If you’re searching for some fundraising auction ideas that have an impact on the live auction, this is a simple but good one.
- Sometimes auction catalogs are misplaced before the live auction begins.
- Other times a catalog isn’t printed.
- Some groups print a catalog, but forget to include the live auction items.
- Other groups can’t include their live auction items into a catalog because the items weren’t yet confirmed by the printing deadline.
Whatever the reason, guests should have guide to help them follow the order of sale during the live auction. This can be placed on the table in advance of the guests arriving saving guests the need to carry the schedule with them as they shop and mingle during the silent auction.
A schedule is particularly critical if you have a number of items to sell (I’d say anything more than 6) and expect guests to tune-in and tune-out throughout the evening.
Guests can visit with their neighbor, glance at their schedule, and still have a sense of what item is being sold, thanks to your schedule. “I’m interested in item 18,” your guest thinks, “Andthe auctioneer is selling item 10. I’ve got time to go to the restroom / get a drink / call my spouse.”
The schedule is not meant to be fancy or elaborate. In many cases, it’s produced at the last minute in-house, either because the schedule has changed or a listing of the live auction items was forgotten entirely (and usually it’s the latter).
The schedule can take several forms. It can be a note card on each plate, with the items listed in order of sale, or an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper, or a folded tent card meant for use by several people at the table. (There are usually two tent cards per round table.)
If you’ve truly forgotten to describe the live auction items anywhere, I advocate using an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper and putting one on each person’s place-setting.
You’ll want to include short descriptions of each item so the guest has an idea of what is for sale and is aware of any restrictions. The restrictions are important to include simply because we don’t want a guest to buy an item, and then complain, stating that they wouldn’t have bought that trip to Montana, had they known it could only be used in the winter.