“One of a kind” auction items will always perform well in an auction. A potato cannon … made by the school’s beloved maintenance department … in an all-boys Catholic school … is a perfect example of that.
What is a potato cannon? True to it’s name, the silent auction display ideas cannon is designed to propel potatoes hundreds of yards. It’s typically constructed of ABS pipe and uses a can of hairspray as the propellant to launch the potato. (For obvious reasons, this is probably not the best gift to give a boy who lives in a city. Damage would no doubt ensue…)
If you have the means to build a cannon, be sure to market it appropriately. Here’s what this school did to ensure the cannon sold like a rocket!
1. The cannon was displayed in the maintenance department for two weeks prior to the auction. Every boy in the school had an opportunity to visit the department at least once to see the cannon.
2. The maintenance team named the cannon and painted the name (which I’ve forgotten) on its side. That gesture elevated the cannon’s reputation.
3. Prior to the auction, a “test” was conducted by the maintenance crew to ensure their workmanship was free of flaws. They launched a potato over the gymnasium, beyond the lacrosse field, and into the baseball diamond. What a great marketing idea to stir up the talk around the school!
4. In the maintenance department and at the auction, the cannon was marketed with a bag of ammunition and an instruction manual, written in both English and Spanish. The cannon was sold as a complete “batteries included” item.