Create Buzz Around Your Event With a Silent Auction 

Create Buzz Around Your Event With a Silent Auction

August 9, 2023

Looking for a way to spice things up at your event while generating revenue? Consider a silent auction! Get your attendees involved in a bidding war on some of the most needed items within your industry or even random fun items. You and your suppliers will reap the benefits of the participation. How do you go about starting a silent auction you might ask? We'll take you through the ins and outs of silent auctions, the benefits, and how to start one.  

Five steps to creating a successful silent auction 

A silent auction is a great way to get people involved with your event and raise money for your association. The main objective is to raise money for your organization by selling items that have been donated by sponsors, vendors or even attendees of your event. It can be done in many ways, but here are the necessary steps to creating a successful silent auction:  

1. Take inventory 

Make sure that you have enough time and resources to organize a silent auction. You will need volunteers who are willing to help out with setting up and running the event, as well as monitoring bids at all times during the auction itself. Consider using online tools like PayPal or Venmo to help streamline payments and avoid the hassle of checks or cash that volunteers will have to manage. 

2. Do the research 

Find out if there are any legal requirements regarding conducting auctions (such as having licenses). In some cases, this may mean paying fees upfront before starting up operations; however these costs should be minimal compared to what could potentially be gained through successful bidding activity. For example, some states have specific laws regarding the type of goods or services that can be auctioned off. It's important to research these requirements ahead of time so you don't run into them later on when it comes time for your first event. The Foundation Group has a compliance check list if you want to read more on this topic.  

3. Gather items to auction off

Before you can begin holding auctions, you'll need to find items to sell. You'll want to look for items that are unique, interesting, and fun. Auctions can be a great way for attendees to get something they wouldn't normally think about splurging on for themselves. Think about what people might want or need and then put out a call for "donations" from vendors in your industry. You can also ask other organizations within your industry if they have any items they'd like to donate as well. 

4. Plan for pricing 

Determine how much money you will make from each item donated and whether or not there is a minimum amount that needs to be raised at this event. Set the rules for donations. You'll want to make sure that whatever items are donated are in good condition and have a fair market value. If your organization is accepting money donations, you may also need to set a minimum amount of what people should bid on each item.  

5. Advertise

It's important that you take the time to create a strong marketing plan to ensure people know to expect an auction. At the event, make sure items for sale are properly displayed. Add signage that points people to the auction table, states your organization's mission, what the money will go towards, and that each item clearly states the minimum bid required if necessary. If you have a list of items that will be available at the silent auction, send it out prior to the event so that people know what will be up for grabs.  


The benefits 

A joint silent auction with your suppliers is a great way for them to get to know industry professionals and see how they can help. The supplier community is a tight-knit group, and many of them may not know the event space or its customers as well as they would like. A silent auction provides an opportunity to bring together key players in the industry under one roof, fostering collaboration and partnerships that could benefit everyone involved. 

The event can be a great opportunity for your association to showcase its members' services and products, and it has the potential to bring in new clients for your members. It's also an easy way for suppliers to support the association without having to spend time or money on creating their own branded items. It's a win-win situation that benefits everyone involved. 



A silent auction can be a great way to get people excited about your event and build buzz around it. With proper planning and resources, it can be a successful piece of your event that brings people together and increases awareness for both your suppliers and your organization's cause. And don’t forget to have some fun with it! 



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