When guests arrive at your event make the check in process simple by dividing them alphabetically by last name or company name in about five to seven different check in areas. This will help cut down on long lines and crowd size.
I highly recommend collecting credit card numbers upfront at check in and assigning bidder numbers to each person/couple. This will make check out much easier and more efficient. If people are not willing to give credit card numbers upfront explain to them that their check out process may take a little longer. You can even have VIP check out for those that submit credit cards upfront as an incentive. Come up with a perk that VIP check out can offer your guests. You could deliver their items to their tables or they could simply have a special checkout line.
In order to have the most successful fund-a-need, silent auction and live auction, assigning bidder numbers is a must. It will help tremendously to have everyone identifiable by bidder number rather than name, and it will dramatically cut down on the amount of runners and people having to collect information throughout the event. The fund-a-need alone can almost not be done with a big group if bidder numbers are not assigned to each person/couple.
“High rollers” or the guests that are known to be high donors should be strategically placed at the front of a room or near the auctioneer. These guests will more than likely bid several times and it helps to keep the flow of the auction if the auctioneer can easily find them. Let the auctioneer know where the high rollers will be sitting prior to the start of the auction, and don’t hesitate to introduce the auctioneer to the high rollers so he can build some rapport with them.