Some auction platforms are easier than others. The learning curve is very short for most online auctions. It’s a bit more for onsite auctions because they are more “hands on” and more features. It’s important you, and your team, learn the software.
Online Auctions. You can quickly and easily whip up an online auction. Enter items and start promoting. It’s really very simple and, with great software, most everything else happens “magically” (automatically). Your supporters come to your auction website, bid, buy, and checkout online. The software takes care of notifying them when they are outbid, when they win, and sends them receipts for their purchase.
Onsite Auctions. An onsite auction is a hosted event, where generally bidders are in the room, either bidding on their mobile phones, paper bid sheets, or via a live auctioneer. The beauty of using software is that people don’t necessarily have to be present to participate. Great software will allow you to set up your auction any way you want.
A Do-It-Yourself onsite auction is the most cost effective way to use software and host a mobile auction and/or use mobile checkout to streamline the process. If you feel comfortable with your software, the DIY method let’s you manage and control what happens at your event. If you’d feel more comfortable having an expert available, in case of a question or emergency, check with your software company to see if someone can be on call.
You can also DIY a Bid Sheet auction, and still use the software to streamline the management and checkout process. A lot of groups feel more comfortable with bid sheets, it’s familiar. But, there is an added level of difficulty because the winners must be manually entered into your software. Sounds easy enough. But, it gets a little more complicated when you enter the wrong bidder number, wrong amount, etc. It’s not difficult, you just need to learn a little more about how to manage these situations.
The most expensive method of managing an onsite event is to hire experts from your software company to be on hand to manage your event. This generally costs thousands of dollars and, whether you get good “experts” or not is a crap shoot. I wouldn’t recommend relying solely on this method, even if you decide to do it.
The Software Choice. When using web-based auction software, online and onsite auctions are very similar. The biggest difference is the stress of being at an event, face-to-face with supporters. At least a few that are not very tech savvy and need assistance. Great software will give you the tools to face these challenges easily. Again, you just need to learn and train yourself, in advance, what to do in most situations. It’s not a good idea to learn on the job, during an event.
For your auction management team, hosting a software driven auction changes everything for the better. Fewer people can handle the whole process and much of the work is done for you. You and your team can actually enjoy the event too.
How to become an expert. The best way to learn software is by watching tutorials and practice. Make sure your whole team is trained and prepared. For example: Volunteers that will check-in guests need to know how to check people in, what to do if they don’t have a ticket, and how to make sure they are logged in and ready to bid. Small Business Marketing training can rapidly advance you in learning the ropes as well. Volunteers helping people checkout need to know how to accept payments both online and off (cash/check), as well as how to handle any challenges. Will you enter any bids manually (live auctioneer, paper bid sheets, or helping people without smartphones)? Make sure you, or your volunteers, know how.
So…Yes, it is easy when you use BidCoz. It’s just a matter of planning, learning, and a little practice so your team feels confident to handle any problem that might arise. And, the really good news is that each time you host an auction, it will get easier and easier as you become more and more comfortable with your software. You will be the expert!