Should We Use Mobile Bidding For A Paddles Up Auction?

The Answer Quite Simply Is, No.

There is plenty of debate about the question, but in our experience, the answer is easy. Mobile bidding is great for silent auctions, but it is absolutely not right for Paddles Up.

The reason that our average first-year client sees a 109% revenue increase between Paddles Up and Live Auction is our focus on strategy. Most of that 109% increase comes from Paddles Up. Our strategy is to focus the energy of the whole evening on the moment of Paddles Up. It’s the “biggest bang for the buck” all night – at no other point all evening will you be bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars in the span of five minutes. Most of our time in pre-auction consultation is spent strategizing on those five minutes of Paddles Up donations.

Remember How Your Donor Should “Feel”

The main concept to consider is that Paddles Up is all about “feeling.” Does your donor feel moved to raise her paddle up when the time comes, or does she take another sip of wine and go back to her conversation? The entire success or failure of your Paddles Up appeal rests on this! How a donor feels at that moment depends largely on how the other 500 people in the room feel at that moment, too!

When the auctioneer asks for paddles to be raised, here’s what we want to happen. The donor personally feels the need that has been presented, feels she can help to meet that need, sees the other people at her table raising their paddles, and feels great about simply raising her paddle and doing her part, too.

By contrast, when you use mobile bidding for Paddles Up, you’re asking that
same donor to:

  1. Stop paying attention to what’s happening on the stage, in the room
    and at her table.
  2. Dig in her purse to find her phone.
  3. Ignore all the missed texts, voicemails and emails.
  4. Listen to instructions on how to make a donation.
  5. Follow those instructions exactly, even though she’s had three
    glasses of wine.
  6. Wait, what was it we’re raising money for again?

Raising a paddle couldn’t be simpler. You feel moved in the moment, and you act on it with one simple motion. Your  friends, colleagues and the people who invited you see you and thank you. Not so with mobile bidding!

At Andrew Bost Benefit Auctions, the system we use for requesting and recording Paddles Up donations is simple, fast, and proven effective over many years.