Planning is the most important thing to do when you want to host an event. If you’re doing an auction, you can opt to do the planning all by yourself or find reputable companies that provide charity auction services. Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve hosted this type of event before, these handy tips will help your event become a success.
- Decide what type of auction you want to host. The most common types of auction are silent, live and online. In silent auctions, guests browse items that are presented on tables and they write their bid amounts on a sheet of paper and place them beside the item. With the power of smartphones, guests can now also bid from them. In live auctions, an auctioneer takes charge of the bidding. He introduces the items and calls out the bid amounts. Guests may shout amounts or raise their bid paddles to capture the auctioneer’s attention. Online auctions are like silent auctions. Bidders browse the items on the site and place their bids but not before submitting their credit card data.
- Acquaint yourself with the process. Before the actual event, it would be good to study the process and get familiar with it. It wouldn’t be nice to look confused or overwhelmed on the spot so studying beforehand will help. Here are the five steps you need to remember (they’re applicable no matter what type of event you’re hosting) – the start of the bidding, announcement or assigning the starting bid amount, topping of bids, closing bids, and informing the winners. Don’t forget to explain the rules beforehand so that your guests will know what to expect and what to do in case they won the bidding.
- Build your team. Managing an event on your own would be difficult (and it’s a mistake you want to avoid), which is why you need to build a team that can help you from the beginning to the end to ensure that your event will run as efficiently as possible. The number of people you need to hire will depend on the size of the event you’re running, but here’s what your team should mostly comprise of – event planning staff (in-charged of venue booking, event promotion, organizing, etc.), procurement staff (in-charged of soliciting auction items), auctioneer (if you’re running a live event), and a lot of volunteers to help with registration and checkout, setting up items, cleaning, and other general tasks.
- Decide on the auction items. One way to know if your event was a success is to check if all your items sold out. To help you decide what items to auction, you need to consider a few things – price, rarity, and appeal. Price is important because you need to set it up based on your guest’s capability to pay. You can’t auction something that your guests can’t afford to buy. The next thing is the rarity. If it’s something unique, your guests would surely want to be the first one to get their hands on it. And lastly, appeal. Of course, you need to auction items that are appealing to your guests because they’ll sincerely want to have them.
- Book a venue. Set a date for your event and then choose the best venue and book it. What’s the best date? Here’s a tip – avoid holidays because it’s likely that people will be traveling during those times. You don’t want an empty guest list, won’t you? Also, set up the time after the usual work hours so more people can attend. Scout for the venue six months prior to the event but book it early. As for the venue, the most common places used for auctions are art museums, auditoriums, community centers, galas, golf courses, gyms, and school cafeterias. If your event is online, find a company that provides superb support.
- Promote your event. Start promoting your event. Having a lot of volunteers will come in handy during this stage because they can help spread the word faster. Once you’ve built your guest list, start distributing your invites. Although physical invites are good, you’ll reach more people if you do it online. Through an auction site, you can promote your event and provide all the necessary details they need to know about it and more– such as your cause for the event, the price of tickets, who your sponsors are, what the auction items are, and how they can participate or RSVP to the event.
- Setup and implement your auction. Now for the big day, you’ll want everything set up perfectly. Be sure that all your volunteers and staff are well-oriented about their tasks. A few of the things you need to setup first – your registration and checkout areas, your tables and chairs, your auction items, your sound system, some navigation signs, and a projector. Once you’re all set up, there’s nothing left to do but enjoy the event. Don’t forget to thank everyone at the end of the event.
- See how you did. Who can tell if you hosted the event well? The guests of course. You could do a follow up by first thanking them for coming to the event as a guest or a sponsor. And then you can ask for feedback. You could also do this through an auction software if you want it to be more automated.