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►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

►About that Safari Trip…

April 15, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Photo of GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor

Try to avoid this at your non-profit, says GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor

A client called today for advice. They’ve planned to feature a safari trip as one of the live auction items for their event in a few weeks. When I read the description a few days ago, I realized with some surprise that this was not a typical sightseeing safari trip – this was a hunting safari!

I’ve seen and sold a number of safari trips, but they’ve always been photo safaris, or – said another way – photo shoots, not actual shoots.

My dad was a hunter, though I am not. Even though I would greatly prefer to only shoot things with a camera, I understand that a portion of the population worldwide shoots for sport and challenge. I’m comfortable promoting this item during the live auction alongside the other trips and experiences.

However, some of this organization’s supporters called to complain today, with the expectation that the trip will be pulled from the auction.

What should you do if some people feel an auction item is controversial?

Whether it’s selling a puppy, dinner with the embattled mayor, a hunting safari or countless other potential hot buttons, how should your committee proceed?

  1. Pull the item from the auction? After how many complaints, 1? 5? 25?
  2. Only pull the controversial item if the complaint comes from a major donor?
  3. What about moving the item from the more visible live auction into the silent auction?
  4. Should you try the “Sealed Bid” method for this auction item, so that if no one bids, no one knows, but if folks do bid, their names and amounts are known only to the committee?
  5. Or how about sending an e-mail blast or newsletter notification for interested parties to place bids via fax or email or text prior to the event?
  6. Keep the item in the live auction, but work hard to identify someone on the staff or committee or patrons interested in the item and willing to quickly raise a bid card, ensuring that it sells easily if other bidders don’t materialize?

There’s no one right answer, of course. While you may not want to bend to a few disgruntled voices, you also don’t want those voices to complain even more loudly on Facebook or the nightly news if they feel dismissed.

Ask yourself, what could possibly go wrong if we auction this item?

As your committee tries to “think outside the box” for atypical auction items, if you don’t have these conversations early on, you may find yourself – like my client – scrambling to find a solution 1 day before the catalog goes to print.

Categories: Consulting, Event Logistics, GALA GAL Case Study, Live Auctions

►”Big things. Big. Huge.”

September 3, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

 

Book Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestley

What will YOU do when you become a Key Person of Influence in the industry you love?

So many exciting things are happening in my life since last May, and it started with a 1-Day business seminar in Tampa called “Key Person of Influence.”

I am thrilled to be accepted into such an incredibly high-achieving group of professionals, and during this 7-month journey we are going to manifest some crazy, ridiculous, industry-changing new developments. The wheels are already in motion to debut services for nonprofits and auctioneers that I have been dreaming about offering for more than six years.

Stay with me, folks. Big things are coming. Big. Huge.

 

Entrepreneurs, the 1-day KPI seminar can change your life. I took 15 pages of notes, met founder Daniel Priestley, and leaned in. Get your own goosebumps at http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/usa/. Dates coming up in Tampa and Orlando.

 

 

Categories: About GALA GAL, Charity, GALA GAL Case Study

►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