Use a live model if possible. This person should be pretty, charming, and committed to modeling the piece of during the entire cocktail reception and during dinner. The model should have a handler who will walk them around the reception and make introductions to the attendees especially those who have a penchant for fine jewelry. The handler should be well connected within the organization and have the same level of time commitment as the model.
Dress your model to put the emphasis on the jewelry and not on her. A solid colored strapless dress that compliments the jewelry, with the preference of ivory or black. This will allow the jewelry to standoff the model’s skin and portray the colors of the jewelry. The model’s hair should be in an “up do” so as not to distract from the jewelry if it is a necklace. If the item is a ring, than this should be the only ring worn by the model and bracelets should be worn the same way.
When it is time for the live auction the model should be on a stage near the auctioneer and standing directly beneath an overhead so light will illuminate the her and the jewelry. The jewelry should be photographed prior to the event and shown on the on the projection screens which will highlight the details of the piece.
NEVER have the MC ask when the item is about to be auctioned “is there anyone in the audience that wishes to see this fine piece of jewelry”? In my almost twenty years of conducting fundraising I have never seen either of these two items occur:
- The people that wish to take a closer look are invariability in back a corner of the room and it takes a long time for the model to arrive at their table.
- That the people who requested a closer look even bid on the item much less purchase the item.
When someone is interested in the item they will make certain they have seen the piece during the preview and prior to the bidding.
To summarize, have a younger female model wearing an outfit that compliments the jewelry. The model and her handler’s responsibility is to make sure that all the potential bidders see the piece during the cocktail reception.