Top 7 Ways to Keep Your Audience Engaged During the Live Auction

Live Auction

A live auction is a great way to raise considerable funds for your cause, provided your guests are engaged and ready to bid.


Here are a few tips for creating an engaging auction that inspires your guests to get in there and bid high!

1.  Utilize Leaderboards Effectively

Display leaderboards in key areas where people congregate. Displaying real-time updates on these screens helps make the bidding more fun and creates a sense of urgency. Leaderboards also allow those without smart phones to check their bidding status. For more information, see Top 6 Ways to Use a Leaderboard to Drive Revenue.

2.  Hire a Professional Auctioneer

A live auction is an interactive event. You need someone who can lead that interaction with experience, energy and humor. A professional auctioneer who understands your cause and connects with your audience can make the difference between a so-so auction and a truly successful one. See How to Choose an Auctioneer for more tips.

3.  Plan a Special Appeal

Including a special appeal in your auction can help focus your audience and generate another level of excitement during the event. Also known as “fund-a-cause,” “fund-a-need,” or “paddle-raise,” the special appeal can provide an easy way for all your guests to participate and give.

4.  Procure Top-Notch Items

Most auction attendees have seen plenty of the usual suspects when it comes to auction packages. Stretch your imagination and think outside the box to come up with unique packages that will appeal to your particular audience. Maybe it’s a design consultation for a room makeover. What about a cooking class with a famous chef? Think of unique experiences you can offer your bidders. For more ideas, see 15 Amazing Auction Packages.

5.  Invite Keynote Speakers

Dynamic speakers who can convey the mission of your organization can help keep your audience focused on your cause. Just be sure you don’t have too much of a good thing: keep your keynote addresses brief but powerful.

6.  Create Atmosphere with Your Refreshments

Plan the meal and drinks to play off the theme of your event.  A tropical theme could lend itself to a luau-style meal with signature Mai Tai cocktails. Or Dessert Dashmaybe you have an alpine theme with packages related to skiing. Stick with the theme to engage everyone in your audience throughout the crucial time between dining and bidding.

7.  Make a Game of Dessert

What better way to keep your guests engaged than to make them work for their dessert? With a Dessert Dash, each guest decides how much to bid for dessert. The table that bids the most gets to send their runner to the dessert table first, then the next highest-bidding table sends their runner and so on. For more details on planning a Dessert Dash, see Dessert Dash by Allegra Charity Auctions.

With good planning, unique auction packages and a little imagination, you can create a live auction that is engaging, fun and creates just the right atmosphere for inspiring generous support of your cause.

2 Responses to “Top 7 Ways to Keep Your Audience Engaged During the Live Auction”

  1. An auction can be a fantastic part of any charity event; however, you have to know how to make your audience a part of it. After all, you will want to keep them engaged so that they buy more stuff for charity. As the article points out, one thing to consider is hiring a professional auctioneer since they are trained to keep audiences engaged in the action.

    • Dathan Montes

      Excellent point Duncan, guest engagement is crucial for a successful fundraising event. Hiring the right professional can sometimes make the difference. Thanks for reaching out!


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