Live Auction Fundraiser Tips: Creative Ways to Display Auction Items 

Big Board Silent Auctions

This blog provides live auction fundraiser tips on how to creatively display auction items, including big boards and live auction previews. These methods will help you create an unforgettable atmosphere and increase the success of your fundraiser.

Displaying live auction items effectively at your fundraiser plays a crucial role in capturing guests’ attention and encouraging them to bid. Here are some tips:

How To Display Big Board or Premier Live and Silent Auction Items

A big board is a visually appealing and effective way to showcase live auction items. It involves effectively displaying the item descriptions. When creating a big board display, consider the following:

Focus On Eye-Catching Design

Create a visually appealing display using high-quality graphics, vibrant colors, and large fonts. Ensure the text is legible from a distance, allowing attendees to view and understand the auction item details easily. Many times, the venues can be dark, so using back lit display boards or up lighting will draw attention to your display and make it easy to read.

Provide Item Descriptions and Photos

A big board is a visually appealing and effective way to showcase live auction items.

Include concise and compelling descriptions of each item, highlighting its unique features and value. It’s also essential to have captivating images that showcase the item’s significance.

How To Display Live Auction Preview Displays

Live auction preview displays allow attendees to preview the items that will be available for bidding during the live auction. Their purpose is also to build excitement, generate interest, and entice potential bidders. Here are some live auction preview tips:

Use Tables or Easels 

Live auction preview displays allow attendees to preview the items that will be available for bidding during the live auction.

Set up attractive displays for each auction item, allowing attendees to explore them up close. Depending on the nature and size of the display boards, you can use tables or easels to showcase them effectively. 

Create Great Item Descriptions and Information

Live auction preview displays allow attendees to preview the items that will be available for bidding during the live auction.

Display concise and compelling descriptions with each item. Highlight the unique features, value, and any special experiences associated with them. It’s also helpful to include relevant information. 

Organize Silent Auction Displays

When displaying categories of silent auction items at your fundraiser, it’s essential to organize and present them in a way that is visually appealing and easy for attendees to navigate. 

Use Grouping and Signage

Example of a sports themed silent auction display.

Categorize your auction items into distinct groups based on their type, theme, or value. Clearly label each category with descriptive signage or banners to guide attendees. For example, you might have categories such as Travel Experiences, Sports Memorabilia, Artwork, Children, Fashion and Jewelry or any other relevant categories based on your available items.

Set Up Dedicated Areas

Assign specific areas or sections within the event venue for each category. This helps create a sense of organization and allows attendees to focus on items that interest them. Use signage or decorations to distinguish and differentiate these areas from one another.

Place Items Strategically 

Arrange the displays in a visually appealing manner that showcases the most enticing items prominently. Place high-value or eye-catching items within their categories at eye level or in central positions. This attracts attention and encourages attendees to explore more.

Have Clear Pathways and Flow

Ensure adequate space and clear pathways between the category display to facilitate smooth movement for attendees. Avoid overcrowding the areas because it can lead to confusion and make it challenging for attendees to browse comfortably.

How To Organize Silent Auction Display Tables

Photo of silent auction display tables.

The goal of auction display tables is to create an appealing and organized display that allows attendees to explore and begin bidding on your auction items. Focus on creating an engaging display that captures attendees’ attention and encourages them to participate in the silent auction. Here are some tips about setting up silent auction display tables:   

Create Adequate Spacing

Ensure you have enough space to set up the display tables, allowing attendees to move freely and view items comfortably. Make it easy for guests to examine each item individually.

Use Table Coverings 

Select tablecloths or coverings that match your event’s overall theme or color scheme. Use wrinkle-free tablecloths that drape neatly over the tables. Choose solid colors or subtle patterns that complement the items and don’t take away the focus from the auction items.

Use Various Table Heights and Sizes

Use tables of varying heights and sizes to add visual interest to the display. Mix taller tables with shorter ones to create dimension and levels. This allows for a more dynamic and engaging presentation, which makes it easier for attendees to see and appreciate each item.

Organize Items Effectively 

Organize the auction items on the tables logically and aesthetically pleasingly. Group similar items together—for example, place artwork in one area, jewelry in another, and experiences or trips in a separate section. This helps attendees quickly navigate the displays based on their interests. Don’t crowd the items. 

Provide Detailed Item Descriptions

Display clear and concise item descriptions with each item. Use elegant stands or signage to present the descriptions in an easily readable format. Include key details such as item name, donor information (if applicable), value, and any important specifications or restrictions. Make sure the item number is in a large and bold font. 

Use Lighting to Highlight Items

Ensure the display tables are well-lit, showing the auction items clearly. Use ambient or spot lighting to highlight specific items or sections, especially jewelry. Adequate lighting enhances the visual appeal and helps attendees appreciate the details and qualities of each item.

Use Easels and Stands

Use easels or stands to showcase larger items, such as artwork or framed photographs. These elevate the items, making them more noticeable and enhancing their presence. Adjust the height and angle of the easels or stands to optimize visibility for guests.

Other Ways to Display Auction Items At Your Fundraiser

There are other creative, eye-catching ways to display live auction items at your fundraiser. 

Use Shelving

Photo of a spa and beauty silent auction display

Use elegant and well-lit shelves to display smaller items such as jewelry, accessories, or collectibles. Arrange the items strategically to ensure each has enough space to stand out individually. 

Try Display Cases

Use glass display cases for high-value or fragile items. This attracts attention, provides protection, and ensures the items are safely showcased. Use velvet or felt lining inside the cases to enhance the visual appeal.

Tips To Display School Auction Items

Photo of silent school auction display

Displaying items for a school auction requires creativity and a thoughtful presentation that engages potential bidders and showcases the value of each item. Here are some ideas to help you display items for a school auction:

Themed Displays

This large frame displayed all the Reserved Parking spots that could be bid on at this school event.  

This large frame displayed all the Reserved Parking spots that could be bid on at this school event.  

Create themed displays based on the type of items being auctioned. For example, if you have a sports-related item, set up a mini sports corner with equipment, jerseys, and a small basketball hoop. Use decorations and props that correspond to the theme. 


Group similar items together to create collections. For instance, if you have several gift certificates from local restaurants, create a restaurant-themed display with menus, small table settings, and decorative accents. This approach makes it easier for bidders to explore items in specific categories. It increases the perceived value of the collection.

Dedicate a section of the display to showcase student artwork. Create a gallery-like setting with frames or easels, proper lighting, and descriptive labels for each piece. This allows parents and guests to support student artists and your school.  

Raffle or Silent Auction Items

If you have additional raffle or silent auction items, dedicate a specific area for these items. Use visually appealing displays such as decorated baskets, attractive containers, or tiered stands to showcase the items effectively. Clearly label the items, provide descriptions, and include any relevant raffle or bidding instructions.

About Murad Auctions

Murad Auctions offers professional charity auction services to non-profits for successful benefit auction events. Since 2000, Murad Auctions has helped hundreds of non-profits achieve their fundraising goals. Murad Auctions relies on years of experience, crowd-pleasing enthusiasm, and technology to take benefit auctions to the next level.