Adding an ancillary online silent auction to your contest, carnival or tournament, or other event, is fairly straightforward.
Many of the tips and best practices for running a stand-alone online auction apply.
Providing Bidding Access
If you’re selling tickets to your main event, AND your online auction will be open during ticket sales, enable auto-invitation to bid when a ticket is purchased, so that your ticket buyers are prompted to start browsing and bidding.
You can allow non-attendees to bid by enabling the Signup feature. If you have a spreadsheet of your supporters, you can upload that and send them an invitation to bid.
Online Silent Auction
Determine whether your online silent items will close before, during, or after your main event. The advantage to closing your online auction before your main event is that it gives you the ability to provide a Will Call at your event venue. The disadvantages to closing items during your main event are that it may distract from the event, and will not lend itself to capturing those final high bids because your supporters will be otherwise engaged). Launching your online auction after your main event allows you to promote it directly to your attendees, and, if your event is in-person, to display some of the items you'll be auctioning off. Think through how your participants will engage with both your main event and your online auction, and set up your online bidding group open and closing times accordingly.
Enter your online silent items. Be sure to upload an appealing photo for each one.
Choose your bidding style, and other options. Max bids allow people to place an eBay-style bid ceiling and let the software bid for them up to that amount. Quick bids allow people to choose the from the next 3 raise increments when placing a bid.
Enable outbid notifications and, if your subscription includes them, text notifications.
Give your supporters access to your online auction (see Access, above).
Promote! Promote! Promote! Don’t assume that just because you build it, your community will come bid. Promote your online silent auction on your social media feeds and your other communications with supporters.
Make a Will Call plan to distribute items to their winners.
Reporting is available by venue/event, guest, item and combined.
Adding an Online Auction to a Virtual Live Event
If your main event is a Virtual Live Auction, bear in mind that online and virtual bidding take place on separate pages and, by design, bidders cannot easily switch back and forth between them. So your best bet is to run the online silent auction first and close it out before launching your virtual livestream. Refer to this article for more info on how and when to close your online auction and segue to your Virtual Live Auction.