Virtual Auction Events Takeaways
Having to hold a virtual auction event, we learned some valuable lessons and gathered some great insight prior, during and after the event.
1. MARKET, MARKET, MARKET and Market.Can't say that enough. We learned to post and ask for shares to invite "friends" to join in the fun. Consider offering a small "share prize drawing".
2.Give shared interest information to specific supporters to ask for contributions/donations. This one strategy generated several supporters to seek out specific areas of interest for friends and family members to join them in their support.
3. Another great takeaway, GREAT CLEAR PHOTOS of auction items are a must! Along with the pictures, provide precise descriptions of all items, measurements, exclusions, and examples of how to utilize the items. Think of all the items that are a must to see in person to fully appreciate them. In fact, we arranged for "VIEWING" upon request both virtually and in person.
4. Prearrange your emails and text messages. Don't overload on them but make them very timely and precise.
5. Chose a weeknight to hold your event. We found that many had been home all week and wanted to get out on the weekend and not be tied back to their phone or computer.
6. Lastly think through pickup. This was a great opportunity to visit in person, thank them for their support, learn about their purchase, and gain additional insight as a supporter. Overall, our virtual silent auction had great results. We learned a lot and plan to adapt these lessons in to future events.
What are some of your takeaways or lessons learned from holding virtual events?
How did folks bid on the auction items?
There are online auction vendors that provide the service. We have used Charity Auction Today. They collect a fee, but because people can bid from home, the number of bids increases substantially compared to an auction where people have to be present to place a bid.
Does anyone have any good recommendations for an online auction vendor? Looking for inexpensive but good.
College Station ISD Education Foundation
We use OneCause but it might be on the expensive side. It's also our platform for online giving and text2give, so it's a little more involved. We've used GiveSmart (Formerly "Gesture") in the past and it was great.
@tbenden I'm seeing this late. Is your auction already over? We have used ClickBid for the past 4 years. The price is around $1,500 and worth it for all the extra money you can bring in with mobile bidding.
Thank you., We have not! I'll check into it.
@tbenden Sorry for the late response....We used Bidpal, (One Cause) but found the expense to high. We changed to Greater Giving and although not as robust as Bidpal, it worked fine for our event online and mobile bidding platform. I believe as we become more familiar with the platform/product we can make it work for all our events. Greater Giving is very affordable and offers one price for unlimited annual use.