Holding a fundraising auction? You'll know that sourcing great items and prizes is key to a successful event. You'll also know that having prize items on display, where bidders can see their potential spoils, is a great way to stoke interest in your fundraising auction. But you may find that there are a number of items that you cannot physically display to your bidders. Â And how do you get guests to bid for items they can't actually see? Sometimes it's not possible to have your prize items on display. There are a whole host of reasons why it might not be practical. There could be extremely expensive items that pose a security risk, or very large items (such as a car) that are just too big to house at the venue or experiences (such as a hot air balloon ride) that are, well â€“ impossible to display!
Just because you can't display the item doesn't mean you can't whet bidders' appetites. Think about posting auction items on your website. Source some great eye-catching photos and write tantalising copy to 'sell' the items to your bidders. Opening a silent auction ahead of the event via a dedicated web page gives you an opportunity to get your items in front of bidders (and to kick-start the auction action early).
At the event itself a display table featuring photos and text in a laminated or Perspex frame is also an effective option. Think about included relevant props in lieu of the item itself. How about a toy version of the car you have as part of your prize package? Or what about showcasing the hot air balloon ride with a gorgeous piece of parachute silk and a basket? Videos and posters can also be used to showcase your prize options. Videos displayed on a big screen are a great way to 'display' experiences. Audio plus visuals can really bring an experience to life, particularly if you can get access to quality productions (it's worth asking your prize donors if they can help with this â€“ not only does it sell the prize but it acts as a promotional opportunity for them too).
If your prize items can't be displayed, don't worry. With a few creative ideas you can still make sure your bidders are fully engaged with (and excited by!) what's on offer.