Here's a handy checklist to be sure you are properly prepared for your event!
1. Get your Event Site ready.
This is where your attendees can buy tickets, get event information, buy raffle tickets, make donations AND preview auction items if you're hosting an auction. Use your custom URL (ie: my.bidr.co/events/YOURKEYWORD) on your organization website, in marketing materials and on social media sites. Here's some great information about how to get this site set up.
Even if you don't have all your items in hand, add the items you currently have ready for promotion. You can mention in your event description that guests should check back regularly because you'll be adding new items all the time. As you add new items, this is an excellent reason to continually market your Event Site to social media followers and email lists. You can also "Unpublish" items so they do not display on your Event Site until you are ready for guests to see them.
2. Get your team trained.
Make sure all your volunteers are familiar with how Bidr works and are prepared to use the Bidr Manager, answer attendee questions and help make the event a success! You can add authorized event managers on your "Event Settings" tab. They may first need to go to manager.bidr.co to create an account.
Be sure that everyone is familiar with how check-in and check-out will be organized.
3. Add your Auction Items.
Don't save all your item adding until the week before your event! You want to market all your auction items on your Event Site AND be sure that you allow yourself plenty of time to get all the details correct.
Spread out the work by adding other members of your organization to the Bidr Manager. This will allow them to also add items.
At any time during the event, attendees can text the word DONATE to give any amount of money to the organization. However, if you want to raise money for something specific--like funds for kids camp experiences--you can add "fixed items." For example set up a "Camp" fixed item where multiple guests can pay for camp tuition. Or set up a fixed item for set donation, ie $25, $50, $100 etc.
5. Digital Signage
Will you have large screens at your event? If so, you can use your Digital Display bidr.co/donations/YOURKEYWORD to show how much money you're raising. This amount will update in real time. It will also cycle through any raffle, fixed, or auction items. If guests make a donation it will thank them by saying "Thank you John! You're a great supporter."
6. Event Signage
Bidr creates event posters with instructions (find it on the "event messaging" tab) to be displayed at appropriate places throughout your event. When you click "Event Poster" a PDF file is generated so that you can have these printed in large format at a local print shop or office supply store. (If nothing happens when you click the button you likely have a pop up blocker on your computer.)
7. Item Card Display
When you add an item, Bidr creates an item card with a cropped photo, brief description, and item ID. You can find it by clicking the circle with three dots on the bottom left of your item and clicking "Print Item Card" which will open a PDF file (if nothing happens you have a pop up blocker on your computer). You can print your item cards one by one, or in bulk. On the Items tab, you can click "Bulk Actions," "Print Item Cards." You can also print the item cards from the "Event Messaging" tab. Decide how you will be displaying your item cards beside your silent auction items at the event.
8. Item Card Printing
Chances are, you will be adding auction items to the Bidr dashboard all the way up until event time. But, be sure to do the bulk of your item card printing a few days prior to your event. This will give you the chance to be sure all the information is correct AND to place the cards in frames or other display methods.
Then, as you add more items, you can print item cards individually.
9. Plan Check-In/Check-out
**This is a very brief overview of the process. See additional articles for more detailed information.
Make sure you have decided how you are going to organize check-in and check-out at your event. Volunteers can use laptops, tablets and cell phones to help guests. Chrome is the preferred browser. You should test all devices that you will be using at the event BEFORE the event. Volunteers need Wifi (or need to be connected to phone hotspots) as well as chargers for their devices. All guests should be on their own phone data plan. If everyone at an event is on the same Wifi it will result in painfully slow service.
For events with ticketing, start on the "event check-in" tab. Use the search bar to search for a guests name and click "Check in" which will send that guest the welcome message and link to all items. If you do not have a ticketed event, go to the "Event messaging" tab and "Send Text," type in each guests cell phone number and click "Send Text" to send them the welcome message and link to the items. We think this is the most sure fire way to get more guests joined to your event.
For check out you will click "close items" on the "Items" tab when you are ready for the auction to close. All guests who have unpaid items will be texted a payment link. Make sure each item is paid for before you give the winner their item.