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Silent Auction Tips

What is a Super Silent Auction? Guide + Tips for Higher Bids

What makes a super silent auction "super"? Our simple guide shows how to implement super silent auctions in any fundraising event to help boost competition, collaboration, and fundraising efforts!
Image of red carpet with velvet ropes. There is a hand opening the velvet ropes, as if they are giving access to a VIP area, such as an area designated for a super silent auction.
What makes a super silent auction "super"? Our simple guide shows how to implement super silent auctions in any fundraising event to help boost competition, collaboration, and fundraising efforts!

Silent auctions have been a popular form of fundraising for many years. They offer a fun and interactive way for organizations to raise money for various causes. However, as times evolve, so do the methods employed in silent auctions. One notable method is the super silent auction.

What is a Super Silent Auction?

A super silent auction is a variation of the traditional silent auction that focuses on 1-3 highly desired items. These items are often unique or have significant value, making them highly sought after by bidders. The goal of a super silent auction is to generate more bidding activity and increase the overall funds raised for the organization.

Benefits of a Super Silent Auction

Adding super items to your silent auction can help your organization boost attendance and your overall fundraising results. Super items can:

  • Create a sense of exclusivity and urgency among potential bidders, making it more likely for them to bid higher amounts. 
  • Give you the potential for a higher return on investment because of their perceived value. 
  • Attract a larger crowd as people often gravitate towards exclusive and sought-after items, leading to increased foot traffic and exposure for the event or organization hosting the auction.
Alt Text: Person with short hair holding a cup of coffee and wearing a tan coat. They are grasping their glasses as if they are really interested in something. They may even be potentially excited about a super silent auction at your event!

This format also appeals to individuals searching for specific items and can attract high-profile donors who may be interested in supporting the cause through the acquisition of these desirable items.

How to host a super silent auction 

Follow these five steps to hose your own super silent auction:

1. Identify and Solicit Your Super Items

A great starting place is to first determine the theme or focus of the overall auction event. This could be based on a particular interest or cause that your organization supports. Once the theme is established, research and reach out to businesses or individuals who may have items related to the theme or are willing to donate unique experiences. 

When you are soliciting “super” items, it's important to think outside the box and offer unique and desirable items. A productive request is to ask specifically to offer experiences rather than physical items. Additionally, you can also focus requests on high-end or exclusive products that will entice bidders to compete for them. If you need some inspiration, check out our ideas for auction items that are most likely to sell. Be sure to clearly communicate the purpose and benefits of participating in the super silent auction, as this can help convince potential donors to contribute valuable items.

Don't be afraid to get creative and offer one-of-a-kind packages or services. By targeting these specific and highly coveted items, your super silent auction is sure to be a success!

A light skinned person is holding a dark wooden guitar to their body. You can see their hand placed along the bottom of the guitar’s neck. In the background, there is a blurry light skinned person with white hair wearing black. This image represents a unique item, such as guitar lessons or a ticket to a coveted music show, that can be used as a “super” item.
Unique items, such as guitar lessons or a ticket to a coveted music show, can be used as a “super” item and generate buzz for potential bidders.

2. Plan Your Promotion Strategy

To effectively promote your super silent auction before it happens, it is important to highlight the rarity and value of the items being offered even before the event begins. Utilizing social media, email marketing, and word of mouth can also help generate buzz and attract potential buyers. You can also create a VIP experience for bidders by offering them early access or exclusive previews of the items before the auction begins. Incorporating creative and strategic promotion strategies can greatly contribute to the success of your super silent auction.

3. Set Up the Event Space

Image of red carpet with velvet ropes. There is a hand opening the velvet ropes, as if they are giving access to a VIP area, such as an area designated for a super silent auction.
Consider sectioning off a VIP area in your event space. This can create the sense of exclusivity for potential bidders.

Upon setting up the event space, make sure to place these “super” items at the entrance or in a prominent area of the venue. You want them to be the first thing people are drawn to when they enter the event space. You might want to consider setting up a VIP experience, in which people can get first-access before the event starts or need special tickets to get in. 

Your super silent auction items should be showcased separately with extra lighting, colorful signage or banners, and dedicated staff to help encourage bidding. Ultimately, you want people to walk by and think, “What’s the big hubbub?” 

live auction jewelry sapphire earrings necklace bracelets in glass encasing, well lit.

4. Run Your Super Silent Auction

Throughout the actual event, consider having dedicated announcements from the auctioneer for the super items. Essentially, do what you can to make a big fuss about these “super” items. By ensuring that these super items are easily noticeable, you can generate more interest and bids, ultimately helping raise more funds for your cause.

5. Create a streamlined experience

Image of Handbid on two mobile devices. One screen shows a pop-up that says ”Yay, you’re winning.” The other screen shows the event details of a “September Asset auction” and includes images and copy about the event.

The planning process for closing invoices and collecting payment at a super silent auction is crucial to streamline, especially when it comes to expensive and high-value items. As the host or organizer, it is important to ensure that all outstanding payments are collected before the end of the event. This not only helps in maintaining a smooth flow of the event but also avoids any potential issues or conflicts with buyers who may have bid on these valuable items. Trust us – the last thing you want is to deal with open invoices, or worse, bounced checks!

Handbid's platform allows for easy check-out and payment processes, making the end of the auction seamless and stress-free. Additionally, Handbid will send out reminders for outstanding invoices, even after the event. This is especially important in a super silent auction, where there may be a rush of bidders trying to make their final bids in the last few minutes for your highest-value items. 

How to Make Super Silent Auctions a Hit: Tips for Higher Bids

One crucial factor that can make or break any type of auction is convenience for bidders. This is where mobile bidding software like Handbid comes into play. Handbid allows attendees to bid on items directly from their smartphones, eliminating the need for pen and paper bidding sheets. This not only makes the bidding process more convenient for guests but also allows them to continue socializing and networking without having to constantly check on their bids.

For a super silent auction specifically, using mobile bidding software has even more benefits. With limited-edition or high-value items up for grabs, competition can get fierce quickly. Mobile bidding allows guests to keep track of all their bids in real-time so they don't miss out on an item they really want. It also allows for quick and easy bidding increments, making it easier for attendees to place higher bids on these exclusive items.

black man sitting down looking at his phone happily, as if we's just won a super item from the silent auction

Handbid's live auction feature allows for real-time updates on the highest bid, creating a sense of urgency and encouraging guests to keep bidding. This feature is especially beneficial for a super silent auction as it can help drive up the bidding price of the limited items.

Additionally, Handbid offers features that enhance engagement during a super silent auction. For example, organizations can set up push notifications for specific items to remind attendees to bid before time runs out or create custom messages that pop up when someone has been outbid.

Ready to level up your super silent auction?

Super silent auctions are a fantastic addition to any event, allowing for a unique and exciting way to support a cause or organization. With the help of Handbid, these silent auction items have the potential to truly stand out and generate significant revenue. So why not take advantage and make your next event even more successful? Start planning your next event with Handbid now and see the difference it can make! Happy bidding!

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