Mobile Bidding 101: Everything You Need to Know

Whether you’re gearing up for an upcoming mobile bidding event or considering a switch to mobile at a future event, here’s everything you need to know to make your mobile auction a successful one.

Open the channels of communication early.

Especially if your organization is new to mobile bidding, start communicating with your attendees about it early. You can even use it as an incentive to get bidders pre-registered! Mobile bidding is a cutting edge, fun-to-use technology, and advertising it in advance is both a great way to encourage registration and to let guests know what to expect when they arrive at your event.

In your pre-event emails to bidders, consider including information about how mobile bidding will work, or a link to a page on your website with the same information. Seattle Aquarium Splash! event registration page is a great example of how to incorporate a mobile bidding FAQ. For more ideas, visit our Pinterest board, featuring mobile bidding registration pages.

Text your bidders at key moments.

There’s no need to send out text messages prior to your event. When a bidder is checked-in, he or she automatically receives a welcome message with a link to start bidding. Be sure to collect mobile phone numbers for all of your checked-in bidders!

Though the Mobile Bidding interface allows you to send text messages once every fifteen minutes, sending texts too often may cause bidders to ignore them and miss a crucial message sent later in the evening – use your texts sparingly.

Here are some text messages to consider sending out during your event:

Let bidders know how much longer they have to bid. For example: “Don’t forget, bidding will close at 8:00!” Be sure to include exact times in your messages.

Remind guests about unsold packages: “Remember to check out ‘packages with no bids’ for great deals.”

Send a congratulatory message to winning bidders as a confirmation, and let them know how and when to get their items. For example, “Congratulations on winning! Item pick-up begins at 10pm.”

And remember: there’s a 120-character limit for text messages! Shorter than a Tweet.

Show bidders how to bid well and bid high.

Place signage about Mobile Bidding in front of registration to let bidders know what to expect, and include messaging on how to use the platform throughout your event.

If you have a slideshow or video playing, consider including a slide that reads, “Don’t forget to click ‘MY BIDS’ to find out which packages you’re winning!” Add a screen shot of the My Bids page to help bidders navigate to it, and show them how to Browse Packages or view Package Details to help them find additional packages to bid on.

Under Show All Packages, bidders also have the ability to “watch” packages of interest without bidding on them, which is a great bonus feature!

Strategically place your bid assistants.

Refer to Brand Bid Assistants for Mobile Bidding Events, if you’re unfamiliar with Bid Assistants. You’ll want to place the majority of your bid assistants inside the silent auction room, available to field questions and help bidders place bids. Dedicate a number of them to actively approaching and engaging guests who don’t have out their mobile devices and ask to assist them in getting started bidding.

Also consider placing one or two bid buddies between registration and the silent auction room so that bewildered guests can immediately approach someone to get help. Brand your bid assistants! Provide them bright-colored shirts of the same color or some other identifying marker so bidders know who to ask for assistance when they need it.

Welcome to mobile bidding, and good luck!

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