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►Multi-year Agreements?

November 7, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor

Yes, you should consider multi-year contracts

Recently I emailed an organization in Tampa with a really cool, unique event, asking if they had an auctioneer already for spring 2018.

Here’s the reply:

I have hired my auctioneer with a five- year,  first-right-of- refusal contract. Thank you for your interest. We can revisit you in 2020.

I was like, “Wow, 2020! Ok, then, they are taking this 5-year thing *seriously*. And then I thought, “Kudos to you, unknown auctioneer, who talked your client into this job security, rare in our line of work.”

But here’s the thing – I soon found out it wasn’t the auctioneer’s idea – it was the Event Chair’s!

Check this out:

“I have been doing events since 1986 and after my first year working with everyone I’ve nailed them into a five-year contract. It just helps so I do not have to re-create the wheel every year.”

How.Wise. Is. That? I mean, crazy smart, right?

Once you know you like an auctioneer’s style and you like working with them, or like a DJ, a caterer, a venue, an emcee, etc., doesn’t it make your life sooooo much easier to not recreate the wheel each year? Of course you can have a new theme, new decor, maybe different entertainment, but good auctioneers are hard to find, as are ideal venues, especially those with great food. Wouldn’t it make your life soooo much easier to agree to a longer-term partnership than 3 months, 6 months, or even a year?

I was pretty blown away by the crystal clear logic of this Event Chair with 30 years of experience.

I think it’s something we would all benefit from, so if you love your venue, emcee or auctioneer, next time give them first right of refusal beyond year 2, as a show of goodwill (and a commitment to your sanity!)

 

Categories: Auctioneers, Consulting, Event Logistics

Bachelor Auction How To

October 25, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor advises on bachelor auctions for charity

Considering a bachelor or bachelorette auction? Consider these factors first

So you’re thinking about a Bachelor/Bachelorette auction?

It’s been done for decades, and certainly can be a success with proper planning and promotion.

However, selling dates or gift packages (two different things – see the video) is a bit more complicated and potentially filled with problems than your typical auction outing.

Watch this quick series of videos to make sure that if you go this direction, you’ve thought of – and planned for – everything that could go wrong when you’re, in effect, objectifying people.

The 2-to-3 minute videos cover Appropriateness, Finding Bachelors and giving them tips and advice, Volunteers you’ll need, the type of Venue, how to get an Audience, how to Organize, Schedule and Budgeting, Decorating, finding the right Auctioneer, and setting up the actual Dates, if you go that route.

Check out individual brief video clips here:

Categories: Auctioneers, Better Buyers, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions, Other Money Makers

Everything Silent Auction

October 11, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Auctioneer Jenelle Taylor on silent auctions

GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor has a series of short Youtube videos on silent auctions

Are you planning a silent auction? Is this your first one, or your 14th?

For a quick refresher on every way to streamline your process and earn the most money, make sure to check out this series of two-to-three minute videos on Youtube.

I’ve written 4 books on charity auction fundraising, and these are the fundamentals, the best practices you may have forgotten over the years, or perhaps never heard!

Update and upgrade your auction here:

Categories: Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Silent auctions

►Got Scarves?

September 28, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of selling donated scarves at auction

DON’T leave things folded up!

So, scarves.

It’s not a frequent donation, but these were high-end, valued about $80 each, and we had 12 of them!

How to display, how to display, to get the most eyeballs and attract the most bids?

“Don’t worry,” I told my client last January, “I got this.”

And with our hotel contact, we tucked 2 narrow tables into an alcove and draped them in black to make them “disappear,” and then draped 3 easels in an expensive-looking cream stripe to better offset the various scarf patterns. Then we grabbed 2 bamboo poles the hotel had in storage, tied those to the easel rests, and draped each gorgeous scarf. A quick tie with cream ribbon kept each from sliding off the pole, while still allowing guests to touch the fabric and lift upward to see the design.

Sure, you COULD leave them folded in squares, flat and sad on the silent auction table…but that’s only if you didn’t have a Benefit Auctioneer Specialist to help you craft a better display, right? 🙂

Categories: Consulting, Event Logistics, GALA GAL Case Study, Silent auctions

►Venue Checklist – Download This

September 14, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
image of Venue Checklist

Download the FREE Checklist!

I try to do a Venue Visit with clients at least 2 months before the event, so I can help determine stage position, traffic flow, sound system and lighting needs, etc.

You can download and print (or view on your phone) this 70-item Venue Checklist to help you either A.) narrow down your venue options, or B.) catch potential problems with the venue you chose.

It covers

  • Destination Appeal
  • Parking / Valet
  • Raised Stage
  • Pre-dinner Space
  • Auction Promotion
  • Lighting

I often repeat the mottos “Make it easy for people to spend money” and “Ambiance is bad for auctions” (meaning low light is fine for dinner, but make sure the lights can be brighter for silent and live auctions and appeals).

As always, if you’ve got a question, just call my cell at 407-791-1360 in Tampa!

Categories: Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions

►Cancun was the SUMMIT!

August 30, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of Benefit Auction Summit 2017

Featured Presenter Every Other Year!

It’s that time of year again, when the biggest names in Benefit Auctions nationwide gather to share and learn.

Oh, yeah, that happens, too, but many of us go year after year to see our much loved peers and friends! You see, the benefit auctioneers are a very tight group.

In fact, I’m part of a connected international (and private) group of more than 1000 individuals who do fundraising auctions.

That means that at any time, I can reach out to professionals across the country  – to check out a consignment provider, bounce off ideas, or mentor someone. I can even get feedback on your committee’s brilliant (or kooky!) new idea 🙂

This year, to shake things up a bit we gathered in Cancun, Mexico, and a good time was had by all. My presentation this year continues my streak of being featured as a presenter for our industry every other year since 2010. As you can imagine, we come away with new techniques to bring back home to you, our nonprofit partners!

Categories: About GALA GAL, Auctioneers, Consulting

►Cruise Raffle

August 23, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
lapel pin of blinking ship

Selling chances to win for that cruise or yacht trip!

Ah, the Chance to Win, doesn’t most every event have one?

Of course, the very first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with your state’s (and sometimes city) raffle, gaming, gambling, drawing statutes.

Did you know that in Florida, you can’t require anyone to pay for a ticket?

Print out the Florida statute here.

Once you know the rules, this is a great option for the “blinky lights” pin to show who bought a chance to win (and, obviously, who hasn’t yet).

Do you know that Holland America has a reduced-price program that your nonprofit might qualify for? It’s a great program with a reasonable fixed cost, and never expires. Check it out here.

If you’re selling chances to win a cruise or a yacht excursion, instead of generic pins consider these cute things, found at FlashingBlinkyLights.com. It’s themed, flashy, and if you don’t want to pin into guests’ fancy clothes, then simply attach each to a lanyard or a wrist-tie ribbon like my client.

Here’s to selling those chances and raising big money!

Categories: Better Buyers, Consulting, Event Logistics, Other Money Makers, Raffles/Chance Drawings

►”Lucky Line” with Mobile Bidding

August 16, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of mobile bidding incentive caption

Using Mobile Bidding? Add an incentive to get guests to Bid More!

Do you use the “Lucky Line” for your traditional silent auction bids on paper?

It’s a way to encourage folks to be more generous, give a little more, just jump down a few bidding lines rather than the next bid available. I’ve got an explanation in a viewable Google doc here.

For years we (the benefit auctioneer community) have been trying to replicate this bidder incentive with handheld mobile/text bidding, but to date most mobile technology companies haven’t figured out a way to virtually highlight only bids past a certain point, and then segregate just those for a random winner.

And then my new client shared a semi-solution!

While the one “who makes the most bids” isn’t random and may not encourage as many people to try for the prize as the Lucky Line highlighting does, it certainly is trackable in mobile bidding reports, AND worth celebrating and rewarding! Using the technique above, the organization rewards participation, not dollars, which is an equalizer of sorts.

How have you figured out ways to incentivize more bidding using technology?

 

Categories: Better Buyers, Consulting, Event Logistics, Other Money Makers, Silent auctions, Technology

►3 Payment Options

August 9, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
GALA GAL offers 3 ways to pay

It doesn’t cost to hire a professional, it pays!

What do you pay for your auctioneer, and how?

When you’re hiring someone who does fundraising auctions for a living, you know it’s an investment in your success.

You get 1 night, once a year to hold your event, and your auctioneer may be on the microphone longer than any other speaker! Choose the right look, the right personality, the right ambassador to be the face of your annual fundraiser.

I try to offer folks 3 options to reserve a date on the GALA GAL events calendar: an all-inclusive rate (good if you have a budget or will secure an Auction Sponsor), a retainer to get started and a percent of the Live Auction results generated, or, some events qualify to use the Buyer’s Premium, which includes your bidders in auction underwriting so that you can hire a professional auctioneer at little to no cost.

Can you afford to hire a professional auctioneer?

Can you afford NOT to? You don’t get a do-over for your big event. With at least 3 options, there’s a way for just about every organization to partner with a full-time fundraiser like me.

Categories: About GALA GAL, Buyer's Premium, Consulting

►3 Magic Words to Get Anything Donated

August 2, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Boost Your Benefit Auction book

Use discount code BOOST to save $5

A couple of years ago I asked many of my smart fundraising friends to contribute a top tip or piece of advice.

It turned out even better than I’d envisioned, as 50 auctioneers offered 42 different chapters to boost your benefit auction.

From Fund A Need to the Treasure Chest, ambiance to the alcohol curve, you can learn from professionals across the country, and everyone’s contact info is listed in case you have a question or just want to know more about their services.

My chapter is about the “Three Magic Words” that help you get just about anything donated. In fact, these words elevate your request from an all-too-common “ask” to an opportunity.

Ready? Here they are: feature, showcase and highlight. And the question? How would you like to be included? 

Instead of begging for a donation, explain that  – of all the possible businesses in town – for this event you’d like to “feature” ABC Business so you can “highlight” their great ____________ and “showcase” what they do to your prominent supporters and community members. “Our committee thinks more people should know about your terrific ____________, so we wanted to invite you to have one of the exclusive (another good word!) spots in our live (or silent) auction. How would you like to be involved?”

If they say “no,” thank them and say (to yourself), “Next.” They either see the opportunity or they don’t, and someone always will when you share how wonderful your cause is and how much you want to include them in your biggest 1 night, once-a-year event.

So just ask! And remember: feature, showcase and highlight.

P.S. You can order a BOOST book here for less than $30 shipped – use the code BOOST to save $5.

Categories: About GALA GAL, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions, Other Money Makers, Silent auctions

►FUBI: Funny, Useful, Beautiful or Inspiring

July 26, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Funny Useful Beautiful Inspiring

Don’t Interrupt – ATTRACT!

As I was preparing my 90-minute presentation on Branding and Marketing for the National Auctioneers Association annual conference, I came across this GREAT article from a cool-looking group: The Emotional Intelligence Agency. Their tagline is, “Be as interesting as the internet.”

In their recent article in Fast Company magazine, they explain how marketing has changed.

The buzz word now is “emotion,” and how to connect in memorable ways with your target audience.

There are “four kinds of emotionally compelling content: funny, useful, beautiful, and inspiring.”

(Read the entire article here)

They condense this to FUBI – an easy thing to remember when planning (or posting) on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, You Tube, your website, or anywhere else.

You don’t have to be all of these, and, in fact, you should consider having a different tone on different platforms. Maybe your posts are funny on Twitter, useful on Facebook, and beautiful on Instagram. You might even assign a different person to manage each distinct “voice.”

So, for my presentation, I made this 4-leaf clover image, because if you focus on being funny, or useful, or beautiful, or inspiring with your posts and content, I bet you’ll get luckier with your results.

Categories: Consulting, Grab Bag, Other Money Makers, social media, Technology

►A National Presentation!

July 19, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
plaque NAA award Jenelle Taylor

Honored to present for the annual conference

On Thursday, July 13th I flew to Columbus, Ohio, to see hundreds of auctioneer friends.

Friday the 14th I was honored to present a 90-minute session to my peers and colleagues, all about who is attracting attention and staying top of mind in our industry.

I then gave them more than 30 tools and ideas to build their benefit auction businesses across the country.

Could your nonprofit use help branding and marketing?

I’m a national expert on that, too 🙂

(And I work with nonprofits on affordable short-term contracts and monthly retainers, unrelated to auction galas. Just call me, 407-791-1360, or use the CONTACT link on the home page.)

Categories: About GALA GAL, Consulting, Other Money Makers

►Working Women of Central Florida

July 12, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of speaker Jenelle Taylor

Thanks to Jessica Rivelli from Working Women of Tampa Bay for the invite to speak!

Did you miss it?

I’m happy to speak to your board, your staff, or civic groups like Rotary, Kiwanis or chambers of commerce.

Of course I can talk about auctions, and how to best support the causes you believe in, but some people don’t know that I also speak nationally on branding and marketing.

Things are changing all the time in social media.

Isn’t it time you got some help?

Call me to chat: Jenelle @ 407-791-1360 cell

Categories: About GALA GAL, Consulting, Grab Bag, social media, Technology

►Who’s the “Voice” of your nonprofit?

July 5, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of branding handout

Who’s the “voice” of your social media posts?

I’m a huge, huge fan of Entrepreneur magazine. In fact, if you’re not already following them on Facebook, seriously, click over there and do it right now.

I’ll wait.

It’s that important.

If you want to be smarter about, well – anything – you should be following Entrepreneur magazine on Facebook.

Their posts are 2- or 3-minute reads about stuff you want to know, and I guarantee you’ll see something each week you want to click on and open.

By the way, I don’t get anything for promoting them. I’m just a super fan.

When I was researching for my presentation to the Working Women of Central Florida, I came across this awesome article Entrepreneur mag posted, “22 Statistics That Prove the Value of Personal Branding.”

It’s about how we (people, you and me) connect better with people, not companies, and you’ll do yourself and your organization a 561% favor by letting your employee’s personalities show when they share posts about your cause.

Since you can control the tone, images and message you put out there, sit down and really think about how you want to be perceived. Is your org inspiring? Are your clients beautiful? Are your services useful? And isn’t life just funny sometimes? (NOTE: If you don’t yet know about FUBI, read about it here.)

You can even let different people shine in their elements. If you’ve got a stellar soul who can communicate all you want to say on all your platforms, give him or her a raise! Otherwise, try trusting your inner circle with the platform that best matches his or her personality, and see if you don’t get more likes, follows, and engagement from your fans.

Categories: Board members, Charity, Consulting, Grab Bag, Other Money Makers, social media, Technology

►VIDEO – Selling an Inside Joke!

June 21, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of auctioneer GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor

Sell More Memories, Less Stuff!

This might be my favorite video clip ev-er!

It starts at $100 and you’ll never guess where we end up 🙂

Watch the short VIDEO on my You Tube channel.

There’s a lot I love about this clip – this small crowd of 160 solid supporters, the clear joy of giving in the room, and the fact that I’ve done this event for years so we’ve built this great rapport!

(Sidenote: we really do have the best job in the world.)

Anyway, the winning bidder doesn’t even keep the hat! It’s all in fun, a vehicle for donations, and a few minutes we will all remember as a highlight. Can your event do that?

Sell more memories to make your event a signature celebration of your cause.

Not sure how? Just call me: 407-791-1360 in Tampa.

 

Categories: About GALA GAL, Auctioneers, Charity, Consulting, Live Auctions

►VIDEO – Only 2 Live Auction Items

June 7, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of charity auctioneer GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor

On the catwalk selling just 2 auction items!

Here’s a quick video on my You Tube channel from May 2017, when I sold just 2 live auction items (and raised double what we’d expected!)

Watch the VIDEO on You Tube, click here

There’s no one perfect answer to how many live auction items you should have.

I always ask my clients, “How long will your crowd pay attention?”

That’s a good place to start!

But it depends on if your event is a weeknight (ends earlier) or a weekend, what else you’re trying to accomplish that night, what your items are, if you have deep pockets and big spenders in the room, and several other factors.

Believe it or not, selling just 2 or 3 items is just as challenging as selling 18!

Call me (407-791-1360) and I’ll help you figure out how many items are best for your event.

Categories: About GALA GAL, Auctioneers, Live Auctions

►2017 Bookings in full swing!

November 16, 2016 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of Jenelle Taylor

It pays to hire a professional!

After a fantastic 2016, the GALA GAL team is looking ahead to an invigorating new year, and we’re looking for you!

Since 2002, I have worked with hundreds of nonprofits across Florida, and trained hundreds of fundraising auctioneers across the country through my private BOOTCAMP for Benefit Auctioneers course.

I’m available to help most any cause, and this year I find my heart being pulled to social justice causes, the underdog, the underfunded and hugely impactful.

If you’re making a difference in the world, I want to use my 14 years of fundraising to increase your impact, raise your revenue, and expand your outreach. You are committed to moving America forward, and so am I. Let’s plan your biggest fundraising auction yet for 2017!

Categories: Consulting, Live Auctions

►Auctioneer Style ~ Choose the One You Want to Watch!

March 22, 2016 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Is your auctioneer entertaining?

Is your auctioneer entertaining?

I’ve been working in the auction industry since 2001, and specifically with fundraising auctions since 2002. I’ve been to auction school (Go Nashville Auction School – whoot whoot!) and I’ve been onstage all across Florida conducting benefit auctions since 2007. However, I don’t “chant”. You probably think all auctioneers sound the same, and maybe you can’t even pick out what they’re saying when it all goes by so fast.

My onstage style is quite different. I joke with folks that “I flirt with the audience for money,” and – as you’ll see in this YouTube clip GALA GAL Jenelle sells a South Africa Trip – I talk directly with the bidders, invite the audience to encourage higher bidding, and basically just charm them into staying in the game. At all times, the bidders know how much they’re bidding and aren’t confused, scared, or intimidated, even when we get up above $20,000!

Your guests should leave saying, “That was the best auctioneer I’ve ever seen!”

If they don’t, give me a call 🙂

Categories: Auctioneers, Consulting, Live Auctions

►More Donations During Your Fund-A-Need

March 21, 2016 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of Jenelle Taylor

It pays to hire a professional!

This spring I tried out a fundraising technique popularized by a colleague of mine in the San Francisco Bay area. He calls it The Run Around, and it’s a way to encourage much more participation at your final fundraising level. By taking the emphasis off of the size of each gift and focusing on getting more and more people to give (and give again), you can raise more money AND end your Fund-A-Need ask on an upbeat note with the crowd’s support. Check out this 5-minute clip on YouTube to see how we raised $4200 with a $1500 item. GALA GAL does The Run Around

Categories: Consulting, Other Money Makers

►Mobile Bidding Considerations

July 7, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of auction display

Auction Bidding is Enhanced by Displays

Today a client asked me

“Quick question – mobile bidding. Does it enhance an auction? Have you seen increased participation (read larger bids) utilizing mobile bidding?”

and I replied:

 Good question!

Typically mobile only makes sense when there are a lot of attendees, a lot of auction items (100+) and the silent auction revenue is $30,000+.

Pros:

IF people use it, they can set max bids and not have to either log back in or walk to a table – most mobile bidding systems can just continue to bid for them up to a set maximum.

Auction displays can take less space

Everyone can see all the auction items if they wish (on a device) without walking around

You can close the bidding later

Cons:

Typically costs $3000-$5000+

Either you have to pay for one of the mobile company’s staff to be on site (could add $1000), or you’re 100% responsible for any kinks or problems. Unless you have a savvy tech person, this could add significant stress.

It can be hard to get people to engage in mobile bidding for several reasons:

 ~Some require downloading an app, though some just have a web address people key in

~Some say mobile is less social, since people move around less and must spend time staring at their phones

~Requires either than people use their cell phone data plans (and battery life) or the club has a reliable wi-fi connection that’s open to everyone; some mobile systems rely on wi-fi and can get bogged down or crash

Results:

Whether or not mobile adds revenue above and beyond the cost of using the technology is a source of heated debate! Just a few weeks ago auctioneers from around the country shared mixed reviews in an online forum. When the technology works as promised,  is adopted by the attendees and gets used, certainly there are benefits to being able to shop from anywhere in the venue and not have to physically revisit a bid sheet.

On the other side, paper silent auctions have worked for decades by generating that person-to-person, last-minute competitive bidding atmosphere, especially when your professional auctioneer is making announcements and making the auction closings fun for everyone in the room.

What mobile definitely does is eliminate the need to clerk, record, tally or key in silent auction purchases once bidding closes, and for some groups, that fact alone makes the technology worth several thousand dollars, just to eliminate checkout!

 There are 10-12 major mobile bidding companies nationwide, all scrambling for footing and market share. All have demos you can do or samples you can view.

Industry software leader Greater Giving has great educational info with just about everything you need to know about mobile here.

Because of the many pros and cons (and how those affect your overall revenue/schedule/logistics), it’s something you should ask your professional auctioneer about as early as possible.

Like this great client of mine did! Thanks for the question, Sara 🙂

Categories: Better Buyers, Consulting, Event Logistics, Silent auctions, Technology