You’ve prepared everything for your gala/auction event including invitations, item procurement, forms and the venue.  You’re all set for the big night, right?  Not necessarily.  What have you done to inform your guests of the big ticket items that will be offered during your event?  These items are many times the foundation of your auction, the part of your event where you will raise the most money.  Guests who walk into an auction and are not prepared to bid on that vacation to Italy or Paris or other high dollar experience will not spend that type of money spontaneously.  It takes them time to process how the purchase of this item will work within their schedules; allowing them a “heads-up” about these items will maximize the fundraising potential. 

Here are a couple of things that need to be done to inform and educate your guests about these big ticket items:

Promotion – Big ticket items should be featured  on your website and social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc). Be sure to list all of the details and begin marketing them as soon as you have them secured. Re-post often and don’t forget the value of a last-minute post the day before your event.

Personal contacts – Once you have determined which of these high-end items you plan to offer at your event you need to reach out to the guests you deem most likely to bid on them to let them know they will be in the auction line-up. This is very direct “marketing” that will ensure key players are informed about things that might interest them and can plan to bid and buy them.

A little pre-auction legwork can take the winning bid from flat to fabulous on those big-ticket auction items.