Your event and auction website is your first chance to get your event in front of your potential attendees - which means it’s important to put your best foot forward! Your auction website should clearly communicate the event as well as the cause or organization you’re supporting and partnered with. It’s also your first chance to get potential attendees excited about your event, eventually increasing ticket sales, bids, and overall donations. This temporary website will publish all information related to your event fundraiser, so having a well-designed website is key!
Here’s a few key tips to keep in mind when building your website:
- Make it easy to find
- Make the most of it, including all relevant info
- Direct people to the website when it’s most useful
- Use it to recognize supporters, including top bidders and partners
- Customize it to your event and needs
Let’s dive in and get you on track to wow your supporters with a stellar auction website!
Make Your Website Easy to Find
There’s a few ways to make sure your website is easy for potential attendees, partners, and more to find. Your auction website should link directly from the known, established organization website. Having a separate website for the auction keeps your information more streamlined (we’ll touch more on this later), but by connecting the two websites, it lends authority to the auction website so attendees know that it’s a trusted source of information.
- Auctria provides each event with it’s very own event website. Choose between a few fun domains and customize the last part of the URL with your own org and event name.
- Use a vanity URL and redirect. You can purchase a vanity URL from any big domain registrar like Go Daddy and redirect that year after year to the annual event website. Use something fun that helps brand the event. Example, one high school uses Auction4sharks and redirects that URL to their Auctria event. The event name is easy to remember, they can print banners that last year to year and it has become a well known event at large in the community.
One single site to direct people to every year provides consistency, consistency is powerful in retaining repeat attendees and donations!
- Use your organization email for major announcements. When you communicate with your supporters and potential attendees, to direct them to the website, be sure to use your organization email so that your promotional materials don’t get flagged as spam. This also serves to emphasize the authority of your communications and increase trust with potential attendees and partners. Keeping that trust is even more important if you plan on soliciting donations or bids through the website - your attendees want to feel confident in your security and organization before sharing their payment information!
Make the Most of Your Website
Once you direct attendees to your website, make sure that it’s worth their time. That means that it should be easy to navigate, nicely designed, and all the information should be clear and easy to find. Remember how we talked about trust and authenticity being important? Making sure your auction website matches the branding of your organization, including logo, colors, and font, assures your attendees and partners that they’re in the right place! Plus, transparency around how your donations are collected and where the funds go is essential to retain trust - and it’s easy to communicate that information clearly on your website.
Make sure to choose a template that allows you to customize all of the above options. It should also allow you to post:
- Impact stories
and any other information you think your attendees and partners should know related to the event like where the event is being held, maybe include a google map!
Want an example of a well-designed website that highlights where the funds are going? Check out our case study of The Games Auction for Extra Life website that raised money for the Children’s Hospital Network!
GJJ Games has seen massive success in their fundraising as a direct result of having a clear, well-designed website from Auctria!
Want to see more examples of the websites you can build with Auctria? Check out Auctria's Current Events page for inspiration!
Direct People to the Website ONLY When It’s Useful
Our attendees' time is valuable - so it's best to respect their time by only directing them to your auction website when it’s useful. There are a few points in the lead up to your auction where it’s useful to direct people to your website, as well as during the event itself.
Once you choose a date for your event, you’ll want to start selling sponsorships. Directing partners to your website during this time allows them to connect with you 24/7. Working with sponsors via your website also allows you to track inventory for sponsorships and build FOMO as sponsorships run low or run out.
As the date for your event approaches, sell tickets through your website. As with sponsorships, this allows you to easily track inventory and alert potential attendees when tickets are running low.
Once your auction arrives, direct attendees to your website when bidding opens. This provides a one stop shop for them to bid, receive alerts about the items they bid for, save their payment method for faster, easier bidding, and more.
If you’re using a more physical bidding method, you can upload the list of items on your website for attendees to peruse ahead of time.
Easily add a raffle or other additional benefits! There’s a lot of ways to add extra excitement to an auction event - raffles are one of our favorites because of how successful they typically are.
If you only send attendees and partners to your website when there’s something for them to do, they’ll know that it’s important to follow the links when you share them! This keeps them focused on what’s most important - whether that’s buying their ticket so they can attend or bidding on items to win!
Use Your Website to Recognize Supporters and Partners
Your website is also a great way to recognize your supporters and partners! Since your list of supporters and partners may change year over year, featuring them on your website is a great way to give recognition while still making it easy to update over time.
Sponsors are vital to the success of your auction event - after all, your attendees need something exciting to bid on! Making sure they feel recognized and thanked for their contributions can increase their likelihood of donating again in the future. Additionally, many partners may donate both as a way to support your organization and as a way to gain positive publicity within your community; a public acknowledgement allows them to achieve both of those goals.
For more information on why you should sell sponsorships and how to use them to increase your revenue multiple times over. Consider your sponsorship as a business proposal!
Auctria makes it easy to provide distinct value that groups can offer sponsorships in return for financial payment. Auctria can help you streamline the sale of sponsorships. Once a sponsorship is sold, you can list sponsors on the website in the form of a Sponsorship page or a Sponsorship banner. The banner can live in the header or footer of the website for even greater visibility, helping your sponsors shine! You can even link the logo of the sponsor for greater value-add. Use our pre-built Sponsorship Element to make highlighting your sponsors easy!
As AJ Steinberg of Queen Bee Fundraising says Yes You Can Find Sponorships, and she teaches you how
“Treat sponsors like royalty”. Make your sponsors and partners feel appreciated and acknowledged with your customized auction website!
Trackers, Leaderboards: yes you can do that
When you’re building your auction website, we recommend customizing it to your specific event and needs. There’s a lot of different information you can share on your website - what’s most important to you, your attendees, and your organization?
There are some (heated) debates about whether or not to use a fundraising tracker, target thermometer and/or leaderboards. Some say yes, some say no - no matter your preference, if you choose to add any of these to the event website it’s easy; and you can configure what data is tracked and shared.
With Auctria, you can customize your tracker, match your colors, and keep everything branded to your organization. Auctria can help you track total income over the course of the event OR select more specific values that you’d like to target.
For instance, you could build a leaderboard. These are great if you think the competition between donors would help encourage more donations. If you’d rather keep donor names anonymous, go for a tracker with the total amount raised or just highlight the biggest total donations instead. If you’ve set a target amount to raise over the course of the event, this is a great way to highlight how close you’re getting to your goal!
No matter what your specific goals are for your event, building a customized website with Auctria makes it easy to design a branded, effective website without tearing your hair out.
Looking good, and making it easy
Pre-designed templates make it easy get up and running fast and look amazing. Auctria's Smart Templates update dynamically! Add tickets to your dashboard and they appear on your event website. Same for raffle tickets, auction catalog ans sponsorships
So here’s the bottom line:
Use a platform that makes your event look great! The tips we’ve outlined in this article will get you well on your way to building a website that puts your best foot forward in advertising your event and communicating with attendees, partners, and more. If you want more assistance with your website, Auctria is always here to help! Plus, Auctria websites are never branded with our marks or have ads. Your organization shines and is the only brand and top of mind for your attendees.