If you decide to change your silent auction into an online-only auction (meaning guests use mobile bidding instead of paper bid sheets, **and** you don’t set up displays for the silent auction), you will need to make some operational changes to your auction.
The reason being is that some activities work only with paper bid sheets. Two quick examples: encouraging guests to bid on a particular line, and closing the silent auction item-by-item.
A third activity that can be eliminated is the subject of today’s video. It’s tied to what is typically called a “SuperSilent” category, or a “Best of the Silent Auction” section. (It goes by a few different names.)
If you’re moving to an online auction, I think you can eliminate this section in your silent auction line-up.
The SuperSilent section works best in a traditional silent auction layout when items are displayed on tables. Your committee makes the SuperSilent items standout from “regular” silent auction items with better visibility, larger signage, closing it later than the other tables, and other methods.
But when all of your items are sold online, and displays are no longer a part of your event, guests will use your software’s search function to find items based on standard categories.
A guest searching for a trip is going to search for it in a category that makes sense to him – something like “trips,” “vacations,” or “getaways.” He won’t think to search for that same trip in a category called “SuperSilent.” And if he can’t find what he’s looking for, he won’t bid.
If you shop online, you’ll be able to relate to this. When you’re searching for an item, you must use the right keywords to find what you want. With an online auction, you — as the auction administrator — need to use the proper keywords in the software so guests can easily find their desired package.
In the video I show you photos of a well-designed SuperSilent section and talk through the process.