I don’t like to write about benefit auction decoration ideas. If it doesn’t make you money, I’m less inclined to spend time educating you on it.
And rarely do auction decorations make you money.
But many of the volunteers on your benefit auction committees love talking about decor, don’t they?
They get excited planning the colors… considering the centerpieces… thinking of ways to incorporate fun elements. It pains me that your budget for the decor may grow out of control.
(Don’t forget that it is so much smarter to spend your budget on more important elements that will make you money, such as a top-notch benefit auctioneer.)
Sadly, I’d also be willing to guess that it is much easier to get volunteers to sign up for the decor committee than to unique silent auction ideas sign up for the procurement or acquisitions team!
So all that said, here’s an auction decor idea that is affordable and elegant: over-sized balloons!
You might equate balloons as something appropriate for a child’s birthday party, but not a benefit auction.
Or you might consider balloons appropriate for a school auction, but not a nonprofit gala.
Think again. That might be true of the typical 11″ sized balloon, but when you start using over-sized balloons that measure 3′ and 4′ wide, the story changes.
Over-sized balloons filled with helium will lend an air of sophistication to your gala.
They can be used in the silent auction to draw attention to specific tables (think blue balloons for the blue section, and yellow balloons for the yellow section), and placed in the ballroom to beautifully fill a large space.
Additionally, if you have an exceptionally high ceiling in the ballroom, larger balloons will visually create a “dropped ceiling” effect that will make the space feel more intimate.
As with most types of balloons, the helium may start to wane in some of the balloons by night’s end, but most will stay up, floating serenely above your guests and looking great. At the galas I’ve worked, these larger balloons seemed to have a classy, calming effect.
Balloons are more affordable than many other types of decor and they look beautiful. For your money, over-sized balloons do an excellent job of creating a visually appealing benefit auction.