Fundraising Blog

How To Smash Your Live Auction Targets

Live auctions are often a fundraising event’s showpiece. Positioned towards the end of the event, live auctions contain those marquee prizes that guests clamber for. 

From exclusive access to major sporting events to luxury holidays in destinations Insta feeds will swoon over, the live auction can be where dreams come true.

While the prizes themselves are sure to get guests’ wallets twitching, there’s more event organisers can do to make sure the live auction generates as much revenue as possible:

1.    Roving Bid-Spotters

Invaluable at large events, roving bid-spotters make sure every guest who raises a hand gets noticed. 

With live auctions often relying on raised hands or paddles to signify a bid, stage lights, awkward shaped rooms and multiple tables may mean it’s difficult for an auctioneer to spot a keen bidder.

2-3 bid-spotters in the room means additional sets of eyes to make sure no one misses out.

2.    Brief the Auctioneer

Taking the time to fully brief the auctioneer about the prizes gives them the opportunity to work on their sales patter.   They can hone in on the item’s selling points and talk up why it’s a must-have prize.  

It also means the auctioneer is fully across the finer details. Bidders may have some deal-breaking questions (e.g. standard of hotel accommodation, flight inclusions etc.) if the auctioneer can answer the questions there and then it increases the chances of bidders staying in the prize race.

3.    Dynamic Video

Live auction prizes can be difficult to ‘show’ to your event guests.  Because items are often experiences rather than tangible items, fundraisers may have to rely on information boards or cards. 

Dynamic videos can really whet bidders’ appetites.  Suitable for large or small screens, these short videos can give guests a true flavour of the auction item.

Rather than a series of static photos, the video above showcases a Gorilla Safari adventure with vibrant images that bring the experience to life.  

4.  Table Cheerleaders 

We’ve already talked about how roving bid-spotters can make sure every bidder is included.  Let’s now look at how those bid-spotters can also become table cheerleaders.

Every fundraising auction has an element of good-natured competition.  If you have two or three tables competing for an item, get the competitive vibes humming by allocating a cheerleader to each table.

Along with the auctioneer, the cheerleader encourages the bidding, stokes the competition and makes sure everyone knows how awesome and generous their table bidders are!

5.    Testimonials

Unless the live auction prize is a genuine one-off, it’s likely someone, somewhere can testify to how great the item is. 

A little research into previous winners, or people who have experienced a particular prize package, can give you access to glowing testimonials that will help attract bidders.

Position the quotes wherever you’re promoting the prize: pre-event marketing, website, online auction site, event brochure.  You can even ask your auctioneer to cite the testimonial before the auction starts.

About GalaBid

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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