Fashion show auction has been part of the fashion industry and runway fashion shows for a very long time. It’s time to spice up this traditional event with some technology.
We all have heard of how vintage and celebrity dresses are sold through the fashion show auction for thousands of dollars. For example, Givenchy, iconic black dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”movie was sold for $923,187 in 2006.

Fashion show auction, Givenchy & Audrey Hepburn  iconic black dress

But not only vintage and celebrity clothes are sold through auction. Designers can also sell their new fashion line through the auction during their live show.
The focal role of auctions lies in helping to raise awareness of the fashion brand, promoting the brand through referral marketing, raising additional funds for the business and much more. Additionally, for many people, the designer clothes acquired through auctions are a lucrative opportunity for direct investment, which will generate higher future value in a few years. In other words, the piece of clothing acquired today might cost much more tomorrow and will bring in some big profits for its owner.

On the other hand, for any type of auction, you have to do a lot of work. First, you have to set a goal. You have to decide the amount that you want to raise through your auction. Find a venue to host your auction, and book the date. Next, you have to find volunteers, who are going to help manage the auction. Sometimes you will have to train them. Then you have to prepare a list of values for each item and sort them from lowest to highest. Put a number on each piece. If it is, a silent auction you will have prepared bid sheets and collect them in the end. If it is a live auction you will need to hire an auctioneer.
In general, there are two types of auctions that you can conduct during fashion shows-silent auction and live auction.
Silent auctions are run during the runway fashion show and allow the guests to bid on the designer clothes and buy their favorite one right on the spot.

Fashion show auction, silent auction

Live auctionsare usually hosted after the fashion show. The auctioneer takes the stage and announces the start of the auction. S/he has to present each designer work and set a starting price for the piece of clothing. The auctioneer has to manage the bidding to get the highest bid for each dress.
Live auction

Later on, I will discuss how to take each of these auctions to the next level by leveraging current technology.

1. Silent Fashion Show Auction

First of all, let us see how silent auction works.
During the silent auction, each guest takes the special sheet during and places his/her bid next to the item they want to get. One guest can bid on multiple items at the same time and they are not aware of the amount offered by other bidders. After the auction is over, the overall bids are examined. And the specific item goes to the person who placed the highest bid.
Silent auctions are great for glamorous events such as runway fashion shows. They are less noisy as compared to live auctions and are not very stressful.
However, when you organize this type of event, there are a few important things to consider.

Firstly, in order to get attendees at your silent auction, you will need to do some marketing, which will create interest and awareness about your show. Usually, the best way to attract people is to have a few exciting items and advertise those before the actual event day. In other cases, the organization itself, for which you are preparing the auction, may be enough to draw the attention.

Secondly, you have to conduct your silent auction in a way, so that people start moving around and exploring your collection. You need to make sure that your silent auction’ layout motivates people to bid and participate in the auction. Most of the time, people would just walk around and enjoy the appetizers. Since there’s no auctioneer, you hard task is to promote action and make people bid on your fashion collection.

Therefore, introducing some technology to your silent auction can be very helpful to address the aforementioned details. Nowadays, there are some special text polling apps that you can easily integrate into your silent auction. I will bring my examples on Swift Polling software.

Firstly, create a poll with a few items of your collection and post it on your website. Swift Polling provides an option of embedding the polls right to your website so that it creates more interaction with your page. This will give you some pre-event insight of what people would be willing to buy.

Fashion show auction, Swift Polling
Next, use the SMS voting feature of the polling software and collect the bids through SMS instead of papers. Create big posters with the phone number where people would need to submit their bids (this phone number will be provided by Swift Polling). Then ask them to send an SMS indicating the item and their bid.

[inbound_button font_size=”20″ color=”#35b7aa” text_color=”#ffffff” icon=”” url=”” width=”” target=”_blank”]Create your auction with Swift Polling[/inbound_button]
Create a rush among your guests by mentioning a specific start and finish time for the bidding.

After the bidding is closed, showcase the live results of bidding and distribute the items to people with the highest bids. This will create transparency during the silent auction and will raise trust in your fashion business.
I hope you noticed, how the simple act of introducing some technology to your auction helped to engage your audience and guests more effectively. Yet it helps you to avoid the bizarre and it adds some elegance to your fashion show auction.

2. Live Auction and Runway Fashion Shows

A live auction is the type of auction that often comes to mind first. Auctioneer hosts the live auction at the gallery or salesroom. The auctioneer presents the item and names the minimal price. Then guests start competing for an item by offering higher bids. The auction item goes to the participant that offers that highest bid.

As plain and simple it might seem, yet there are some major drawbacks that live auctions bring up.
However, live auctions are always noisy, which causes two problems: hearing other bids and shouting your bid. As a result, the auctioneer might lose the high bid and the guest might lose an item.
Technology helps to keep things neat and tidy, as well as to minimize human error.

Moreover, technology remains the same in the case of the silent auction – a text polling app. You display a big screen and ask your audience to submit their SMS to the phone number shown on the screen. The results appear on the screen in real-time. The auctioneer leads the process unless no more bids come in. Once over, the auctioneer announces the phone number of the highest bidder and asks to complete the purchase.
What do you think about integrating technology to the old and gold auctions?

Leave a Reply