How to Conduct a Live Auction

Written by j. johnson
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When conducted properly, live auctions can be a lot of fun for everyone involved. Many companies, organisations, and government agencies take advantage of the excitement and festivities of a live auction to help sell items, raise money, and get people interested in a certain organisation or event. If you've been put in charge of conducting the live auction, there are a few things you should consider.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Decide what you plan to auction off. Certain types of auctions, such as government auctions, already have items to auction off. But others, such as auctions to raise money for charity organisations, need items to auction off. Some ideas include gift tokens to local hot spots, trips, tickets to events, local artwork, theme baskets, and other homemade items. Contact local companies to ask for donations of items to be auctioned off.

  2. 2

    Figure out the best date for the auction. Make sure it's not during a time of year when many people are out of town or on vacation, such as around the holidays. Also, make sure there are no other large events going on in your community that would drive people away from the auction. Expect to need about three months to plan the auction.

  3. 3

    Create a budget for your auction. The idea of an auction is to raise money, but you'll need some funding for set-up, an auctioneer, facilitators, renting the space where the auction will be held, and marketing. Check with your company, organisation, or government agency to find out how much money is available to conduct the auction.

  4. 4

    Decide where you want the auction to be held. You should choose a location that's large enough to hold the number of people you expect to attend, as well as everything you're auctioning off. Auctions usually attract about 150 to 200 people. Also, make sure the location is clean, organised, and easy to find. If you live in the right climate, consider holding the auction outside to attract more bidders. (reference 1)

  5. 5

    Develop a marketing plan to promote the auction. This should involve selling tickets on your website and in person, sending out mailings to advertise the event, calling ticket holders before the auction to remind them of the date and location, and contacting local media for free promotion. Hanging flyers and posters around the community is another way to promote the auction.

  6. 6

    Find an auctioneer. If possible, find someone who is a local or minor celebrity, such as a local news anchor. Choosing an auctioneer that people in your community know will boost your attendance and make promotion efforts easier. The auctioneer you choose should have a lively, fun personality that will make the auction more enjoyable for everyone.

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