►Silent Auction – This Section ClosesJanuary 22, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Don’t you get this question ALL the time?
“What time does the silent auction close?”
Or worse yet, you have patrons complaining after a section has already closed that they didn’t know.
You can put auction closing times in the program, but we all know hardly anyone reads the program, and especially not while they are shopping, holding a cocktail and an appetizer plate.
So put signs on each table or row, at least 2 per section. If you use 4″ x 6″ signage, put 6 or more on each row of tables. What’s the harm?
If there’s a chance (due to traffic, slow registration, or a quirky chairperson) that your silent auction closing times might change, here’s a secret: print several options for each section and just hide them behind the front one. For instance, you can have signage display “This section closes at 7:30” but also have a 7:40 and a 7:45 printed out and hidden behind, so if you have to change the rules on the fly, you can. Keep in mind, though, you need to do this in conjunction with big, bold, loud announcements to keep the crowd up to date. You don’t want to upset any bidders, so you can say over the microphone, “Folks, due to some heavy traffic we have guests just now arriving, so you’ll notice that this section will NOW close at 7:45. Please see the signs on each table.”
Make it easy for people to spend money – by being clear about the closing times!
(Note that with handheld (text) bidding, you won’t have this issue. Alerts about closing are sent to bidders’ devices, assuming they still have battery life!)