3 Valuable Silent Auction Lessons From Seasoned Event Planning Professionals

We share some key insights from trusted industry experts

When planning a fundraising event, one of the most worthwhile ways to prepare is to take a look at what has worked for others. 

By studying the successes other silent auction hosts have been able to generate, you can determine which strategies would work for your event, and apply the methods that seem most promising. 

Plus, event planning professionals are constantly coming up with new and exciting ways to create buzz around the events they organize— making them valuable resources.  

If you’re looking to host a silent auction fundraiser that is a step above the rest, this is the article for you. 

Here Are 3 Valuable Silent Auction Lessons From Seasoned Event Planning Professionals: 

1. Choose An Ideal Location

Melanie Woodward, a highly-regarded event planner who has organized events for Honda, the Young Entrepreneurs’ Association and HGTV, considers proper venue selection to be one of the most crucial tips for running a silent auction. 

In one of her blog posts, she states: 

“Location is an important component in event planning because certain types of locations attract a certain kind of crowd. So it’s important to figure out if your target audience is likely to go to that location, if the place is easily accessible, and if there are options when it comes to transportation.” 

When selecting a location for your silent auction, be sure to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Can the venue handle the projected number of guests for my event? 
  • Is there on-site parking? Is it free, or is there an associated cost? Is it underground parking? 
  • Is the venue close to public transportation? 
  • Is the atmosphere right for the type of ambiance I want my guests to experience? Do I want my event to feel casual, or formal? 
  • What time of the day is my event being held? What type of dress code will my event have? Does my venue reflect the caliber of event I am aiming for? 

2. Keep Guests Entertained

Sarah Haywood is well known in the event planning industry for organizing and overseeing unforgettable weddings. But her approach to guest satisfaction can be applied to any event type. 

In a blog post by Event Juice, Haywood discussed the importance of maintaining your guests interest: 

“Keep your guests well fed, well ‘watered’ and keep the event flowing. No one likes hanging about at an event uncertain of what exactly is happening, or what will occur next.” 

By ensuring your event adheres to a pre-planned schedule, you can reduce the likelihood of guests getting bored or experiencing lulls. 

You can also implement fun, creative ways to pass time, like a photo booth or a presentation by a special guest speaker. 

The more inventive your ideas are, the better!

3. Define Your Purpose

The highly-experienced team of event planners at JDC Events, based out of Washington, DC, know what it takes to hit a home-run when planning a corporate function or non-profit event. 

Before digging into aspects like decorating or scheduling, this dedicated team of experts begin their process by asking a simple question: what is the purpose of this event? 

Why do they do this? 

In one of their many informative blog posts, they explain: 

“An event without a strong purpose is more susceptible to failure. Spending a considerable amount of time defining your purpose helps you stay on target throughout the planning process and puts you in a better position to have a successful event.” 

The team also recommends asking yourself the following questions when planning your upcoming event: 

  • What are we hoping to achieve? 
  • Who is our target audience? 
  • How do we engage participants? 
  • What worked well in past events? What didn’t work? 
  • What do we want to achieve with this event? 
  • Do we have the human capital and financial resources to support the event? 
  • How do we measure our success? 

By taking these valuable tips for running a silent auction, and combining them with the convenience and efficiency of an online auction software, you can drastically improve the odds of your event being a major success. 

The Bid Beacon silent auction app has a ton of value-adding features that can help simplify your event and provide a more pleasing guest experience. 

Some of these features include: 

  • Live bid updates delivered directly to your guests via their mobile devices, as well as push notifications that keep your guests informed even when they aren’t logged into the Bid Beacon app 
  • Opportunities for sponsors to place their logos and other branded materials within the app for guests to see 
  • Message boards where guests can communicate with one another 
  • The ability to place bids on items using any device (mobile, desktop, tablet) 

Get started with your own
free online silent auction!

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