Do’s and Don’ts of Creating Silent Auction Displays

Grabbing the attention of bidders with auction packages you and your team have spent weeks procuring and curating is never easy.

We’ve compiled a few ideas to help make the job easier of preparing your silent auction displays to capture the attention of your donors.



Thank the donor!

The quickest way to ensure auction item donors return year after year is to make them feel special and recognize them for their generosity.

Clearly mark the minimum bid, and if applicable the Buy-It-Now price.

I’ve seen too many auctions leave money on the table where the minimum bid wasn’t established and the bidders made up their own starting bids. Depending on the buzz of the item, plan to start your packages at 30-50% of the value of the item. If you think it can sell outright, place a buy it now price of at least 150% of value.

Be clear and concise with package names.

The most confusing thing to a bidder is not knowing what they’re bidding on. If youauctionitemdisplay1 have two lamps on a table, lamp 1 and lamp 2 isn’t enough to lure in a potential bidder. Be descriptive but concise. Your guests don’t want to read a novel, but they want to know what they are in for.

Include an image.

Whether you’re putting your logo on each placard, or a photo of the actual package, use this to draw in the bidder to complete the picture.

Coincide with your Brand/Theme.

I’ve seen many successful auctions bring together their theme into the placards and displays. Hosting a night time event? Bling up your table with inexpensive glass stones on the tables to catch the light and the attention of the bidders. Use hay bales to stagger packages off the table and bring your rodeo theme full circle.

Maximize your lighting options.

Bidders won’t bid on the next line if they can’t see where to write their bid number. Make sure your bid sheets are placed under lights and have enough space separating them from the next sheet. Enhance your theme with candles and small light up table decorations.


auctionitemdisplay2Oversaturate the display.

Make sure there’s enough room to proudly show off each package. Use props that are included with the package and what the bidder expects to take home when they win.

Use generic images that may confuse bidder.

If you have a travel package or something intangible, be sure to find photos of that exact experience. Bidders may be disappointed when they get their package that it wasn’t exactly as advertised.

Don’t let bidders write in their phone numbers or names repeatedly.

It’s crucial to use a bid number as they are easier to read than a person’s handwriting after they’ve enjoyed one too many drinks at the bar. If guests become fatigued in writing down their phone number, that may limit them on how many future bids they would have normally placed.

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