Social media has become one of the best advertising strategies on the planet. Through blogs, Facebook, twitter, instagram... information is being disbanded at a rate never before imagined. Not only are the viewers receiving real-time updates, but the audience reached is growing exponentially.

While assigning volunteer duties, don't forget to create a team of marketing/social media volunteers. The beauty in this position is the diversity of people and involvement required. Whether the volunteer is hands on and actively assisting with other duties or someone who "just does not have time," there is something for everyone.

If your event is an annual one, don’t forget the valuable resource of historical data. Knowing what sold and who your key buyers were can help your silent auction profits soar. A program like Pearl Bids, which allows you to view which items were bid on and what the bids were can prove invaluable.

So, what can you do once you have the data?

Anyone who is volunteering to help with your event supports your mission. And while some are there simply to support, most may have an additional incentive as well. Even though they have willingly given you their time, if you put in the extra effort to help with their other motives for volunteering, you will have happier, more productive, and longer term help.

A new way to pass out bid numbers... When attendees arrive, hand out wristbands with their bid number on it. The bid number is handy throughout the evening and as the attendees circulate and bid on items it is super easy for them to double check their bid numbers before writing them down. Having seen way too many people record the wrong bid numbers on bid sheets, I think this is a fantastic idea.

We've recently been working with a customer who has a great game plan. They had a trial auction last night, a week before the actual event.

By holding a fake "preview" with people bidding on an item and then trying out their closing system, she was able to determine just where any bottlenecks might occur and where any confusion might lie.