Signs for your silent auction sections can be used annually, if you put some thought into the design before you print them.
To go easy on your budget, make your silent auction signs timeless. Avoid thematic signs that look great one year, but don’t fit into the following year’s concept. You’ll quickly realize that this year’s disco glitter signs don’t easily transfer to African safari themes next year.
Though I enjoy themes (and think guests do as well), it’s OK if your signage doesn’t “match” your theme. Some of my groups use the same signs year-after-year, allowing them to invest money in other elements of their event.
Keep the font style easy on the eyes.
Use simple font. Times New Roman or Arial is fine, though experts tend to say a serif font (like Times New Roman) is better for print reading than a sans serif font.
For the purposes of your auction, just keep the font simple.
Keep the font large.
Squeeze as much text as you can into the space allotted.
Position your signage in the heavens (or as close as you can get)
It’s best if the signage is perched at least 7′ above guests, but preferably higher. It needs to be easily seen by the shortest guest at your event.
One of my clients held their auction in a hotel with low ceilings. They were able to hang the silent auction signs from the ceiling, which made it easy to read from most areas of the silent auction area.
You can be non-committal.
One year you have a “wine” category. The next year you don’t. How do you decide which categories to print if your section names change every year?
Consider eliminating the descriptive names entirely and opting for colors or section numbers.
“Section 1” and “Section 2” or “Blue Section” and “Green Section” will allow you flexibility when it comes to assigning what items should be tucked into which sections.
Got other ideas? Post them in the comments below.
And here are some other blog posts to give you ideas on keeping auction signage affordable.