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Creating an Effective Silent Auction Display Area

This article provides tips and information for planning an effective and successful silent auction area, including a PDF download of our Auction Display e-Book.

Properly displayed auction items are important to the success of most silent auction events. We all know there are certain items (gift baskets) that bidders like to look at up-close. Maybe you have a cool motorcycle or some other live auction item generating excitement. When you are asking people to donate money to your organization, they appreciate a viewing area that is well set up.

Key Point for Planning Silent Auction Area

  • Space: You want your area to have adequate space for both items and potential bidders (narrow hallways don't work so well).
  • Auction Item Labels:  Include: name, category, and item code. These are important pieces of information for Handbid, so that a guest can search quickly for items by name or item code, and the categories are across the top of the app, so this information will provide an easy reference to your bidders.
  • Lighting: How's the lighting in your area? A dimly lit space isn't going to wow your bidders (or provide them with enough light to see what they are actually bidding on).
  • Presentation: We've seen some auctions where they had a big and open auction area, with everything displayed nicely, well lit, etc. However, we've also seen auctions where the physical items were left "behind the scenes" and only item images and descriptions were set up in acrylic stands. There is nothing wrong with either of these, as both were effective for their situations. Know your event, know your audience, and plan your auction item displays accordingly.
  • Location: It's important to set up your auction in an area that will be seen and accessible by everyone, yet not in the way of registration/check-in, the entrance way to the main ballroom or bar. Take time to look at the layout of the venue, speak to the venue manager about what other organizations have done in the past, and strategize on what will work best for you!

Things to Consider

Keep these tips in mind as you blend the combination of mobile bidding technology and physical items at your event. To read more about creating effective silent auction displays, download our Ebook attached. 
  • How is the cellular phone and/or WiFi data quality in and around the area where your items are displayed? 
  • How is your auction area with regard to proximity to the bar and other frequently visited/social areas of your venue? 
  • AuctionDisplays-eBook copy.pdf(2 MB)