Printer’s Plates Revitalize Silent Auctions

Vertical displays are important to a good silent auction display. Acrylic stands are an excellent option, but if you don’t like the look of those stands or if you have more manpower than financial power, here are some options.

Option 1: Over-sized Displays

One silent auction team printed item descriptions gift basket ideas for silent auction in large font on standard 8.5″ X 11″ white paper. They glued the white paper to a heavier-weight posterboard and cut the posterboard slightly larger than the white paper in order to give the description a colored edge. They fabricated a stand-up template from the same posterboard and glued it to the back to ensure the entire description would stand on the table.

Quite frankly, the effort involved considerable manpower. And the cost of the posterboard was likely more than purchasing an acrylic stand, given the large size of the displays. But this team wanted to have an oversized look without acrylic stands, and they achieved it through this process. Because the description was in large font and the entire white paper was secured to an oversized “frame,” guests found descriptions easy to read as they walked by the tables.

Option 2: Standard-sized Displays

One auction team used heavier-stock paper (think cardstock) to create each vertical display, but opted to keep the size to a standard 8.5″ x 11.”

The cardstock-y paper was purchased with an attached stand-up prop on its backside. It folded out like a paper photo frame. The team printed out the descriptions on standard 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper and secured each one to this frame. It was ready to be displayed on the silent auction tables.

Option 3: Half-sized Displays

Fold a piece of construction paper in half and stand it on the table, tent-like. Then print your item description on the bottom half of a white 8.5″ X 11″ sheet of paper. Fold your white paper in half (so the description is on the bottom half), and drop it over the folded “tent” construction paper. The construction paper is firm enough to stand on its own and will support the white descriptive sheet on top of it. Presto, you’ve created a ready-to-stand vertical sheet. It even has a fetching color framing it.

Often I’ll see a descriptive title in large font on the paper (e.g. “Two Nights at the Ivy Bed & Breakfast”) and the full description (including any restrictions) is on the bid sheet.