The evolution of silent auctions has been staggering. From pen and paper with runners through to tablets and bidding stations. The technological progress is mind-boggling. This progress has had a huge impact on fundraising for charities.
The pace is being driven by innovative companies challenging the status quo, and with 300 events to our name each year, we’re quite comfortable predicting the future role of technology at events.
Smartphones and fundraising
Let’s look at the facts; 70% of the population own smartphones and 70% of donations on JustGiving come through smartphones. This tells us people are comfortable using smartphones to raise money for charity.
Smartphones and events
Although 70% of the population own smartphones, the demographic of guests at our events actually puts that closer to 90%. Put differently, for 10 guests sat around one of your dinner tables, 9 have a smartphone in their pocket!
Think of this as a ninefold increase in the number of individuals who are able to take part in the auction compared to before.
Dismiss the myth!
Myth: Smartphones distract guests from the event.
Truth: Honestly, if your guests are looking at their phones, then I’m afraid there’s something going wrong with the event!
Smartphones are used to access the Internet more than they are used to make phone calls. This means your guests are making a conscious decision to buy a device that allows them to be connected to the Internet for longer periods throughout the day. Instead of resisting what is a growing behaviour, capitalise on what is now second nature.
Smartphones give us easy access to the Internet, which gives us easy access to being social! Smartphones and social go hand in hand. You may remember this infamous selfie at the Oscars earlier this year. Two million people retweeted Ellen’s selfie, demonstrating tweeting is simply part and parcel of a new way of communicating – so don’t get left behind.
Make social media part of the smartphone and event offering.
Silent auctions and smartphones
I’m not saying mobile is the only answer, because it’s not. However, offering guests the ability to access your silent auction site – even before the event – on their own devices democratises your silent auction. It gives more guests access to the auction and consequently increases the number of guests who can take part in the action. Crucially, it’s completely risk free and doesn’t cost any more money! It’s a genuine example of a win-win.