Join BiddingForGood on Wednesday, 2/15/12 at 2:00PM Eastern/11:00AM Pacific for a FREE webinar titled:
School Auctions Smarten Up: Challenging the Silent Auction Model
We’re proud to partner with School Specialty to bring you this webinar. School Specialty is the leading provider of educational resources that help educators and their students succeed, with a dedicated focus on finding new ways to help educators’ budgets go further while providing a complete range of innovative educational products, programs, and services.
With over $50 million raised by schools on our platform, BiddingForGood has a proven track record in the school fundraising auction market. In-room Mobile Bidding, the latest innovation to our Smart Auction Platform, urges school fundraisers to rethink the silent auction event. The journey to the creation of an end-to-end auction solution has brought with it many valuable lessons. During this webinar we will discuss:
- The inherent barriers to success that the traditional silent auction model presents.
- How and why schools have integrated an online auction component with great success.
- An introduction to the world of mobile technology and what it means for school fundraisers.
- Rethinking and reinventing the school-based silent auction event.
Thanks to School Specialty, all webinar attendees will receive a promotional code entitling you to FREE SHIPPING and 10% off any order at LearningOutlet.com. We will also be offering a copy of our eBook: School Fundraising Challenges, Opportunities, and Tools for Success.
Join BiddingForGood's VP of Marketing, Perry Allison, and School Specialty's CTO, Michael Healey, for this exciting opportunity to hear from two of the leaders in school fundraising innovation! REGISTER NOW.
PLEASE NOTE times are published in Eastern Standard Time. Please schedule accordingly.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
2:00PM Eastern/11:00AM Pacific
BiddingForGood hit the road over the last few months, visiting 12 cities around the country to meet with fundraisers and talk about new innovations in online auctions and In-room Mobile Bidding. At every stop, there were overflowing crowds from schools and nonprofits, who were eager to hear about our Smart Auction platform and learn about how we are reinventing the silent auction.
It was a pleasure to meet so many clients, who shared their experiences using our platform. And, we loved meeting other folks not yet in the BiddingForGood family, who are thinking about how they can take their fundraising to the next level. Many clients told us that they came hoping to meet their favorite Auction Expert, who invests so much time helping them be successful with their fundraising efforts. Several organizations brought entire committees to the seminar, so that they could learn together and consider as a team how to bring new excitement to their events.
There was no shortage of questions and opinions raised by attendees. In some cities, BiddingForGood clients were a tremendous help, answering questions from the audience based on their own experiences. You can view a short video clip from the presentation – click here.
While traveling the country and meeting so many of you, we were really struck by the power of the community and how much fundraisers can learn from each other. We talk a lot about choices. There are many ways to run a successful fundraising event, and bringing people together from different kinds of organizations enabled lots of sharing of ideas and strategies.
If you would like us to visit your city later this year to talk about Smart Auctions, let us know – click here. We will consider your suggestions when we plan our next road show.
In my last post, The Not-So-Silent Auction, I presented the idea of re-inventing the silent auction with Smart Auction Technology. If you’re looking for a little transformation for your auction, you’ve come to the right place. As you’re planning and executing a “Not-So-Silent Auction,” there are several new ideas on the table. While these ideas didn’t really apply to the traditional silent auction, now the stars (and technology) are aligned, so they can have a huge impact on your fundraising success.
We believe that the most successful auctions result from the best catalog of auction items. Our Auction Experts are a wellspring of ideas for how to build a successful auction catalog, and you can read some of their blog posts on that very topic here.
Here’s the catch: your auction items are not jumping off the tables to sell themselves. Even with the perfectly-crafted catalog, bidder engagement is KEY. Because of that, there is one subset of people in the room that I want to focus on: the “bidder buddies,” or those volunteers who are tasked with helping bidders navigate your new (and improved) silent auction.
At the most basic level, bidder buddies are there to help event attendees bid on your auction items. And, if your auction includes In-room Mobile Bidding, their job is to help attendees with a quick lesson on how to bid from their mobile devices, what we like to call a “one-bid learning curve.” However, bidder buddies’ real strength is in how they can affect the competitive dynamic at your silent auction, by using a borrowed (and slightly modified) technique from the worlds of retail and hospitality – the fine art of “upselling.”
So, what makes an ideal bidder buddy? First, you want to look for volunteers who aren’t afraid to be social and outgoing. The best schmoozer you know should be on your list. If you have a volunteer who is shy and reserved, find them a different job. Your bidder buddies are going to be proactive, not reactive. It’s a whole different ballgame now…
Ready to serve. When your attendees walk in the room, is that bidder buddy looking for a way to connect with them? Smiling, saying hello, asking if the attendee needs any assistance – these are things the bidder buddy can start with. You can help your volunteers get ready for this with some simple training. Get your group together for pizza or coffee, and do some role-playing.
Ready to connect. The best bidder buddies are eager to connect with people. Encourage volunteers to get to know attendees a little better. Asking a couple of questions and showing genuine interest will go a long way toward understanding what bidders like and want. Ultimately, you want bidder buddies and bidders to form a partnership. If a bidder buddy takes note of the items someone is interested in and can gauge how much they want to spend, they can provide a valuable service, to both that bidder and your organization.
Able to turn up the heat. Bidder buddies can help ignite your attendees’ psychological instincts to win, and this competitive drive helps you get more bids and raise more money. Live auctioneers are masters at creating this environment during the live auction, and now your bidder buddies can bring that spark to the silent auction. The goal is to help more people get more competitive earlier in the night. Checking back in with bidders, suggesting other items they might be interested in, sharing tidbits about those who are placing the highest bids or how much money the auction has raised at strategic points are all ways that you can keep bidders engaged and coming back to bid again. Brainstorm with your team about how your bidder buddies might be able to turn up the competitive heat as they work the room.
Show your bidder buddies some love. Consider incenting your bidder buddies by rewarding them for their efforts based on bids placed or dollars raised. Set goals for each bidder buddy and gather the team to recap, again over pizza or coffee (food always makes people happy). See how many bids each person helped to get in the system and estimate how much money that represents. The numbers don’t have to be exact, but showcasing the value of the team’s efforts will make everyone feel good. Also, gather ideas from your team to put towards the next event. What worked? What didn’t? Were there missed opportunities, and if so, how might you overcome those obstacles next time?
This week we are traveling around the country talking about the value of online auctions. We are also introducing participants at our events to a powerful new innovation that we are offering: In-room Mobile Bidding. While on tour, we thought it would be nice to give a shout-out to some of the wonderful charities and non-profits in the states we are visiting that are hosting auctions with us right now.
Samaritans of New York has some great items up for bid, including vacations to Mexico, Florida, and the Big Apple. Samaritans is a non-profit, volunteer organization whose sole purpose is to provide support to those individuals and groups who are in crisis, have lost someone to suicide and/or are feeling suicidal. Help them continue their life-saving mission by making a bid.
Looking to get fit in 2012? Or maybe you want to find a piece of memorabilia for that sports junkie in your house? Look no further than the auction being run by the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. This auction goes to benefit the programs offered by the chamber to help businesses in their area thrive and expand.
As part of their annual gala, the Saint Ambrose School has launched an online auction with us. The school provides a faith-based education in a safe, warm environment for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. If you want to support them in their efforts, you can bid on spa treatments, designer handbags and even luxury vacations right on our site.
BiddingForGood has learned a lot through the process of launching our in-room mobile bidding feature. We have learned the key to a successful mobile event is all in the questions you ask up front in the planning process.
1. The golden ticket question is "How is the wireless service in your venue?" If you think asking your catering director or representative is sufficient, think again. It is best to go out to the location yourself and check. Take it a step further; bring others with you who have different mobile phone service providers.
2. What kind of connections and A/V equipment do I need? Again, do not speak to your catering/event planner. Speak to the person in charge of A/V. For instance, many hotels contract out their A/V providers. I learned this the hard way when I asked my catering director how cell phone service and was told "it is great." But a week before the event, I spoke to the head of A/V and asked him that very same question. The answer was "not so great."
3. Will everyone be able to use their phone to bid? More than likely, no. Think about who you audience (guest list) is and make an educated guess. Some organizations have a community of elders who may not have a smart phone or may wish not to use one. How will you accommodate those quests? Mobile isn't for everyone…well not yet anyway.
4. Will you open up the items for mobile bidding only to guests at the event? You have the option of choosing to keep your items online with the in-room bidding opened to the world. Clients feel differently about each of these options, so think about what is best for your event and what you want to achieve.
5. What is mobile bidding? This is a question you will get when you start promoting your exciting mobile bidding feature. You may even get asked by your venue. It is best to have a strong grasp of how mobile bidding works – The BiddingForGood client services team will be there to help you educate your constituents to not be intimidated by mobile.
As we head out into the field over the next few weeks, we will be sure to report on new tips and tricks to ensure your event goes off without a hitch!
This Wednesday, 11/16/11 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time, we will be broadcasting the second in a series of co-hosted live webinars with PTO Today:
Maximize Your Online Auction & Intro to Mobile Bidding
We will be tweeting LIVE from this session at #OAsuccess.
The first webinar, All About Online Auctions, was a general overview of how and why online auctions work for schools. During Wednesday's presentation, we're going to look even closer at ways schools are acheiving online auction success. Plus, we're going to give you an introduction to the latest innovation in auction technology: Mobile Bidding.
It's no secret that we work with tons of schools. During this session, we would like to understand if your school is aligned with some of the innate characteristics that have propelled other schools to success.
During this session we will examine:
The barriers to auction success.
Auctions are a tried and true method of fundraising for schools. We believe in them & we think you do too. As the automobile replaced the horse & buggy, auction technology has developed in a very real and lasting way. We will look at the reasons for auction technology and what innovation may have to offer for your auction event.
Our solution & prescribed recipe for success.
We've taken a stance. We have formed a solution. We're going to share with you what we believe is the recipe for auction success.
Tips for social media promotion.
Auction technology isn't the only thing we're going to discuss today. In a world where promotion through communication is key, there are some foundational elements to using social media that we are going to address.
Mobile bidding is the most recent beast in our dungeon, and like online auctions, we're determined to understand & conquer while helping schools & NPOs go about digesting what this solution can do for an auction event. New and exciting, you don't want to miss this introduction to the latest innovation in auction technology.
So, don't miss this chance to connect with PTO Today, BiddingForGood, and other schools & NPOs as we peel back the layers to making your auction event better than ever.
Picking up where we left off on 10/24... The second in-house webinar we are offering (once per month) is the Sneak Preview of BiddingForGood’s In-Room Mobile Bidding Solution. (Follow the convo on Twitter at #B4Gmobile.) Truly the face of fundraising innovation, our mobile bidding solution has been a wildly popular subject in the fundraising world. As we say in the presentation… it’s a mobile, mobile world… If this topic interests you, you’re going to meet at least one of these two people:
Perry Allison: Our esteemed VP of Marketing & Sales, Perry is the always upbeat, glass-half-full, winner of the best boss of the year award (or at least she would be). Her teams work hard for her approval and she works hard for them. Perry’s heart will always be on the farm in Vermont. She loves her chickens and will occasionally bring us farm-fresh eggs as a special treat. A true thespian, Perry is almost always involved in a theatrical production and sings in a great a cappella group in MA. Talk about a busy-bee!!
Aaron Rissler: The front-man on our AIRS project (Automated Item Request System) and Product Marketing Manager for our latest mobile initiative, Aaron’s track record puts him at the forefront of BiddingForGood’s innovative ideas and projects. If you ever sneak up on him at his desk you'll probably find him doing one of two things: working (is that obvious?) or looking at cars on the internet. "Lex" the red Lexus is his baby.
So, I hope you have a chance to join us and give these folks a run for their money!
On Thursday 11/10 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time, Aaron will be kicking off the next Sneak Preview of BiddingForGood's In-Room Mobile Bidding Solution webinar. Register now!
Have a great day!
We're hitting the road to meet with fundraisers like you around the country, to talk about online auctions and to introduce you to a powerful new innovation that will transform your fundraising events - in-room mobile bidding.
BiddingForGood CEO Jon Carson will showcase our new mobile bidding platform and show you how it can revolutionize your fundraising events. With mobile bidding, you will be able to:
- Enable your supporters to bid from their mobile phones, from the time your online auction launches through the duration of your live event
- Raise 10%-30% more money
- Add new excitement to your fundraiser event
- Streamline your event - no long lines, no frustrated attendees, easier closeout
- Provide a one-stop solution that will make your entire event run smoothly, from registration to closeout
- Expand your pool of bidders to include family and friends not attending the event, as well as the 250,000+ shoppers in the BiddingForGood Bidder Community
- Eliminate the clipboard with its inherent limitations - crowding around tables, awkward social moments as bidding ends, and more
You will have the opportunity to meet and network with fundraisers from schools and nonprofits in your community. There will be plenty of time to ask questions and to learn from others who are facing the same challenges that you are!
BiddingForGood’s Mobile Road Tour starts next week in these following cities:
Don’t see your city here? Not to worry; BiddingForGood will be continuing the road show in January of 2012 with the following cities (Dates TBD):
- Boston, MA
- New York City, NY
- Washington, DC
- Atlanta, GA
- Miami, FL
- Dallas, TX
- Houston, TX
- Austin, TX
You can also register for one of our Mobile Bidding Webinars. Register today by visiting our Learning Center.
Hope to see you there. Get Mobile!