Monday, July 22, 2013

How to Highlight Auction Tables

Fundraising events are the lifeblood of non-profit organizations and the Silent Auction is one big area of revenue at these events.  This post is about "how to highlight auction items  and embellish gift certificates"  to make them more appealing to buyers.  We'll use before and after photos from a recent successful non-profit silent auction to show how you can "liven up" your auction table!

The goal is to make an auction item come alive and catch one's attention and make it more attractive for guests to make higher bids. 

"Silent" auctions are so-named  because there is no auctioneer selling individual items.  Many items are auctioned simultaneously on a table.  Bid sheets usually have a fixed starting amount, predetermined bid increments and close at the same time.  At the end of the "closing" time,  the highest listed bidder wins the item.  

   Below are some examples of the donated items BEFORE and AFTER:

BEFORE- a brochure, postcard, and scarves

To display the scarves distinctively, I've  added height and texture: a small gift bag with green wrapping paper, a large polka-dot bag, a medium shiny purple bag and added silk flowers to bring out the colors of the silk scarves. 

For a dramatic effect, I typed the company's motto on pink paper and cut it out like a ribbon and glued in the front.  Lo and behold, there were a lot of inquiries about this company.  

A simple black and white note describing the photography item; colorful marketing cards were provided inside an envelope with the gift certificate. 


Since there were several of these photography gift certificates (which took almost the whole table) that were donated,  I framed the gift certificate and displayed the pictures.  I wanted to create an illusion of  a photo gallery highlighting the photos, so I added varying sizes of frames with  colorful gift wrap paper, and added old cameras for special effects to make this corner stand out by itself. 

BEFORE -  a marketing card for an art and wine event

AFTER - framed with a few embellishments

BEFORE - black and white ad

AFTER- framed and added colors denoting math shapes

Pens that were in plain boxes were given a fresh look by adding fillers and ribbons and displayed in varying heights.

Simple gift certificates were framed to stand out more.  Simple black and white forms with "pampering" words are given some floral touches to attract attention right away.

So, for a more effective silent auction and the highest returns, it's ideal to highlight and embellish your auction table items!

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