We often get asked about suggested ways to engage bidders throughout your auction using the broadcast message tool. Many of you want to know "what should I say" and "when should I say it?"
Well it is hard to give you specific times to say things as every event timeline is different. However, here are some general guidelines to use and some examples that we often do during events:
General Broadcast Message Guidelines
- Keep them relatively short! People skim these days, they don't read.
- Don't overload your bidders with broadcasts, as they will start to ignore them or MUTE them
- Include a CTA (call-to-action). Give them some info, but then INSTRUCT them to do something
Timeline of Messages and Examples
Here are some suggested messages during various times of your auction
Prior to the start of Event Registration (before guests arrive)
If you opened your auction early or have a number of pre-registered bidders from ticket sales, then consider sending these messages out several hours PRIOR to registration start.
- We are looking forward to seeing you TONIGHT at the XXX event. Registration starts at 6pm. Please be sure to charge up your phone before you arrive!
- Registration for XXX starts tonight at 6. You can bypass the checkin line by having Handbid setup on your phone and a credit card on file before you arrive!
- ON your way to the event? Parking is available in lot XXX next to the venue. Be sure to have Handbid installed and that phone all charged up!
Near the end of Event Registration (after most guests have arrived)
You still may have a few people arriving, but most of your guests are here. They are mingling, at the bar, or doing both. Either way, you need to get them engaged in your auction and remind them that there are items to bid on! Also, you can let them know when the silent is supposed to close. Do NOT give them an exact time. Instead, say "the silent auction will close around 9pm". This will protect you from those bidders who complain that the auction closed at 9:01 pm (yes, those people exist).
- Welcome to the XXX event! Hopefully you are all setup on Handbid and already bidding on our great auction items! If you have questions on how to get setup, please find a volunteer in the bidding area who will help you. Silent Auction will close around XXX.
- Welcome bidders! If you have not yet gotten setup to bid, please find a volunteer wearing XXX in the bidding area to help you! Silent Auction will close around XXX.
- Do you have a friend who does not have a phone or does not know how to bid? We have helpers with iPads who will take care of them. Look for people wearing XXX. BTW - Silent Auction will close around XXX.
Prior to your Program start (during the mingling and bidding time)
So most people are in and the guests have been bidding for the last 45-60 minutes. What do you say now? Well now is a good time to remind them of the no bid items and to reconnect them into the auction with some bidding tips.
- We have a lot of great items to bid on. Don't forget to checkout the NO BIDS category to find items with NO BIDS. To view them, swipe all the way to the right in the app to the last category. Or, find the bottom category on the iPad app.
- Looking for some great auction deals? Head on over to the NO BIDS category to view items with no bids on them. Simply swipe all the way to the right in the App to the last category called NO BIDS.
- Our program will start soon. You will be able to keep bidding from your phone. But, it's a best practice to set some MaxBids on those items you really want to win.
Nearing the end of the silent auction (before the timer is set)
Your auction is coming to an end and within 20-30 minutes you want it closed. Now is a good time to tell them about the auction close and remind them of some item bargains.
What are item bargains? Well look through your item list and find items that you think are not getting enough attention (e.g. their current bid price is well below FMV or an item that has no bids on it but you think it should).
- Hope you all have enjoyed the event so far. We plan to close the silent auction around XXX. Look for a timer to start in your app! Meanwhile, please check out the NO BIDS category for some great items left to bid on.
- We have X lonely items left in our NO BIDS category! They don't want to come home with us tonight, the WANT TO GO HOME WITH YOU! Check them out and bid on them already! :-)
Example messages about specific items you think need more bids.
- A (John Elway signed helmet) with NO BIDS? Come on Broncos fans! This event is in Denver, no Boston. Show some team pride and bid on this already (Item #203)
- Can you believe it? A week in Cabo in a 1 Bedroom is going for $700? Jump on that! (Item #320)
After setting the timer
After the timer is set (provided you have 15-20 minutes and did not set a 2 minute timer), you can send out some additional tips on how to bid toward the end.
- Ok the timer is set! Be sure to set MaxBids on those items you really want to win! Do not get sniped!
- Timer is set folks. Auction will close in XX minutes. Be sure to get those MaxBids in and don't try to steal a bid at the last second. (Jack) has a faster phone than you and will take it if you try that!
- 2 Minutes left people. Bid bid bid... !!!
After timer ends and auction is closing
This can get tricky to do because Handbid is busy closing the auction. You can wait until that is done or try to get this in through the manager while it is closing (which is not easy).
- And.. that's a wrap. The auction is closing and finalizing your invoice. Once it is complete, any items you won should move from WINNING to PURCHASED. Tap the menu to view your receipt and pay from your phone.
- Wow, what a great auction! We really appreciate your support. Please review your invoice and pay from your phone. Check out starts at XXX pm in the YYY (location).
- The auction is final! Thank you! Checkout starts at XXX pm in the YYY (location). Be sure to pick up your items before you leave and travel home safe tonight!