Adding Excitement to Your Auction

Have you ever had trouble getting your guests to move out of the silent auction into the live auction room?

In one sense, it’s a nice problem to have—it means you were successful in selecting appealing packages for your silent auction. But you still need to get on with the show. What do you do?

The trick is to capture your guests’ attention and offer them something even more enticing. In school, teachers often flick the lights to get their students to sit up a take notice. With a little pre-event planning, you have the opportunity to really be creative.

Make Noise

Grab their attention with a little disruption.

Marching Band

What signals an “occasion” better than a parade? Have your local high school band strike up a march and lead people to the live auction room.

Flash Mob

If your organization serves young people, you could ask them to spontaneously perform a song or dance. Arrange the details beforehand and then text them when it’s time to gather and cut loose.

Get Silly

What about jugglers, hula hoopers, clowns? You could get the teachers to start a conga line…or a conga line of clowns juggling and hula hooping!

Send Signals

While smoke signals probably wouldn’t work in most venues, there are other ways you can send your message:

Mass Text

Use your mobile bidding platform to send a text to all your guests, letting them know the live auction is about to begin.

Lighting Patterns

The traditional flicking of the lights is quite effective, but there are more creative ways to light the way to your live auction. What about a path of colored lights? Or a disco ball and music?

Costumed Escorts

Put your Bid Assistants to work and have them escort your guests to the live auction room. They could play it serious and formal or they could have fun hamming it up.

Feed Them and They Will Come

Nothing speaks to guests at a party like food.


Offer a signature drink at the bars in the live auction room.


Serve up a champagne toast in the silent auction room and then announce the move to the live auction.


Provide desserts for the first five tables to be fully seated.

Whatever strategy you choose, it’s important to keep things moving and stay on schedule. You don’t want to delay dinner and risk guests leaving before the live auction begins. Also, make sure your volunteers remove the bid sheets from the silent auction to prevent late bids.

What are your ideas for helping guests transition to the live auction? Share them in the comments below.


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