Planner: Silent auction, a post-budget training reward for young investors

April 14, 2014 | Last updated on April 14, 2014
2 min read

Here’s an idea for a fun event you can use to follow your Celebrity Budget workshop. Or you can simply hold the event on its own to create a networking opportunity for younger investor clients.

Start by giving attendees envelopes of play money for use in a silent auction event.

Keep in mind, you’ve reviewed Budget Worksheets from each of the attendees, so base the initial amount placed in each envelope on actual income and expenditure levels of each attendee (you want this to be about economic reality, not fantasy).

To keep things fair, try to invite prospects who are at reasonably similar salary levels, and don’t give wildly different play money sums to the attendees.

If you wish, sweeten the pill by adding extra auction dollars for people who show the most realistic views about their personal finances; or who make the most realistic promises to change spending behaviours if they’re off track.

When using this event to follow up the Celebrity Budget Planning exercise, you can add extra auction dollars to your award winners for categories like “Best red-carpet celeb impersonation,” or “most extravagant celeb budget item.”

But if you do add on, try to keep it equal or the event gets less fun for those with fewer resources. And keep in mind this exercise is designed to teach attendees to spend within their means.

Have an equal number of prizes as participants and set initial bids in everyone’s range.

If you want, give attendees the option to barter for play cash with one another – “I’ll have coffee with you to help develop a social media marketing plan for your startup company in exchange for some auction cash.”

This brings a networking component into the experience, and allows some participants to defer auction prizes in lieu of garnering consulting services from a peer they meet at the gathering.

Ensure the prizes are things Gen-Y prospects actually want (Cases for smart phones; Gift cards for local entertainment venues; Foodie restaurant vouchers).

Don’t go crazy and have one iPad and a bunch of lesser prizes. You don’t want to make any of the participants feel bad, since one objective is to convert them to clients.

And make sure to have something on hand for any participants who do choose to exchange cash, and defer rewards, during the networking portion of the event.