Silent Auctions Ideas : The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Your silent auction donations have a better chance of selling for more money when guests enjoy experiential shopping.

For inspiration, let’s look at my old stomping silent auction ideas grounds: corporate marketing.

Have you noticed that for-profit entities are quick to give away samples of their products? They want to convert window-shoppers into paying customers. (Make no mistake: your silent auction has a lot of window-shoppers.)

A visit to your local shopping mall proves the power of the sensory experience.

Consider these common examples:

  • Bath and Body Works invites browsers over to their in-store sink where they encourage you to use their exfoliation products and lotions.
  • As you walk through the food court, at least one vendor will offer you a toothpick of a juicy morsel (bourbon chicken is common) so you can taste the product before you commit to buying lunch.
  • A walk through the fragrance counter can leave you with several different perfumes spritzed on your arm. You can smell them all, before you commit to buying a bottle.

Businesses know that you’re more likely to become a paying customer if you experience a product using your five senses – taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound.

They are happy to give you a sample of their product because they know you’re more likely to buy after your enjoy it. Let’s incorporate that philosophy into your silent auction displays.

For instance:

  • When cookies are for sale, can you offer guests a sample?
  • If a scarf will be knitted for the winning bidder, can guests touch the quality of the yard and feel how soft it will be against their skin?
  • Does that chocolate cake up for bid offer a scent so heavenly that your guests can smell it across the silent auction room?
  • Does the string quartet have a CD of their latest work playing?
  • Is your visual display of the item fetching to onlookers?

 

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