Yesterday I had the chance to meet with a colleague in the industry who works with BidPal, an electronic bidding system. She shared with me an interesting result from a recent study they did with their clients.
They compared clients who used their system for their silent auction. Some of their clients only allowed bidders to view and bid on silent auction items during the night of the event, while other clients opt to open up bidding on their items before the event starts (sometimes a full week in advance). They found that the auctions that were available for bidding prior to the night of the event in the silent auction, raised 12% more than the auctions that were only open during the night of the event.
There's an easy and profitable idea for you: open your silent auction up to attendees prior to the event. I've personally seen success with some of my clients doing this. It's a newer idea, but technology is providing us with these awesome opportunities.
Note: this statistic did not compare organizations that did not use an electronic bidding system. However, silent auctions tend to bring in more revenue when using an electronic bidding system because bidders receive text messages when they have been outbid and they can raise the bid again right from their smartphone or electronic bidding device provided by the company.