Enabling mobile features for your auction can provide an enhanced guest experience and optimize the proceeds for the night. Preparing a mobile enhanced auction, requires all the previous preparation steps plus few additional that we'll discuss here.

Promote Mobile Bidding Platform

It won't matter how many mobile features you enable if none of your guests bring mobile phones to the auction. To increase the number of guests who are prepared for the mobile experience, be sure to promote that you will be using mobile features in your advertising and guest communications. Sending out an email blast the week before the auction can serve as a final reminder.

It is key to communicate why it is important to the guest that they bring their mobile device. Here are a few key points:

  • Mobile Bidding - If you are running a silent auction and you are enabling the mobile bidding feature then guests should understand that in order to bid they will use the mobile bidding platform.
  • SMS Notifications - Guests using the mobile bidding platform will be notified when they get out bid or win an item. They will always know the status of the items they are interested in winning.
  • Mobile Checkout - Guest will be able to by-pass the checkout lines, by using the mobile checkout feature. Let's face it, those long lines are the worst.
  • Mobile Activities - Guests with mobile devices can participate in activities that are configured to be mobile only. These activities can be a lot of fun and guests would not want to miss out on the experience.

Ensure Venue Internet Sufficient

Even if every guest shows up with their mobile device, their mobile experience could be diminished by poor quality internet connections at the venue. As the guest organizer, you will want to be certain the venue can support the load on their internet from your guests. Here are a few questions for the venue to get you started:

  • Does the venue have good cellphone coverage? Do they offer a distributed antenna system (DAS) to ensure cellphones have coverage (3G/4G)?
  • Is there wifi coverage in the venue? Are there any dead spots? How many access points exist in the venue?
  • Is there cellphone / wifi overage outside the venue (e.g. hallway, bathroom...etc)?
  • What type of wifi? What is the capacity? How much of that capacity is dedicated to our event? Is this a shared network?
  • How many guests can their wifi support?
  • What is the upload / download speed of the access points?
  • If they have an outage, do they have a plan to restore service? Are there redundant hardware? Redundant wifi providers? What is the typical frequency / duration of outages? Is there a qualified technician on site monitoring the wifi?
  • Do they offering any “service level agreement” or SLA for the event?
  • How will guests get on their network? Is there a landing page with a password?

Mobile Access / Feature Help

During checkin, each guest will receive an SMS message with a link to access the mobile application. Checkin time provides an opportunity to ensure that the guests are connected to the venue's wifi and can access the mobile application.

During the night, if there are guest questions or if they have issues there should be a general area where guests can receive help.

There will be guests who will not have access to a mobile device. These guests will need assistance in the following ways:

  • Mobile Bidding - Helpers with tablets can assist guests in entering a bid on an item. They can also check on the status of the item.
  • Mobile Activities - Helpers can tablets can assist guests in entering charges and donations.
  • Mobile Checkout - Guests without a mobile device and guests with mobile devices but questions, will need help with the checkout process. This is best done using a laptop computer. Depending on the number of guests with this need, one or more stations can be present.