Mobile bidding is still new on the non-profit fundraising scene—and the same cutting edge technology that makes mobile bidding fun and exciting can sometimes intimidate bidders who’ve never used it before.
How do we make something new and different like online bidding as comfortable as possible for everyone involved?
One idea is to clearly designate ‘bid assistants’ who are trained in your new online bidding platform to provide guests with an easy point of contact at your event. These volunteers or staff members will aid guests who are new to bidding with a mobile device or tablet, or who need help placing bids. Marking bid assistants with identifying colors, costumes, or accessories provides all guests at your event with a sense of security, knowing that someone who can help is always a few feet away.
Choosing Your Bid Assistants
Who should you bring on board as bid assistants? This important position is a great opportunity for young community members to get involved with your organization. Thanks to their native ease with technology, tech-savvy Millennials are the perfect bunch to help guests set up their devices; or help bid for those who didn’t come with a smartphone.
Train your bid assistants on mobile bidding and how bidding works prior to the event so they can walk bidders through the process of registering their device, placing bids, and troubleshoot issues that might arise.
Point out which volunteers or staff are acting as bid assistants when guests arrive. For example: “If you need help, find anyone with a gold boa,” is an easy line for volunteers working registration to tell guests. Reduce waiting times at registration by redirecting bidders who have issues setting up their devices to bid, or placing bids, to the easily-identifiable bid assistants.
Scatter your bid assistants throughout the event: in the silent auction room, the registration area, and the ballroom. During training, instruct bid assistants to keep an eye out for any guests who appear confused or are having trouble with their devices, and actively approach them to offer assistance.
Identify bid assistants with a unique piece of clothing, an accessory, or a costume. Consider tying in their attire with your event theme or your organization’s colors. Make them easy to find in the room and use their attire as one more branding point for your organization
Here are some great ideas:
- Feather boas
- Brightly-colored t-shirts
- Colored lanyards with “bid assistant” badges
- Silly sunglasses, hats, or other accouterments
- Our Pinterest Board dedicated to just this!
Help Station and Juice Bar
Set up a centralized mobile bidding help station for bidders having any difficulties with bidding or with their mobile devices, and station bid assistants here as well. For anyone who arrives without a device, equip your help station with extra devices bidders can use, or provide assistance in placing bids without a device.
For those bidders who have a device with a low battery, consider a sponsored “Juice Bar.” A Juice Bar is a station equipped with chargers for many different devices, already plugged in and ready to go. Have bid assistants available at the Juice Bar to help bidders place bids while their devices are charging.
The Juice Bar is also a great opportunity to attract some additional sponsorship dollars—hang a sponsor’s banner over the Juice Bar, or put up a sign thanking whoever made it possible. Get more ideas from this Top 5 Fundraising Trends in the Digital Age guide.
Even if you aren’t using mobile bidding…
…you can still brand volunteers selling raffle tickets, hosting contests and wine pulls, or spotting the live auction and special appeal. Make all of your volunteers easy to spot in a crowd, so any guests who need help know exactly where to look and who to ask for assistance.
Are you interested in getting mobile bidding for your next event?