Prepare your silent auction event for success with these helpful tips
When you make the decision to invest in a mobile app for your silent auction, you open up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to preparing for your event.
Traditionally, silent auction hosts spend the weeks and days prior to their event sourcing auction items, preparing paper bid sheets, finalizing starting bids, and doing all of the other operational tasks that are required for a fundraising event to go off without a hitch.
But with a silent auction app, preparing for your big day can feel like an entirely new experience. With convenient built-in features and tons of ways to excite your guests, your mobile app is a highly valuable tool that should be used to generate engagement and interest leading up to your fundraising event.
So, how exactly should you use your mobile app while you are getting ready for your event?
Here Are Three Ways To Prepare For Your Mobile Silent Auction:
1. Take And Post High-Quality Photos of Auction Items
One of the most beneficial aspects of a silent auction app is the fact that your guests can login to the app ahead of time, from wherever they are. This provides them with the opportunity to browse through your auction items and identify any offerings they are interested in, which ultimately increases the likelihood that one of your items will be bid on.
However, in order for your items to truly inspire one of your mobile app users to begin bidding, your participants have to be able to clearly see what the item is, what it looks like, and any exciting features the item offers.
The best way to display these things to your bidders?
That would be with high-quality images. If you’re hosting an upcoming silent auction, it’s recommended that you post clear, well-lit and informative photos of your available items.
For example: If one of your items is a two-night stay in a romantic suite at a luxury hotel, you would want to include photos of the room, the hotel amenities, and even some photos of the city where the hotel is located. By sharing these photos, you help potential bidders envision how enjoyable it would be to win the package.
Remember: Try to include photos that highlight the benefits of the item you are offering. If you’re auctioning off a pair of high-tech wireless headphones, be sure to show your mobile app users the convenient wireless charging process, or highlight the convenience of cordless mobility.
Your guests will love browsing through your catalog of items before arrival at your event! And you’ll love that they will show up with specific bids already in mind.
2. Set Your Minimum Starting Bids
In an ideal world, your guests wouldn’t be concerned about the price tag associated with each of your auction items, but here in the real world, people like to get down to brass tacks. So, it is always beneficial to post the minimum starting bids for each of your silent auction items as soon as you can.
When your guests are aware of the minimum cost associated with their potential winnings, they are able to more accurately budget and make faster bidding decisions.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that silent auction attendees are often looking for a steal of a deal on an item they’ve been interested in for quite some time. For these types of bidding strategists, seeing low minimum bids can be motivating, as they increase the likelihood of your guest being able to secure their desired item at price that is lower than they would pay for it elsewhere.
Remember: A general rule of thumb is to set your minimum bids at 30-40 percent of the fair market value (FMV).
3. Communicate Regularly To Promote Participation
Being able to communicate directly through your live auction software is always a major bonus. Your guests will receive push notifications directly to their cell phone whenever you send an item-related message, making it less likely for your messages to go unread.
In fact, mobile app users who receive push notifications are 3X as likely to use that app than users who do not receive push notifications.
You can also email your guests directly with helpful information.
Some potential topics to email your silent auction attendees about include:
- Tips for mobile bidding
- Reminders regarding parking, refreshments, and other important day-of-event information
- Reminders of prizes for highest bidder
- Information about the various sponsors of your event
- Additional details about high-ticket items that will be up for auction
As long as you are keeping your guests engaged and keeping your event in their minds, your event is much more likely to be a success.