Menu

CALL/TEXT Jenelle’s cell in FL 407-791-1360 How Can I Help?

“70-Point Checklist When Choosing a Venue” FREE GIFT

2013 Charity Auction book, Discount Code Boost Save $5

Boost Your Benefit Auction book
Like a consultation with 50 Auctioneers! Just $29.95 Order Now

Find It Now

Sorted by Topic

Simplify! Follow this Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog.

© 2015 GALA GAL, Inc. - All rights reserved.

Firstyme WordPress Theme.
Designed by Charlie Asemota.

►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

►Raffle pricing

May 1, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
poster showing raffle ticket pricing

Fingertips for $40

Recently a client asked me about raffle (Chance to Win drawings) pricing.

“I found this on-line as a guideline to selling tickets. Does this make sense?

Raffle ticket sales:  3 tickets for $5, 6 tickets for $10 and finger tip- to-finger tip $20″

Here’s my take:

1. Raffle chance pricing depends on the value of the prizes to be won.

2. Calculate the math equation: How much do you want the raffle to raise (have a goal),  who will be asked to buy tickets and what pricing feels exciting to them, and how many tickets (at what level) can you expect to sell? PRICE x QUANTITY = MONEY RAISED

3. In the example you found, “3-$5 and 6-$10” are the same odds, so there’s no incentive to spend $10 rather than $5.

4. The PURPOSE of unequal odds (increased chances for paying more) is to wildly slant the odds in favor of those more generous. We want to encourage folks to donate more. In Florida (and other states-check your state gaming statutes*) all chances to win do not have to be equal.

5. So, I like

3 – $10, 8 for $20, or fingertip-to-fingertip for $40.

That way the focus is just on selling $40 worth, and if someone is considering $20, have them grab a friend and get tons more chances by splitting the fingertip-to-fingertip (which might be 40-ish tickets)

If the prize(s) are smaller, you could go with 2-$5, 7-$10, fingertips for $20

*A reminder to always know and follow your state regulations on raffles, which often fall under gambling policies. In some states, nonprofits are limited to one per year or need a special license. In Florida (and other states) drawings are required to have a “no purpose necessary to be entered” option, which is why setting any pricing for a chance drawing must be disclosed as a “suggested donation” See the Florida statute here, and happy fundraising!

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

►Another reason you need a female auctioneer!

April 17, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of Gala Gal and team

Study says men give more when the person fundraising is attractive

This morning I read a piece entitled “Men Strive To Give More To Charity When The Fundraiser Is Cute.”

Believe it or not, researchers found that both men and women donated more to online campaigns after they saw how much others had given. The men, however, gave an even larger increase to attractive females.

If that happened just by looking at a photo of the female asking for donations, could it be that the effect is magnified in person? When you put a charismatic, attractive female auctioneer on stage and give her a microphone to engage people about your cause, might that increase the competitive bidding in your audience? Think about it, every single time he or she bids again, that’s more dollars raised for you!

Combining the “all eyes on me” aspect of live auctions with a smiling, friendly female face is your recipe for awesome auction results.

Just ask my clients!

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

►Silent Auction – Bidder Blockers and Sheet Stealers

March 19, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of Gala Gal

Don’t let those “bid blockers” and “sheet stealers” ruin your auction!

If you’ve never seen one at your event, you’re lucky! While it’s great to have fast and furious bidding on your silent auction items, and it’s fun to watch that competition, too many times I’ve heard (or seen) heated bidders try to bend or break the rules of fair play.

I’ve seen Bid Blockers who square their shoulders and won’t let anyone else get to the bid sheet to bid against them, or Sheet Stealers who actually pick up or hide the bid sheet and try to sneak it back on the table right before closing time! I’ve actually seen someone rip up a bid sheet…twice! The same guy!

Anyway, if every year a few of your classroom projects or priceless opportunities create more bad blood than goodwill among your bidders, you’ve got a few options: either move those items to the main Live Auction, where peer pressure and encouragement will spur on the bidding, or post signs and make announcements reminding people that if your auctioneer sees a bidding war heat up, she plans to step over there and see who really wants it the most with an on-the-spot, mini live auction. It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s fair.

But make sure to warn people first. And, of course, if you use mobile bidding for your silent auction, you’ll never have this issue again 🙂

What are your auctions most highly contested items year after year? How have you solved it?

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

►Silent Auction, or Mini On-the-Spot Live Auction?

March 10, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of easels with poster-sized bid sheets

Draw attention to a row of Can’t Miss items

What to do when you have so many great auction items that you can’t even fit them all in to the time slotted for the Live Auction?

Most live auctions at charity events are 30-45 minutes, and with an industry average of 3-4 minutes per live auction sale, that means only 10-15 items make the Live Auction cut for many events.

What if you have 20 awesome items that you need to get in front of bidders? I suggest blowing up the bid sheets to 20″ x 30″ mounted on foam board, place them on easels in a very high traffic area, add signage, place 1-2 full-time volunteers who never leave and can answer all questions about the items, and then get into the mindset of a county fair carnival barker, “Ladies and Gentlemen, don’t miss this awesome opportunity right here. Step right up to bid on ….” You get the idea.

Sometimes, I place these easel items in a semi-circle directly in front of the ballroom doors, and I let the crowd know that these items -while available for normal bidding during the silent auction – will be closed by on-the-spot, mini live auction between 7:40-7:45, immediately before the doors open for dinner. All interested in bidding need to gather here at 7:40 to get a last chance to be the winning bidder.

By doing this, we get as close as we can to the energy, excitement and ego of a live auction even though there wasn’t time in the program. As guests gather, I gets everyone’s attention in the vicinity and say, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re now going to close these 5 SUPER silent auction items by mini live auction. They are such great items that we didn’t want anyone to miss the opportunity, so whether you’ve already bid or not, everyone is welcome to bid right now as we close these awesome items. First up, you’ve been bidding on Item 901, 1 week RCI Timeshare anywhere in the world, valued up to $1800. The current bid is $1200, but who’ll go $1300, do I hear $1300, yes and now $1400…” Each item will take just seconds to close, and inevitably we’ll raise several hundred more dollars, remind folks that a professional auctioneer will entertain them later, and generate auction closing excitement right before releasing the guests to dinner.
Win. Win. Win!

Categories: Better Buyers, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions, Silent auctions

►SUPER Silent Auction items

February 23, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of bid sheet blown up to poster size

Great way to make sure everyone sees your best silent auction items!

How do you make sure that the more significant, valuable or noteworthy items in your silent auction don’t get lost among the smaller items and packages?

Sure, you can make a small section of silent auction with somewhat larger displays, or target spot lighting (or both). For just a few dollars, you can really make a statement and get bidders’ attention.

Sometimes I call these “Almost Live” items, meaning that they were good enough for the live auction, but either we already had the live auction spots all filled, or this event doesn’t have a live auction.

Simply save the ready-to-print bid sheet as a PDF and have FedEx/Kinko’s blow it up to 20″ x 30″ for $4 (black and white). Whether it’s one item or 10, having a super-sized bid sheet will help ensure you get the eyeballs (and bids) you want.

Since color displays of this size would be crazy expensive (like $20-40 each), we just printed the color photos, slid into clear slip sleeves from Office Depot, and attached via O-ring and ribbon. Guests still bid just like a normal bid sheet, though we did have Sharpies on hand to make bids easier to see.

Which items will be SUPER at your next auction?

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

►Auction Jewelry Displays

February 13, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of a jewelry donation

Think ahead to plan how you will display jewelry donations

Isn’t it a tiny bit sad when you see jewelry at auctions just lying flat on the table? Surely that isn’t the best way to showcase that donor’s contribution, or encourage the most bids?

Some options, from easiest to most elaborate:

1. Drape necklace over a corner of the plexi sign holder or description frame
2. Cut a length of pretty ribbon and attach earrings or bracelets to the ribbon
3. Gift-wrap (in a solid or metallic paper) a small flat box (perhaps 6″ x 8″ x 1″ high) to place the jewelry on
4. Buy stand up jewelry displays from Michael’s or from a Dollar Store
5. Arrange to borrow jewelry displays from the donor (but make sure to label so your donor gets them back)
6. Use lighted clear plexi boxes for luxury jewelry items to mimic the actual jewelry retailer effect.

By the way, an easy way to remember that you’ll need specialty display items before you get to the venue to set up is to add a column or field in your auction item database called “Needed for Display.” Here you can make months weeks or months in advance about how many easels, jewelry displays, gift-wrapped boxes, clip-on lighting, props or other display enhancements you’ll need to bring.

Here’s to better auction displays. Cheers!

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

►Silent Auction – This Section Closes

January 22, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo "This Silent Auction Sections Closes at 6:50"

Post Silent Auction closing times for each section

Don’t you get this question ALL the time?

“What time does the silent auction close?”

Or worse yet, you have patrons complaining after a section has already closed that they didn’t know.

You can put auction closing times in the program, but we all know hardly anyone reads the program, and especially not while they are shopping, holding a cocktail and an appetizer plate.

So put signs on each table or row, at least 2 per section. If you use 4″ x 6″ signage, put 6 or more on each row of tables. What’s the harm?

If there’s a chance (due to traffic, slow registration, or a quirky chairperson) that your silent auction closing times might change, here’s a secret: print several options for each section and just hide them behind the front one. For instance, you can have signage display “This section closes at 7:30” but also have a 7:40 and a 7:45 printed out and hidden behind, so if you have to change the rules on the fly, you can. Keep in mind, though, you need to do this in conjunction with big, bold, loud announcements to keep the crowd up to date. You don’t want to upset any bidders, so you can say over the microphone, “Folks, due to some heavy traffic we have guests just now arriving, so you’ll notice that this section will NOW close at 7:45. Please see the signs on each table.”

Make it easy for people to spend money – by being clear about the closing times!

(Note that with handheld (text) bidding, you won’t have this issue. Alerts about closing are sent to bidders’ devices, assuming they still have battery life!)

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

►Silent Auction – Item Numbering

January 8, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of silent auction display

Make it clear which Bid Sheet matches which plexiglass or framed display

Let’s face it: at most silent auctions, there are a lot of items and bid sheets on the table. When you’re on the auction committee, it’s easy for you to know at a glance that the basket on the left with the blue ribbon is the “Family Fun Night” basket and the one on the right with the red ribbon is the “Italian Fest” basket (duh!). But to your guests, it’s all just a mash up of colors, fluff, and paperwork.

Make it easier for people to spend money by clearly labeling and numbering each package up for bid. I like to place each bid sheet directly in front of its plexi display, and I make sure the auction section and number on each are clearly visible.

Or you can invest in mobile (text) bidding and folks will see the image you’ve uploaded with each auction item 🙂

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

►Silent Auction – Displays for Baskets

December 18, 2014 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo for a coffee basket

Don’t want to take a photo of each basket? Find a funny image

When I attend other auctions, I often see groups that don’t make a stand-up display for baskets or physical items, thinking that the item “sells itself.” I don’t agree.

I like the continuity that every auction lot, whether physical item or certificate-not-on-display, gets a standardized written description, displayed either in a frame, an acrylic slanted sign holder, or a foamboard with attached easel back. This makes the tables organized, balanced, consistent, and polished.

So, what do you put as a visual for a basket that’s right next to it on display? Sure, you could take a picture of the basket, but to me that doesn’t add anything, so I try to find an image (Google Images) that’s cute, funny, or will make the viewer chuckle with recognition. That wine basket gets the “I love wine” graphic, and the coffee basket gets the cutesy, “Life is short. Enjoy your coffee.”

OH, and make sure that a list of what’s in the basket is either in the typed description or attached by a nicely typed card attached to the actual basket.

Will your next auction have better basket descriptions?

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

►Silent Auctions – Levels

December 9, 2014 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of silent auction display

Make visually interesting silent auction displays with boxes and levels

I’ve talked before about changing the levels on your auction displays. Having a variety of levels above the table’s surface makes a huge difference in visual appeal.

I think the easiest way to add levels to a silent auction is by gift-wrapping empty cardboard boxes. Gather 1 box for every 4-6 silent auction items, anywhere from an 8″ high to 24″ high, and wrap them in whatever colors or prints match your theme. I get inexpensive paper from Dollar Tree or Michael’s. These boxes can be wrapped weeks in advance and transported to the venue easily in garbage bags. Or if you have a ton of volunteers for day-of auction set up, boxes can be wrapped on site. Sometimes volunteers are standing around looking for a job to do.

In the photo, you’ll see a different, more subtle way to create levels. It takes a bit longer to slide a box under the tablecloth and then adjust, adjust, adjust to get it right, but it’s another way to create levels while keeping the tables looking less cluttered.

No matter which way you do it, you MUST add levels to your next auction display!

Categories: Better Buyers, Event Logistics, Silent auctions

►Silent Auction Displays, sample

November 18, 2014 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

photo of silent auction display

If you’ve got a trip, help people spend money with photos of the resort(s)


No matter how good your descriptions, it’s the visuals that sell a trip.
For every hotel, weekend getaway, B & B, home stay, condo, time share, yacht, resort or castle, include as many visuals as possible. If it’s a high-end package, especially in the live auction, it’s a great idea to use technology to really showcase the destination. Have gorgeous photos visible in a looping digital photo frame (you know you’ve got one lying unused around your house!), or a laptop or an iPad. Assign a volunteer if you’re worried about someone walking off with your display.
For all the other stays in your silent auction, just get the visuals on display, preferably on a brochure or promotional sheet with the donor’s logo for added validity and trustworthiness.
For your attendees to want to bid on a vacation, they have to really *see* themselves there!

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

►Silent Auctions – Better Displays

November 6, 2014 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of silent auction display

If the donor sent a brochure, display it!

If you’ve ever been in the office or on the committee when donations come in the mail, you know that many of them include an informational or promotional piece, like a brochure, menu of services, takeout menu, postcard, folder, etc.

It may be your first inclination to give these items to the winning bidder, so you just stash them away in the winner’s envelope with the certificate.

DON’T!

In order to make it easy for people to spend money (one of my mantras), make sure promotional items that would help potential bidders understand an item, see the value, or get excited are put on display next to the bid sheet. Either stuff into a clear plexi sign holder, or, for small items, I lean them against a 4″ x 6″ plexi.

If you hide all the juicy details until after the bidding is over, you’ve lost the opportunity to promote your donors and encourage more (and higher) bids. Promote your items better next time!

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

►Silent Auction Posters

October 21, 2014 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of a silent auction poster

Make it easy for people to spend money by hanging a poster listing this silent auction section’s items in order

Here’s a simple way to make it easier for people to shop your silent auctions.

This is just a table made in Excel with columns for the Item Number, Item Name, and an extra column where later you will write in the winning bidder’s name or number.

Simply save the table as a PDF, and then FedEx/Kinko’s can blow this up to a 20″ x 30″ for about $4 in black and white. You can tape or spraymount it onto a standard foam core board (about $4 at Michael’s craft store). If you’re going to hang it, attach a cord or ribbon.

These boards should be easily visible (up high!) within each auction section, and make sure that the items are then displayed in the order listed on the board. Guests should be able to look up at the board, see “514 Massage, Mani, Pedi” and walk right to that bid sheet to bid. If you have electronic (text) bidding, signage like this still helps guests to see what items interest them at a glance.

After each silent auction section closes, it’s fast and easy to write in winning bidders and display these in front of the Checkout area so patrons can easy check to see who won.

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

►Silent Auction Signage

September 20, 2014 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of silent auction signage

It’s easy to see these silent auction sections

In 2004 I built these tabletop sign poles for a client. They are about 5 feet high, and have a wide base meant to sit on top of the table so that guests can see and read them from 50-100 feet away across a ballroom or down a long hall. The problem I see groups make is either that they don’t have any silent auction section signage at all, or the signage they have is lost on the tables or lost on easels, only readable to the handful of folks standing within a few feet.

Get your auction signage higher, clearer, and bolder.
Make it easy for people to spend money!

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

►Best Auction Items

August 28, 2014 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr

Picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr

This article made me smile!

I am always telling both nonprofit committees and auctioneers in the BOOTCAMP class I teach about the Best Categories for Auction Items, in order of desirability.

While most committees think they need to “get stuff” for the auction, in fact, “stuff” (physical items) often hasn’t the lowest potential for selling above retail value, because we all have enough “stuff” already, and we can all find out what “stuff” costs with a quick check of our phones.

But experiences? Experiences – whether exclusive, travel, attendance, pampering, indoor, outdoor, solo or group – experiences mean memories, the joy of human life.

And, according to this article http://qz.com/255963/another-reason-to-spend-money-on-experiences-rather-than-things-the-positive-benefits-of-anticipation/ research suggests that auction attendees will actually enjoy spending money more due to anticipation of a future experience!

anticipation of an experience is more exciting and pleasant than the anticipation of a material purchase—regardless of the price of the purchase”

So, ask your Professional Benefit Auctioneer to help you brainstorm unique experiences for this year’s gala, and up the anticipation (and excitement) for your guests.

Oh, and after Experiences, what are the other Best Categories for Auction Items, in order of desirability?

1. Experiences

2. Food and Wine

3. Travel Near and Far

4. Entertainment

5. Pampering

6. “Stuff” (tangible items whose value is readily found online)

Go get creative! Call me for help 🙂

Categories: Better Buyers, Consulting, Live Auctions, Other Money Makers, Silent auctions

►Boost Your Benefit Auction – NEW Book!

August 19, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Cover Photo of new book Boost Your Benefit Auction

Advice for Charity Auctions from 50 Fundraising Auctioneers – New Book

I’ve been busy!

This has been a crazy summer, but this weekend I shipped the first copies of my 4th book!

Wow, was it a great project – challenging, fun, and an awesome end result.

I am so excited to bring this book to market BECAUSE…

there’s seriously never been anything like it.

50 auctioneer contributors.

42 auction companies from across the country.

More than 112 fundraising tips. (I stopped counting at 131!)

ORDER your copy for $29.95 at one of the following secure links:

Books and Seminars for Charities here:http://tinyurl.com/Solutions4Charities

Or (for auctioneers) Resources for Auctioneers here:http://tinyurl.com/Auctioneers-Boost
These shortened URL’s connect to the secure payment processor hosted by GreaterGiving.

 

Categories: Auctioneers, Better Buyers, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Grab Bag, Live Auctions, Other Money Makers, Raffles/Chance Drawings, Silent auctions, Technology

►Your Auction is like this Carousel

July 14, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of Albany Oregon carousel horse

Heartwarming story of calling in favors and working together creating a memorable, signature brand.

I had to smile at this lovely one-page story in today’s Parade newspaper insert, “Riding High: A Struggling Town Creates a Little Magic.”

I saw so many parallels to charities I work for:

  • affected by the economy
  • needing to reinvent itself
  • it began with one person’s idea
  • folks were skeptical at the start
  • started with only $150!

And I see several inspiring lessons in this uplifting tale:

  • get small parts of your big picture dream sponsored by supporters
  • use every person’s connections to call in favors and ask for whatever you need to be given (‘somebody’s aunt knows somebody’s uncle who comes down to lend a hand.’)
  • as parts of your larger project are completed, promote them around town for visibility
  • encourage lots of people in the community to get involved

If you think of your silent and live auction acquisition plan like this amazing carousel project, you can create an auction event for your guests that is unique to your organization and serves to raise your visibility in the community.

Think about what amazing auction package(s) you can design by calling in favors from your supporters. Your idea might be a behind-the-scenes experience at a sporting event or concert, an amazing private dining event with music, luxury transportation, and fine wines, or a “spa day for six” package. Brainstorm every aspect of the experience you’ll need donated, and then ask everyone to call in favors from folks they already know (no cold-calling required!). As you get great auction items confirmed, promote them on your website, on Twitter updates, and on your Facebook page.

You’ll gradually build support for unusual, creative auction offerings which raise your profile in the community and involve many supporters in your future success.

Categories: Better Buyers, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions, Sponsors

►Selected as a Presenter, Summit 2013

June 13, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Photo of Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

Selected as a presenter for the Benefit Auction Summit, National Auctioneers Association (NAA)

We’re celebrating!!

Just got word that the committee for the Benefit Auction Summit chose my session “62 Ways to Create More Prepared, Engaged Bidders”!

This is the only national conference specifically for fundraising auctioneers, and it is a BIG honor to present to such an accomplished group of professionals from across the country.

I’m excited to share the “62 Ways” 90-minute session because it’s all about helping my peers help YOU raise more money. We understand that you only have this 1 night, once a year to host your attendees, so we want to work with you to maximize every way to make it easy for people to spend money!

I’ll be covering

  • 20 ways to create the best Live Auction display tables
  • 22 things your auctioneer can do to help people get excited by the auctions and also
  •  20 things you can do as the non-profit to help your audience come prepared to both attend AND spend.

The best part for you?

All of my GALA GAL clients – the organizations I help with their events – you get all 62 Ways to Create Prepared Bidders included, everyday, as part of our consulting relationship. (If you want this for your event, shoot me an e-mail to check if your date is available here.) You’re the reason I do what I do, and why I’m excited to share these ideas with other high-profile auctioneers across America.

To learn more about what Benefit Auctioneers do when they get together each year, you can find content from the Summit in 2010 (my presentation here), and I’ve shared some takeaways  from the other presenters that year here and 2011 Summit here. Apparently I still have to post notes from last year!

Categories: Auctioneers, Better Buyers, Board members, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions

►First-time Event Done Right, 12 Do’s

May 22, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

You may have heard that I got invited to Paradise Island, The Bahamas (made famous by the Atlantis mega-resort) to do an auction last month.

The Purple Paws Live Auction was a first-time event, and yet it was a smashing success, exceeding all expectations and likely to double in revenue generated next year.

Here are 12 of the many things the BAARK! all-volunteer team did so right:

  1. Awesome Chairperson.  Passionate about the cause, well connected, and tenacious.
  2. Get businesses to underwrite major costs and write sponsor checks. 
  3. Get help from an auction consultant on item descriptions, displays, order of sale, the evening’s timing, volunteer roles, etc. Sarah used the AUCTION! book I sent her, and we talked extensively in e-mails and phone conferences.
  4.  Venue with appeal.  Use committee and sponsor connections to get the place folks have heard about but never had the chance to see.
  5. Sold-out event. Start with a small venue so you can sell out, and use Facebook and social media to really push ticket sales. If you don’t have a mailing list or Facebook Fan Page with hundreds of folks yet, build THAT first. 
  6. Auction items matched to your guests. Nothing random. Each item specifically sought after because of its broad appeal to the attendees. Plan before you ask.
  7. 100% donations. For a first-time event especially, there’s no point in paying for auction items, as that takes your hard-won donor dollars and gives them away.
  8. Prepared Buyers! “Bodies aren’t bidders” we say. Sarah and I made sure that the guests were fully aware of the Live Auction Opportunities and How to Bid, using prior e-blasts, displays, handouts, Power Point, and microphone announcements. 
  9. Zippy Schedule. Keep your guests entertained and attentive, with food, games, Live Auction and Fund-a-Need donations all flowing nicely from one to the next.
  10. Mission Message. The 3-minute video they created was perfect before the Fund-a-Need, showing clearly the huge impact of more dollars and donations.
  11. Event Support. Well trained staff and volunteers add so much to a great guest experience. We all met in person prior to the event to answer questions and build a confident team.
  12. A Gala auctioneer. Truly, a fundraising event NEEDS to be equal parts entertainer, ambassador, and marketer. Not only was the audience laughing and smiling the whole time, but they were reminded to give generously to the cause, and 72% of the Live Auction items sold for more than they were worth.
Your Mission.
Accomplished.
I look forward to the chance to do it again. Maybe with you 🙂 Just shoot me a note.

Categories: Auctioneers, Better Buyers, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, GALA GAL Case Study, Live Auctions, Sponsors