One of the most lucrative ways for non-profit groups to generate funds is through silent and live auctions events. Your organization committee and volunteers have spent hours procuring some wonderful items for this year’s auctions event. But now that you have the items how do you insure your guests will bid on them? When you break it down to the most basic of fundamentals, you realize you only have a few moments to engage your guests and catch their attention as they walk through the displays of items on the proverbial auction block. How do you capture their attention and keep them focused? According to the knowledgeable professionals at Auctioneerist Charity Auctions, you should keep it simple by making your auction descriptions informative, concise and easy to read.
Tips to Writing Simple Auction Item Descriptions
Keep it consistent by creating a template: Select a format and use it throughout your auction item displays. Areas to consider include the font, color, layout, and page size for all of your auction item descriptions. This will enable your guests to quickly identify each of the items being offered.
Grab the attention of your bidders with a catchy title: Create a clever and catchy title for each item that you have in your display. Make sure the title is listed in large, bold font that can be easily read from a distance. Your goal is to first interest your guests from afar to encourage them to venture closer. Use a different font in the body of the document to explain the description. As a general rule, you should use no more than 3 font sizes for each page. Use one for the title, one for the description and one for any bullet point highlights.
Using power words to generate greater impact among bidders: Make the headers for your auction items pop by using your descriptions to tempt your guests into bidding. For example communicate value using words such as wealth, reward and fortune to convey the appeal of the item. And likewise catch phrases such as quality, excellence and popularity.
List features and benefits of auction items with bullet points: Instead of writing long paragraphs full of descriptive phrases use bullet points to select and highlight the most important features of each of your items. Bullet points should be easy to read and include the following depending on the goods or services being offered:
• Features and benefits
• Any technical specifications
• The type of event and number of tickets
• Restaurant location and type of food
• Number of day/nights of getaway package
• Gift basket contents, donor information and specific item numbers
Photography display boards to entice bidders: Colorful, well presented and good quality photos will keep your guests focused especially when it comes to listing goods and services. Active shots of individuals enjoying a particular activity or using an item for example are much more enticing than a still shot outside of a restaurant.
Matching formats to coordinate your auction bid sheet: Ideally, your bid sheet should match the font design of your auction items. Include a couple of bullet points with concise information to highlight the features of the item for those individuals who are only interested in reading the bid sheets. Display the auction item number in a prominent place and include anywhere from 12 to 15 lines for your guests to list bids.