Developing and executing a well thought out time line of events is essential to running a successful auction. Much as a wedding planner spends months thinking through every last detail of the wedding day, a good auction chairman will spend time preparing the auction to be a flawless and remembered evening for the guests.
Your auction timeline is your “roadmap” to success. Volunteers, vendors and paid staff all play a key role in an fundraising auction, and your timeline lets them know where they need be, what they need to be doing, and how they need to work together. With a good timeline in place, guests can be assured that the evening will flow like clockwork.
Think if you keep auctioning items till midnight your attendees are going to be active and tuned into the auction? Think again! A critical part of the timeline is determining when to end the live auction. In fact you should decide when to end the live auction and work backward to complete the rest of the timeline. If you are having a weekday auction, you should aim to end no later than 9:00 pm, 9:30 at the latest. And if you are having a weekend auction, plan to finish up by 9:30 or 10pm. You may wonder why to end so early — it’s because you want to schedule the bidding earlier in the evening when people are interested and motivated. A long week, an hour or so of cocktails, and as you can imagine, the bidders get mentally and physically tired and check out. Losing motivation= no bidding!
For any auction, a timeline keeps it running smoothly and makes it successful. Cheers to a successful auction, and some healthy competition from the bidders!