Three tips to raise your live auction fund factor

publication date: May 15, 2017
author/source: Layne

You’ve done all the right things. You filled the room with people passionate about your cause. You invested time and energy into securing amazing, one-of-a-kind live auction items that no attendee will be able to resist. And yet, the live auction doesn’t generate the funds that your gala committee hoped.

What went wrong?

Unfortunately event organizers fail to consider three small but noteworthy aspects of a live auction that can have a dramatic impact on the results.


Begin with the live auction to generate more revenue.

The majority of gala events like to hold the live auction at the end of the evening – let people enjoy themselves before asking them to open their wallets. The challenge with this strategy is that people will have socialized, eaten, and maybe had a drink or two (or three). By the end of the evening the attention span of your guests is fading fast – they may be tipsy or tired (or both). To ask guests to focus on the details of a number of live auction items and make decisions after a long evening of activity is setting up your auction for a lethargic response.


With the lights on, you will generate more revenue.

By all means, wow your guests with themed decor, mood lighting and on-trend colour design. But remember, this is not a romantic dinner date. This is a fundraiser.

Keeping the lights down low may create an elegant ambiance but it will work against you when it comes to raising money during the live auction.

When you bring up the house lights you will wake up your guests and immediately call attention to the live auction. In addition, when you bring up the house lights, your Benefit Auctioneer Specialist will be able to see all the bidders and catch every bid. With the lights up, all your guests are available to participate and no one is hiding in the shadows.


The return on investment of a high-quality sound system is more revenue for your cause.

Gala events are expensive and one of the biggest expenses can be found in the sound system. So you might be tempted to use the most basic system, assuming all sound equipment is the same. It isn’t.

If your audience has to strain to hear they are very quickly going to tune out and engage in conversations among themselves or start scrolling through their latest Facebook updates. You don’t want to have to compete with some juicy gossip or the latest cat video, do you?

With a good sound system, your Benefit Auctioneer Specialist can focus on inspiring your audience versus spending most of the time struggling to get and keep their attention.

The live auction is the most important segment at your fundraising event.

Guests know exactly why there are there. They know this is a fundraiser. They know they will be asked to open their wallets and bid generously during the auction.

The live auction represents massive revenue generating potential and will produce the greatest ROI per minute at your event if you help them stay alert and attentive during these crucial 30 minutes.

So start your evening off with the live auction (before the drinks and dessert are served); in a bright environment and with good sound quality. With these three tweaks, you are certain to raise your fund factor.

Layne, The Auctionista- Benefit Auctioneer Specialist is Canada’s “Philanthro-tainer.” Layne ignites giving with entertaining live fundraising experiences and leading-edge knowledge of revenue strategies of the benefit auction world.

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