One of the questions we’re asked the most is, What should I do at my events in order to make them more successful? However, instead of adopting a mindset that’s concerned with what to do at your event, we encourage that you consider what to do for your event. Ironically, many of the decisions that will make or break a charity auction are made pre-event. We want you to capitalize on the preparatory steps necessary to maximize your work. Understand that the timelines we’ve cited aren’t hard and fast rules. Yes, they’re ones we’ve seen great success with, but we understand that it’s important to know your own event and tailor these steps as necessary.
Strategically Posting Your Content – 2-3 Months Out
Being prepared to efficiently promote your event is key. If you’re new to mobile bidding, the first step is to familiarize yourself with the silent auction software you’re using. At ClickBid, we offer a 30-day demo that incorporates almost our entire system. You’ll have the ability to familiarize yourself with adding features, auction items, bidders, etc. as well as contact customer representatives for further clarification Regardless of the software you choose, it will relieve a tremendous amount of stress to familiarize yourself with this large aspect of your event early on.
From here, the next priority is posting content for your event on an adequate timeline. We recommend having a clear ticket sales system ready for the public two to three months from your event date. On the same time schedule, we also recommend creating an event landing page with detailed information on auction items, the schedule of the event, pricing, and any other information you believe will be helpful to your guests. We believe both of these areas are very important to your event and offer services pertaining to both on our website. Take note, these simple steps have major impacts. Your attendance numbers will be greatly assisted by the simple courtesy of allowing your guests to effectively schedule accordingly and feel prepared for what is to be expected. Lastly, providing these resources early will save you and your team hours of phone calls and emails spent responding to questions.
Building Your Pre-event’ Appeal – 1 Month Out
It’s no big news that both the auction items as well as their respective bidders are a big part of your event. These are areas that demand a balance of organization and energy in their preparation. Specifically, there are three steps worth covering in order to efficiently achieve this standard.
First, ensure that you have a system to keep track of who’s attending as well as who’s registered to bid in the auction. Our mobile bidding software has the added feature of counting ticket sales as registered guests for your events. From there, you can easily convert and save any of those to a bidder account. If you’ve manually entered this information into spreadsheets such as Excel, Google Spreadsheets, or Microsoft 365, you can upload and automatically transfer that information to your ClickBid account. While I don’t necessarily recommend converting every account to a bidder, I would do so for attendees who provided a form of contact information. The reason being is that you will want to provide your bidders with information they need to participate and inform them of the different opportunities that we’ll touch on in the next section. As we’ll look at in greater depth, it is extremely important to maintain a narrative of communication with those who are attending your event.
The second step is to begin building your auction catalogue. At this stage in the process, you will need to have your ticket sales and landing page created as the landing page will be used to promote your auction items. In the early stages, you can use your ClickBid account to privately assemble a list and once you’re ready you may publish the items as auction previews on your event landing page. Ideally, you should begin posting auction items roughly a month out from your event. Rest assured, there’s no pressure to complete your list entirely and upload all the auction items at once. In fact, it’s advantageous to announce your items in a more spaced out technique. Building your catalogue an item or two a day will help create the momentum you need for your event. You’ll find that guests are excited to anticipate what item is next and it spurs a greater level of interaction.
A Head Start Approach To Your Auction – 1-2 Weeks Out
The final tip we recommend is that you begin the bidding process early (pre-event). We believe this is an often undervalued method, but at the end of the day, it yields results that speak for themselves. For one thing, it is easily one of the most effective methods to begin rolling the ball on your auction totals. By starting a week or two earlier than your event, you can have 20-30% percent of your auction totals raised before the charity auction officially takes places. This offers itself as an added inspirational testimony to spur further interaction once you reach your event date. Equally as important is that it allows your guests to become familiar with your mobile bidding system. What this means is that they’re familiar with how it’s used and will also have their payment information already on file through the software. This simple advantage will help your event run smoothly both during the auction as well as in the checkout process.
The key to encouraging your bidders to participate in mobile bidding is entirely about communication. Utilize ClickBid’s mass messaging tool to email your guests about the unique opportunity of early bidding. You can motivate guests to participate by highlighting that they’ll have special first access to the auction items as well as your mobile bidding software. Include that participation will also help the event run more smoothly as well as offer a more enjoyable bidding process.
The last point we must touch on is check in. Technically the last step before your auction, it’s one that requires the same amount of attention as the previous steps. With ClickBid you have full access to our Butler check-in software and we strongly urge making the most of it. Guests will be able to easily confirm their event ID and staff can also verify names, locate records, as well as confirm an email and phone number. Most importantly, if a guest is not registered to bid, they can be converted into one with the click of a button. They will then be sent a text encouraging them to verify payment information before the charity auction begins. Again, the greater amount of guests with payment on file means a far more efficient checkout and much easier participation.
While each of these steps takes place prior to your event (in the pre-event stage), they remain foundational to its success. With today’s silent auction software, your mindset should no longer be focused on what to do at your event. The real question to be asking is, What can you do for your event?
1. Have information and tickets available on an effective timeline.
2. Organize bidder information and build momentum with your auction items.
3. Get a head start on your auction by opening early (pre-event).
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