Silent Auctions Or Live Auction – Which Should You Choose?

If your charity is planning on holding an auction to raise funds for your cause, this question might come through your mind once or twice. To answer this correctly and with the best accuracy of what is going to be needed, we will play out two of the scenarios that usually happen at these events and then from there you will have a better idea of what is the best route for your business.

As it goes with any charity event, people will go gift basket ideas for silent auction to show their support and mostly to have a wonderful time. But the thought of there being an auction is always in mind. People tend to want to show their support by buying tickets for the dinner and maybe buying something to take home from the auction. But being at a silent auction still gives some people the option to not bid and not feel like they are being sold to.

For example, you attend an event and have gotten all ready to meet and greet with all the people attending. You stop by table to table saying hello and carrying on conversations. Maybe in between you walk over and take a look at a couple items for auction and write down your bid. Then you go back to enjoying the evening and mingling with people occasionally taking the time to see if you have been outbid or not. But still remaining to spend most of your time walking, talking and eating. If you win your excited as you wanted to own whatever it was you were bidding on. However on the other-hand if you didn’t win, you aren’t heartbroken and life will go on and you will remember this night as a great night with excellent food and new friends.

This example tells what most people intend to get out of a gala event or a silent auction with a wonderful dinner.

On the other hand a live auction is more serious. The focus is not on the food or mingling and enjoying yourself (although you would hope you do), the focus is on the items that are being put up for auction. With a live auction there is usually a stage where the auctioneer will showcase each item with the intentions of driving up the perceived value of each item. The goal of the auctioneer is to have the people attending the event feel, touch and taste the items that are being auctioned. By doing so the people attending will bid the items higher and then draw in more money for the charity.

Understanding both types of auctions that you can use at your charity event is important for your final decision. Making sure that you understand that putting on a live auction is going to be a little bit more expensive, with the hiring of the auctioneer (unless you intend to have someone from your organization do it), and will be a little bit more involved (acquiring paddles and such). Plus the atmosphere at a live auction will be a lot different from the silent auction, all the attention of the attendees is focused on the auction for the entire time it is happening.

Knowing your options and determining what kind of atmosphere you are wanting to get from your donors is really a decision that will come down to your own organizations preferences. But from what we have learned in the past, holding silent auctions tend to be a little bit better enjoyed by everyone and will still bring in a good amount of money for the charity.