Fundraising Event + Live Auction Warmups
How much would you pay for a glass of water? How about a $50 dollar bill? If you’re a guest at a benefit auction or fundraising event, you might just pay $1,000 or more! Live auction warmups are fun and exciting ice-breakers at fundraisers.
The goal of a warm-up is to demonstrate for your audience just how much fun it can be to spend way more than the actual value of an item, knowing the “extra” money goes straight to your org! They also help your crowd lose the “bargain shopper” mentality.
Here are some things to take into consideration before you go for a live auction warmup at your next event.
No Bargain Shopping
Try it at a newer event, or with an inexperienced crowd – to deter the “bargain shopper” mentality. As fundraising specialists, we impart the idea that charity events are neither the time nor place to score deals – rather, they’re the perfect time to display your generosity and be a true supporter of the cause.
Warmups are also a great attention-getter – who DOESN’T want to see just how much money a glass of water can fetch? Or how valuable that $50 bill can be for your org? Grab their attention right off the bat and you’re more likely to have people still paying attention later, when it’s time for the ever-important special appeal.
Bid Card Frenzy
If selling water or a $50 bill isn’t your thing, there are other ways to get your audience in a giving mood and infuse the room with energy and excitement. One method we love is a Bid Card Frenzy, used right before the live auction. Bid Card Frenzies offer several gift cards for sale in rapid succession at or around face value. The first bid card in the air and acknowledged by the benefit auction specialist wins the card, and so on, until they’re gone. This fun strategy immediately drums up drama in the room, encourages people to raise their bid cards AND increases competition. Win, win, win!
Bubbles for Your Table
Another popular warm-up is selling a magnum of champagne to the highest bidding table. Competitive audiences, or folks looking to impress their table hosts, are often willing to spend overvalue to ensure their table receives the VIP treatment and extra bubbly. An added bonus: additional social lubrication can animate your program!
We’ve experimented with many unique warm-up offerings. We’d love to tailor some of our ideas to fit YOUR event! More crowd involvement means more fun, more excitement and more participation in your live program, leading to – naturally – more money for your cause!