and raise more money. 

    • Prepare Bid Numbers/Cards

Using bid cards can still raise money in live auctions and fund-a-need events, regardless if you’re utilising mobile bidding software in your auction.

    • Set a Print Deadline for Catalogue 

Displaying your best items in a charity auction catalogue is one of the best ways to gain more bidding. After you’ve set the live auction items, prepare and print your catalogue beforehand. 

Finalise Your Volunteers for the Program

Make sure that prior to starting your charity auction event, you already have your list of certain volunteers. Inform them of their roles and what gaps they need to fill during the event. 

Complete Your Check-In and Check-Out Service Plans

Provide sufficient time for volunteers under the checkout team to process bid sheets and accompany guests out the venue. If you’re using auction software, your guests can pre-register credit card details to save time. Also, mobile bidding can quicken the process since they can directly pay using their Smartphones. 

Encourage People to Participate

You can further increase ticket sales by offering tiered pricing, premium tickets near the stage, or early-bird raffle tickets. Don’t forget to boost engagement and promotion on email and social media. You can set multiple ticket sale deadlines for those who are selling tickets. Doing so lets you monitor sales and increase revenue while there’s still time, whenever necessary. 

Lending You a Helping Hand

We, at Helping Hand Group, can assist you with your auction needs. Our auction items are on a consignment-type basis and that means no cost to your event budget. We also have our friendly event staff ready to set up the item displays at your event, manage the auctions and take down the displays at the end of the event. 

That’s how we lend a helping hand. Contact us for details.

Tips For a Successful Charity Auction

5 Strategies to Make Your Charity Auction a Success

Auctions are a fun and excellent way to get the funds that you need to launch your projects. Even more, they are an effective way to get everyone involved. Because they are a highly interactive event, charity fundraisers are also a great opportunity to connect with your supporters and engage with them, even if you hold your charity auction online. However, running these charity events or fundraisers can be time-consuming and tedious at the same time.

If it’s your first time to run a charity auction, don’t fret. Here are a few tips to help you run an auction and so much more!

Tips to Make Charity Auction a Success


  • Choose the right auction type

Select the most suitable type of auction based on your target market to ensure its success. It has to be appealing enough for your supporters to ensure that you’ll have a fruitful turnout.

Aside from live auctions, you can also consider online and silent auctions, depending on your supporters’ preference. It’s highly advisable to learn the benefits and the downsides of each auction type, to come up with the right decision.

  • Use an auction software application

Before you start to plan the event, it’s best to choose an auction software application for ease in organising all its aspects. There are two primary types of auction software applications: auction and event planning software and mobile bidding software.  

Depending on your needs, both of these software applications can help make your charity auction a success. Both types of software applications have been programmed to streamline every part of the process. This makes planning charity events or charity fundraisers easier while also giving the donors easy access to bid or buy tickets.

  • Choose exciting items

Getting the most competitive items is a must to get your sponsors motivated to donate. This should be one of the goals when thinking about fundraiser ideas for charity. A few of the best things you can consider can range from signed sports apparel, vacation getaway or a concert ticket.

Although the primary goal of all charity events is to incentivise charitable contributions, getting your donors’ attention with exciting items to spur their interest is a great way to turn your event into a great success! However, it will help to keep in mind the law of supply and demand when choosing auction item ideas. You need to ensure that the items are scarce to find to score higher bids. Doing so will make your donors feel like they’re walking away with something they want to get.

  • Run ads in advance

Once you’ve carefully curated your auction items, it’s about time to showcase them as part of your charity auction promotion. Running ads showcasing the auction pieces will not only motivate people to participate, but you might even encourage uninterested individuals to attend the event, too.

Fortunately, there are many ways to promote your items. In addition to printing them, you can also run your ads online. Not only will you raise more money, but it’s also more efficient.

  • Secure your sponsorships

An effective way to help you manage your costs is by securing sponsorships from businesses or individuals for your charity auction online. You can ask them for assistance, either through cash or in-kind donations, to underwrite the expenses of running such an event. In return, you can offer them various benefits and tiered sponsorship that they can choose based on the value that they want to give and receive. You can also consider offering them public recognition in return for their donations.


Lending You a Helping Hand

At Helping Hand Group, we provide our clients with only the best help that they need to run their live and silent auctions. Here are a few more reasons why you should work with us.

  • Highly experienced

If you try to start a charity auction online or a live one on your own, there’s a big chance that you might miss out on a few practical pointers to make the most of your resources. In contrast, when you get auction experts like us, you are guaranteed to get only the best support for the auction process. A professional auction team has all the experience that you need to run the auction. Our knowledge of what may happen in an auction will ensure that you won’t leave out any critical information or requirements for the event.

  • Assistance from start to finish

Managing all the aspects of an auction event can be tedious, and you might not have the proper resources or tools handy to perform every task. That’s not the case if you would decide to work with us. We provide auction items on a consignment-type basis. Aside from taking care of setting up, we can also run the auction and take down the displays at the end of the event.

  • No upfront costs

Yes, our services come at no cost to our clients. We cover our costs through the sales of auction items. That’s why we always make sure to create engaging auctions at charity events where guests would want to bid and win. As we sell our items, you also raise more money. Staging great auctions is our specialty!

Interested in working with us? Contact us today.

Types of Auctions

What Are the Types of Auctions?

When you hear the word auction, just like most people, you would think of an item being sold at a suggested or starting price that’s set by the seller. There’s the bid caller, also known as an auctioneer who calls or auctions the property in an ascending-bid manner. This auction is the English type, the most common form of auction, but it is just one of the many types of auction you can do.

An auction is the process of selling goods through a process known as bidding. An item is offered to the bidders at a starting price and sold to the highest bidder. The word auction, which came from the Latin word augeō, means “I increase.” This was used as early as 500 BC. During the Roman Empire, soldiers would auction off their spoils of battle after a military victory, with their proceeds going toward the war effort.

With the increasing use of charity auction or a fundraiser auction as a way of raising funds for many organisations, wouldn’t it be good to know the different types of auction? Here’s an article that covers the different types of auction and which one you should host for your organisation. This will surely help you in your auction planning.

Types of Auctions

According to the order in which the auctioneer quotes prices and the way bidders offer their bids, here are some types of auction.

  • Ascending-bid auction

Also called English auction, ascending-bid auction is the most common type. It is most often used to sell wine, antiques and art.

As the name implies, this auction is where potential buyers bid against each other, until run times out or the bidding is exhausted. The auctioneer starts the bidding at the lowest price he is willing to accept for the item at auction or a reserved price which may be zero. Whenever a bidder has expressed interest at that price, the auctioneer calls out and solicits further bids. The price is usually increased at a predetermined bid increment. The bidding continues until no one is willing to increase the bid any further, and the final bidder wins the item at their bid price. This type of auction is also known as a first-price auction because the winner pays the bid.

  • Descending-bid auction

This type is also a first-price auction and known as Dutch auction. It differs from an English auction in that the auctioneer starts at a high price that’s higher than what the item may fetch. The price decreases until a bidder is willing to take the offered amount. This is why it’s called a descending-bid auction. The winning bidder pays the item at the price at which they made the call.

A descending-bid auction is commonly used in flower markets in Holland, hence the name “Dutch.” An advantage of using this type of auction is its speed as the process takes relatively little time.

  • Sealed-bid auction or Ballot Bidding®️

While bidders are aware of how much other bidders bid for an item in English and Dutch auctions, this is not the case in a sealed-bid auction. In this type, the bidders submit their individual bids in a sealed envelope, a piece of paper or in Ballot Bidding® forms if you’re going to work with us. When all of the envelopes are opened or the forms are checked, the highest bidder is announced. That winning bidder receives the item at the bid price made. 

  • Silent auction

In silent auctions, items are displayed for the guests to assess, place bids on and buy. They are called silent auctions because there’s no auctioneer calling out or crying out for bids. What happens is that the guests place their bids silently and anonymously on a bid sheet or through their mobile devices. 

In addition to these types of auction based on the order in which the auctioneer quotes prices and the way bidders tender their bids, other types of auction based on how they’re being done are live or online auctions.

A live or ballroom auction is an onsite auction that’s commonly done on premises, such as a sale yard, auction house or related property. An auctioneer or bid caller is present to call for bids on items being sold. In this type of auction, bidders openly compete to buy, and they can observe the behaviour of other bidders. 

An online auction enables bidders to participate or bid on a certain item by submitting their bids by computer or mobile device over the Internet. In this flexible and convenient type of charity auction, all bidders see the same information within a specific duration. Online auctions can also come as an ascending-bid auction, descending-bid auction and silent auction.

What Type of Auction Should You Host?

There are so many forms of auctions, and you should host what best suits your goal or fundraiser auction plan, the one that will give you the most results or revenue. The type of auction you should host may also depend on the nature of items you will auction.

Lending You a Helping Hand 

Are you trying to set up a charity auction? Or do you need help with auction planning?

Whether it’s a silent auction or a traditional one, Helping Hand Group can assist you with no upfront costs to you. We can help you with every aspect of your charity auction event. We can provide you with rare and exciting auction items, event planning staff and even a professional auctioneer, and you don’t need to pay us. We only get a profit when the auction items are purchased at your event.

Let’s start planning for your charity auction today. For more details about this partnership, contact us.

Fundraising Auctioneers: Unique Skills and Customised Approach to Auctioneering

Live Auctioneer for Fundraising Auctions Jason Kazanis helping with fundraising ideas.

Did you know that there exists a specific type of live auctioneer that specialises in fundraising auctions?

Fundraising auctioneers have a unique, tailored approach to hosting live auctions that can significantly improve guest participation, bidding, and overall fundraising results. Helping Hand Group has developed a network of fundraising auctioneers over more than two decades who assist our team at hundreds of fundraising events throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other countries in Asia. Our team has witnessed improvements in size and number of bids due to the specific skills that fundraising auctioneers bring to live auctions held at fundraising events.

Live Auctioneer for Fundraising Auctions Jason Kazanis in action auctioning off autographed Bruce Springsteen Guitar at fundraising event.Fundraising auctioneers are different than other auctioneers who focus on items such as cars, equipment, property, or livestock.

Fundraising auctioneers work with fundraisers on a regular basis and have developed the experience and skills required to effectively engage with different types of audiences that attend fundraising events. Fundraising auctioneers conduct their auctions in a different way because participants are bidding based on a different motive than, say, a standard property auction. During a property auction, participants bid based on their desire to own a particular piece of property at the best possible price up to their maximum bid. However, during fundraising auctions, participants not only bid based on their desire to own a particular item, but also to give generously to the benefitting charity. This is where fundraising auctioneers excel:

1. Fundraising auctioneers excel at tapping into the emotions of your guests to ensure that all guests are reminded of the purpose of the fundraising event – to give generously to your cause.

2. Fundraising auctioneers will connect with your audience with dialogue, gestures, and interactivity to get their attention, maintain it, and ensure they know how to participate.

3. Fundraising auctioneers will find ways to encourage higher bids while running a fun auction with effective dialogue to encourage guests to start friendly bidding rivalries and push bids as high as possible for your cause.

4. Fundraising auctioneers make the auction items “come to life” by leveraging descriptive selling and promoting the benefits and usability of the auction item itself.

5.   Fundraising auctioneers can work within tight timelines to ensure that your event schedule stays on-time.

Live Auctioneer for Fundraising Auctions Richard Ernster in action auctioning in Singapore.Live auctioneers for fundraisers are flexible and can auction almost anything that you have to offer.

Fundraising auctioneers have the ability to present and auction off a wide range of auction items. Helping Hand Group has a variety of autographed memorabilia, themed items, unique experiences, and holiday packages that work well with our fundraising auctioneers. However, if you have acquired your own items – regardless of the value – our fundraising auctioneers have the skills to adapt and connect the value and theme of the item to your guests to ensure as many people are inspired to participate and bid as generously as possible.

Live fundraising auctioneers can be provided at no cost to your event budget.

Helping Hand Group can provide one of our live fundraising auctioneers at no cost to your event budget when our team also supplies five auction items to your auction list. Our team can also work with you to ensure that the type, theme, and value of the auction items are well suited for your guests to ensure the greatest opportunity for success possible. Our team covers our service costs when our auction items sell at your event. So, it is up to us to ensure that our team strives for the best possible results at your live auction!

Helping Hand Group maintains a network of fundraising auctioneers that can be made available to perform their services for your live fundraising auction.

Live Auctioneer for Fundraising Auctions Richard Ernster and team supporting fundraising auction in AustraliaContact our team to discuss the many options available to suit your next fundraising gala or corporate dinner auction.

Jason Kazanis Helps Smash Fundraising Goal for Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia

Jason Kazanis is one of the best fundraising auctioneers

Our event support team can also come with some fantastic live auctioneers that specialise in fundraising auctions!

Jason Kazanis – Auctioneer did an outstanding job at the recent Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia Funraiser Charity Dinner as the live auctioneer. His skilled work contributed to the event exceeding their fundraising goal by $65,000 – enough to help Starlight Children’s Foundation assist 1,900 kids. Fantastic!

A big thank you to Jason and the Starlight Children’s Foundation team for having us!