Are you gearing up for an upcoming fundraising event? Planning to include a live auction, but not sure how many items to feature? Fear not! Here’s a guide to help you determine the right amount of live auction items for your next event.
First things first, it’s important to consider the number of people attending your event. You might be surprised to learn that the number of bidders isn't the same as the number of attendees. For instance, if you have 200 attendees, you actually only have 100 bidders since most people attend as a pair or a couple. If you have 300 that’s 150 bidders. And if you have 400 that’s 200 bidders and so on.
Of those bidders, on average, only 5-15% will be interested in bidding in your live auction. So let’s do the math:
200 person event = 100 bidders = 5-15 live auction bidders
300 person event = 150 bidders = 7-22 live auction bidders
400 person event = 200 bidders = 10-30 live auction bidders
Of course there may be more people bidding especially at the beginning when the bid increments are lower - but these numbers reflect people who are genuinely interested and capable of bidding higher on your items.
Now, the million-dollar question: how many items should you include in your live auction? This is a tricky balancing act between having enough items for your bidders while not losing the attention of other attendees.
As a general rule of thumb, if you have 100 bidders at your event I would recommend keeping the auction to 5 well curated items for your live auction bidders. If you have up to 200 bidders you can safely go to 8-10 items. I don’t recommend going over 10 items for any event or number of bidders as you want to shift your energy to giving opportunities that can attract all the bidders in the room - which is your special appeal/fund a need - which allows everyone to give to your cause.
Now that you know how many items to include in your live auction, it's time to start procuring some exciting items! Need help brainstorming ideas? Reach out today, and let's make your event a huge success!
And be sure to check out my other blog on how to have an amazing live auction.
Michael Faith Benefit Auctioneer and fundraising professional