I love silent auctions!!! As the auctioneer for fundraising auctions, I view the silent auction as an opportunity to raise the level of competitive bidding and fun for auction attendees. The silent auction can set the tone for the entire event, so why not make it as dynamic as the live auction.
Lately many of my clients have found success in containing the food, drinks and silent auction in one area with a short timeline for bidding. This allows the focus to be on bidding and bringing awareness to the donors and the cause. They make efforts in trying not to separate the silent auction from other activities.
The silent auction also creates an opportunity to acknowledge your donors and bidders on a personal level. Volunteers position at the silent auction tables allow them to engage bidders and thank them for their participation. If a bidder wins or loses the bid, they may walk away feeling great about their contribution and will be more likely to spread the word of your cause!