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.

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.

Whether asking for a sponsor, a silent auction donation, or recruiting volunteers, there are three "P"s to keep in mind when writing your requests.

1. Be Positive - In today's world it is easy to get caught up in difficulties or problems, whether it be in why you need to hold a fundraiser or in the difficulties in procuring the volunteers and donations that you need. Re-read your piece and confirm that every request and fact is viewed from a positive angle. Be the "glass half-full person." Enthusiasm and optimism are catching and a positive attitude will lead to better results than a guilt-ridden or depressing request.

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.

Whether a live or silent auction, variety is the key. You'll find profits will increase and attendees will have more fun if you offer a variety of values throughout the event so that everyone gets a chance to participate, make a donation, and contribute to your cause and the event's success.