Using Volunteers as Bidding Assistants

Bidding Assistants

Adopting new technology always entails a transition phase. You can make this transition much easier for your donors by providing Bidding Assistants at your next event. These volunteers are very visible in a crowd and help your guests place bids, navigate their smart phones and answer any questions they might have.

So how do you turn your volunteers into top-notch Bidding Assistants? Here are some strategies to make your next event a great success.

Write a clear role description. Your volunteers are going to be much more effective and confident if they know what you expect of them. Outline what the job entails, when and where the training is and how you want them to interact with your guests. Hand out this role description when people sign up to volunteer and post it on your website so they can refer to it later.

Train your volunteers well. Set aside enough time to thoroughly train your volunteers. Make sure they really understand how to use the mobile bidding software. Train them to field questions and troubleshoot problems. Coach your volunteers on how to work with people who are hesitant about technology. Maybe even do some role-playing about how to empower people to feel confident about bidding on their phone. Have fun with it! If you treat your volunteers with encouragement and compassion, they’ll do the same for your guests.

Station your Bidding Assistants in strategic locations. Make sure your Bidding Assistants know where they should be during the event. You’ll want a couple volunteers near the charging station, where people charge their cell phones. You’ll need several Bidding Assistants at the auction table. You’ll also want several floaters to circulate through the room and help anyone who looks confused.

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Decorate your Bidding Assistants with style. Your Bidding Assistants need to be easily identifiable wherever they are in the room. Give them a “costume” of some sort that makes them stand out in the crowd. It could be as simple as a colored hat, or as complex as a full costume that plays off the theme of your event: Disney characters, for instance. Whatever it is, make sure your guests can find them easily.

By assembling a team of helpful, well-trained Bidding Assistants, you’ll be able to put your guests at ease. They’ll know they can get help when they need it, so they can relax and have fun with this new way of bidding. The easier the process is for them, the more they’ll catch the spirit of what is going on and join in the bidding with enthusiasm.

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