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How to Best Engage Your Audience in Your Live or Silent Auction

Although it does help, a great cause and a crowded room does not always translate to auction participation. So what software and techniques then, will help you raise money and rally support when holding a silent or live auction at a fundraising event? We take a look at the most effective tools and trends currently being used in the nonprofit sector.

Keep registration for your event clear and simple

The easier the auction is to take part in, the more likely supporters are to participate. Allow guests to register for the catalogue prior to their arrival by sending them a simple text link to their mobile device. From here, all they have to do is click the link to start viewing your auction catalogue and get bidding! Additionally, you can station staff or volunteers to 'meet and greet' guests as they arrive and register them for the auction. Finally, if asking guests to register themselves at the live event, ensure your MC clearly goes through the simple steps involved. Auction instructions should be easily visible on your guests' tables and by the silent auction display.

Fundraising and the digital age

With technology today playing an increasingly prevalent role in our day to day lives, it's more important than ever to use an electronic fundraising platform to help encourage bidding among guests. If opting for the traditional method of paper bidding, you are limiting your nonprofit from perhaps running a very successful and profitable donation drive or from opening up your auction to the rest of your supporter database that may still wish to support you - even if they can't make it along to the actual event. Electronic silent auctions also mean easier and faster payment for your winning bidders so less chasing for you as the event organiser, and importantly, less reneging!

Raffles encourage auction participation

Several of our clients have reported an increase in their auction participation when selling raffle tickets through the same platform. This is because guests are automatically registered for the auction at the same time they purchase their raffle tickets and receive a link directly to their mobile phone enabling them to browse your selection of great prizes: temptation literally at their fingertips! Also offering incentives, such entry into a special raffle draw for every bid placed in the auction, is particularly effective.

The early bird...

Sending out an EDM with a link to your auction means that supporters can register and bid prior to the event making a huge difference to the end result. Social media is also a great place to plug your auction. On average our clients are managing to obtain 40% of their total auction revenue prior to their event starting by pushing pre-event registration and bidding.

When organising, for instance a golf day or trivia night, getting groups or individuals to enter their player details prior to the event, is a great way to acquire pre-event registrations. Furthermore, our event ticketing application means that registration occurs automatically at a date and time of your choice.

Camaraderie and competition are key to running a successful fundraising campaign

Fun, camaraderie and healthy competition are the best ingredients for a running a successful fundraising event. Holding a competition between the various groups to see who contributes the most to the auction result, is a simple way promote participation for the night ahead. This can work really well for golf days and corporate events where there is already a sense of team or table based competition.

Making the most out of your MC with fundraising incentives

Using an extensive checklist of skills, an experienced auctioneer MC, will communicate the most important information to guests for example, on how to register, whilst entertaining the audience and persuading them to get involved. Many organisations find it particularly effective to also utilise the MC to offer incentives for guests to give more i.e. anyone who registers within the first hour will go into our draw to win a [enter fabulous prize here!]. As mentioned above, GalaBid's electronic raffle is an easy way to arrange this.

Take your guests by surprise with your auction catalogue

A 'hidden item' in your auction catalogue revealed at the right moment is a sure way to encourage auction participation. A big ticket item with good selling power is key.

Enticing updates

Use both your MC and the auction platform to advise your supporters of updates on auction items that might still be going for a bargain - event organisers that highlight key items to their supporters find they tend to see a much higher percentage of bids on certain auction items.

Text alerts are an effective way to remind registered bidders of prizes that are still up for grabs or even remind them of how long they have left to bid.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you at your next fundraising event.

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GalaBid is CrowdComms’ fundraising software, developed inhouse, which facilitates bidding, donations, purchases, payment for and management of all fundraising activities before and during live fundraising events, galas, golf days etc.

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