For any event to be successful in generating buzz and securing participation, marketing is the key. Even exclusive events rely heavily on marketing or promotional efforts to ensure the attendance of a limited guest list.
So, if you are organizing an exclusive charity auction, marketing and promotion are sure to be top priority tasks. To provide a good idea of how to go about this, here are six reliably effective promotional strategies from trusted charity auction consignment companies.
1. Create a magazine for the event.
Gather some people who are closely involved in the project to write about the event and its unique goals. Afterwards, lay it out for a magazine, along with images of some of the items for the auction.
This is a fantastic way to educate your target participants and perhaps also get them financially ready for bidding on pieces that they find interesting in the magazine.
2. Send out beautiful invites.
After creating the guestlist for the exclusive affair, draw up invites to send out. Make your guests feel truly special by designing classy invitation cards that they will be bringing to the event. But aside from the traditional invitations, send out digital ones as well.
It’s always good to back up those tangible invites with a digital counterpart. By doing so, you can be certain that your guests won’t miss the event because they didn’t receive an invitation from your organization.
Bonus Tip: When you send out the invitation cards, send along a copy of the magazine. It would make a nice little bundle to raise interest for the charity auction instantly.
3. Create a website.
It would work to the event’s advantage to have an official presence in the digital realm. A website is the perfect online asset for the event, especially if you intend to host more in the future.
A website can be a lot like the magazine which contains all the vital information about the project. At the same time, you can add more features to boost people’s engagement and excitement for the upcoming activity. Dedicate pages to some of the items that will be included in the auction and make sure to display the items beautifully.
For example, if you have several handbags in the roster of biddable items, check out designer handbag auction sites to get an idea of how to display them. And lastly, use the website to hold the auction online simultaneously with the live event. Through the website, people on your guest list who simply couldn’t make it because they’re out of town can still participate.
For this, you can turn to a digital marketing company that offers web design and development services. Such a company will make sure that not only is the event’s website packed with informative content, but it’s also optimized for better visibility online.
4. Market on social media.
You can get the word out about the specific cause of the charity auction through social media portals. Even if the event is exclusive, it’s crucial for as many people as possible to know about it, and the best places to connect with more people are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
Another advantage of promoting on social media is that you can generate and collect useful data for the event. You can find out what items people are interested in, whether folks are looking to get an invite and should be included in the guest lists, where the most curious people are from, and so much more.
Through these social media sites, organizers of the event can interact closely with more people. Not only that, but they can also run surveys and polls or use other data-gathering content to learn how to make the event a truly worthy affair to attend.
5. Work on a press release.
Press releases are really intended for drawing attention to an event. They are impressively crafted viewable content for a lot of people, and they highlight different angles of the upcoming affair.
For this, there are press release sites online that you can reach out to. However, they have stringent and high standards for submission. Therefore, make sure to hire the best writers to create the press release for the event.
Your other option is to purchase a section from the society pages of a magazine or newspaper.
6. Talk about the event on public affairs shows.
See if a representative of your organization can be a guest on a public affairs radio or TV show. This is a fantastic opportunity to give a voice to the event and be brought to the attention of even more people.
Contact local radio and TV stations. Many of them are looking for people to be their guests on special segments. A charity auction is surely worth a slot, especially if the goal of the auction is something that resonates with a lot of people.
Marketing and Promotions Are a Must
Despite the unique purpose of a charity auction, it remains to be a business activity. Therefore, you have to market or promote the event like you would a business’s products and services. Typically, 10 percent of the operational budget is dedicated to marketing; you can do the same for the auction, or perhaps even allocate a much higher amount.
Also, it’s essential to assign the task of promoting the event to the right people. The implementation of marketing can make or break the event. This is why you need people whose focus will be solely on generating buzz for the activity, interacting with individuals who are interested in the event, and keeping the excitement high until the day of the auction.
The key here is to be quite deliberate with promotions. Even when it seems like a lot of people already know about it, continue with all your marketing efforts. There’s no such thing as over-promoting an event. And if the event is operating with limited resources, be as creative as you possibly can in sending out information about the event.
The strategies shared above are most effective at helping organizers promote their event well, and these can surely work for your next exclusive charity auction.
Darran Brown is the CEO and Founder of Go Charity. A graduate of UMASS Amherst, Darran has spent the last 20 years managing auctions across the United States. Having run some of the most successful live and silent auctions in the US, Darran has the insider know-how to every aspect of the industry. From memorabilia to trips and experience hospitality to fundraising 101, Darran is the leading expert on auction management and fundraising success.