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.