Live Auction Catalog

Your catalog/program is the single most important marketing tool for your live auction lots leading up to your event and the night-of your auction. The catalog gives bidders the vital information they need about what you are offering for auction, shows donors that you are handling their donations responsibly and offers a showcase for your sponsors.

Odds are your program is going to be read in a dark room, by a crowd whose average age is over 40 years old and who have all had a few glasses of wine or cocktails. Plan for that in advance by making sure the program is legible in a low-light environment. Use a large font, and make sure there is adequate contrast between the text and background. A gorgeous design will only cost you money if your attendees can’t see it when the time comes to make a decision on participating in your auction or not.

When it comes to reading the catalog there are two types of bidders: those who peruse the whole catalog well before the auction starts, and those who maniacally skim the catalog during the auction trying to make a decision. Plan on both types, and create a catalog that enables both.

Sell the sizzle of each lot with a well-written, concise description, but also use bullet points to highlight the basics of each lot. For example, you can use poetic license to describe the sunset views from the lanai of a condo in Hawaii, and in the bullet points succinctly outline how many days for how many people, the restrictions, etc.

Whatever you do, make sure you have a catalog, that the lots are are numbered and chronologically listed in the order they will be sold, with numbers, and that the fund-a-need has its own description as well.