The steps you take before an auction event can largely impact attendance levels and increase your chance for success. One way to pique your audience’s interest is to share information about a few of your charity auction items before the event.
Promoting auction items will get donors talking and help spread the word about your fundraiser. Plus, sharing items ahead of time gives attendees an idea of what to expect and prepares them to spend money.
Follow these 5 tips for generating buzz using your auction items:
1. Advertise your best items
To increase attendance at your action event, advertise only your big-ticket items beforehand – leave out that selection of baked goods no matter how delicious they look. Your goal here is to make the event stand out and excite attendees about what is to come. Items worth advertising are typically unique or big-ticket in some way, such as travel packages, unique experiences or tickets to an awards show or concert.
2. Share items through different media platforms
Reach as many people as possible by taking advantage of all of the tools and resources you have at your disposal.
Utilize social media, which is one of your best free resources for generating buzz with posts about your auction items. Send tweets with little teasers and post pictures of your items on a Facebook event or organization page.
If you’re able to update your organization’s website, create a page dedicated to your event. Include event details, links to the event registration and social media pages, as well as some pictures of your biggest and most exciting items.
And in your monthly email newsletter, increase donors’ anticipation for the auction night with detailed descriptions of your best charity auction items.
3. Market items one at a time
As word about your event starts to spread, build excitement by revealing only one item at a time. Every time a new item is revealed, it will keep the enthusiasm going and attendees will be reminded of your event. As the event gets closer, write up a final post on your blog or Facebook with all of the items listed.
4. Paint a picture with words
Any time you promote an auction item, paint a picture with words to make it more attractive. For instance, rather than writing “Win a travel package to Italy”, take the time to describe parts of the package to entice potential to purchase the experience. Use phrases like “walk the cobble stone streets” or “experience true Italian coffee” to engage your audience.
5. Use stimulating pictures or video
Sensational imagery can enhance your written descriptions and boost the appeal of an auction item tremendously. After all, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. For tangible items, such as artwork or memorabilia, take the time to get some decent photos of the items. Most smartphones these days have great cameras that will more than suffice. If you know someone who has a photography background, see if you can get him or her to come out and shoot your items with a professional camera. If you want to get really creative, you can take video of your items and post the mini clips to places like YouTube, Instagram or Vine.
For your intangible items, such as travel experiences or other activities, Google Images is a great resource for finding pictures to represent the packages. Feel free to get a little creative with the images you select, just make sure you’re not making false promises about the package you’re offering. For example, if you’re offering a tropical getaway to Cabo San Lucas you can find an image of a serene beach with turquoise water, but make sure the picture is at least somewhere close to Cabo. You don’t want to use a picture of a beach in Fiji that will mislead your bidders.
This year, try generating a little buzz for your upcoming fundraising event with your auction items. If you do it right, this will increase excitement among your donors and boost their participation at your benefit auction.