Top tips for your Live Auction

Top tips for your Live Auction

Your live auction is often the most important aspect of your event in terms of the funds raised. Givergy’s event team are experienced in managing a live auction and will work with you to make sure each element of the live auction is planned to make the most of every opportunity.

Here our top tips for your live auction:

Choosing the right auction lots is the first thing to think about.
It is a unique item? Try to use items that money can’t buy for a live auction, i.e. a sold-out event.
Are there restrictions on the item? Try not to use items with a short expiry date.
Does the item have broad appeal? Try to use items that are going to appeal to a lot of people to increase the number of bidders to drive up the price.
Can you sell it twice? If you have multiple bidders sell the item twice & double your profits. Ensure your spotters and the Givergy team know this is a possibility so they are prepared.

The next most important element to consider if the number of items you will auction live. You want to ensure you raise lots of money but be mindful that if live auction goes on too long, guests can get bored which will ultimately end up in a disengaged audience – the last thing you want for a live auction! In our experience, the most effective live auctions have an absolute maximum of 5 items – in fact the most successful auctions we have experienced have 2-3 items!

There are various ways to make your live auction engaging and to keep the energy in the room high:

  • Do you have any videos to accompany the auction lots?
  • Do you have a celebrity guest who could help the auctioneer to generate bidding activity?
  • Do you have any items that could be walked around the room?
  • Could you use glow sticks as paddles? This will help locate your bidders too!

Your auctioneer is paramount to the success of your auction – read this article on Selecting and briefing your auctioneer

The timing is a key element of the live auction.  Do not start or finish your event with a live auction. Just after the main course is often a good place – at this point guests are into the swing of their great evening; they are feeling energised and ready to give. More advice on your running order can be found here: Live Event Running Order

Be prepared! Make sure your spotters are prepped & ready as they play a vital role in making sure your live auction runs smoothly & most importantly getting the winners details for payment. If guests feel their bids are not being seen, they can get frustrated and stop bidding so position your spotters around the room to help catch the eye of the auctioneer. Your Givergy team will be happy to assist to collect all the bids during the live auction, but it’s great to get volunteers involved too.

Have you ever thought about running a reverse auction? This can work effectively as it makes sure the whole room is paying attention. Here’s how it works:

  • Choose an item that you are able to sell multiple times.
  • The auctioneer will ask everyone in the room to stand, and then start the bidding low, asking guests to remain standing if they are still willing to pay the bid amount as it increases.
Ella Jacques

Ella Jacques

Global Client Services Manager at Givergy

Ella heads up the global Fundraising & Events team. A key part of Givergy’s growth for four years, Ella has a passion for event planning and ensuring her and her teams’ clients exceed their fundraising targets. Furthermore, Ella’s exposure to some of the highest-profile fundraising events gives her a unique insight into the newest and most innovative way in which charities are engaging with their audiences.