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Silent Auctions: The Pros & Cons of Mobile Bidding

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Hello, my Fabulous Fundraisers!

Mobile bidding is all the rage these days, so today I’ve got two dealbreakers, two opportunities, and two reminders about how to do mobile bidding right!


First, let's talk about two Dealbreakers where mobile bidding should definitely be skipped.

Dealbreaker #1

Are your attendees comfortable using smartphones?

For an event with attendees who don't like technology, mobile bidding is a hard pass.

If you think most of your attendees will find mobile bidding confusing, you could be asking for trouble unless you can also host a concierge service for placing bids which is offered by many mobile bidding companies.

And if you have a crowd who is super comfortable with technology, they will LOVE THIS so long as you have...Bandwidth.

Dealbreaker #2

Will you have a mobile network with the bandwidth to support everyone’s devices? You may want to consider hosting your own mobile network that is independent from your venue and only accessible to your guests.

There is no faster way to honk off a bunch of millennials than wimpy wifi.

If you decide that your audience is good enough with technology, then mobile bidding opens up two exciting opportunities to raise more money.


Opportunity #1

You can use phone notifications and text announcements to engage your crowd, by messaging attendees directly during the event.

Love Wine? Don’t miss our Wall of Wine where you could take home a bottle valued up to $250!

Just don’t forget that any messages you send MUST be carefully crafted and scheduled PRIOR TO YOUR EVENT, so they coordinate with any other announcements made by your silent auction announcer or your auctioneer.

And don't go overboard with this.

One message every 15 minutes works great.

Opportunity #2

You can send out items for your guests to bid on BEFORE the event.

Why not start ONLINE bidding days before your event?

If someone can't make it the day of or better yet, you are SOLD OUT, you can open up bidding to folks who couldn't attend.

More bidders make for a much healthier bottom line.

Attendees who like to party hardy can set maximum bids on all the items they want, and then just sit back and enjoy their cocktail.

If they get outbid at some point, the mobile bidding software will alert them so they can reconsider.

Without having to run around checking bids, everyone can relax and mingle.

Now for two quick reminders.


Reminder #1

Be prepared for everyone to be staring at their phones.

When they’re checking their bids, it can lead to a rabbit hole of social media, text messages, etc.

So use that to your advantage with hashtags to keep them engaged and put your organization in the social media spotlight. #LetsGoRaiseSomeMoney

Reminder #2

Charging stations are a must.

The last thing you want is your guests running out of juice, so set up charging stations with every kind of charger available.

And don’t be intimidated, just call your favorite IT provider for assistance.

Our clients have seen a lot of success with mobile bidding, but bear in mind that it is best served for the silent auction ONLY.

More on that in a later video.

So what do you think about mobile bidding?

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