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►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

►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

►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

►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

►Don’t Make This Critical Mistake With Your Schedule

May 10, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Clock Face Microsoft Clipart

The Trick You MUST Know About Benefit Auction Timing

Today I got an e-mail from a client stating,

we will be advertising the event as starting at 7pm and ending at 10pm”

“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo,” my brain screams, as I scramble to hit the “Reply” button before I read even one word further.

This is one of the MOST important tidbits I share with Benefit Auction clients:  the 30-1 Rule.

 

Here’s my hastily typed plea:

Ooh, ooh, ooh, this is one of those things I must speak up about 🙂

 

If you want people to be engaged in the event between the hours of 7:00-10:00, then you must must must advertise as 6:30-11:00, because people never arrive right when doors open, but 15-20 minutes after, and then have to park, walk, register, etc., so the earliest folks are beginning to engage in the event just before 7, with the majority trickling in AFTER that.

 

And then at the end, people mentally check out of an event when they believe they have experienced all that was included in their ticket price. If we say it runs until 11:00 BUT we internally plan to have all money raised and everything wrapped up by 10:00, then they feel they are getting home “early” and leave with a good impression that we were efficient.

 

If you advertise that the event ends at 10:00, people will be looking to leave by 9:00-9:15, hoping to let the babysitter go early or perhaps to beat the line at valet, and those departures before our event goals are wrapped up can really create a bunch of problems for checkout and put a damper on the evening.

 

Please please please add the 30-minute cushion to the front and 1-hour cushion to the end 🙂 I promise you that doing this will allow us to have guests engaged and content to be in attendance during the “action” hours of 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.

 

Jenelle

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

►Black Tie Events…for Free? Auction Underwriting for the New Millennium

February 14, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

Have you seen this? http://www.dodgedartregistry.com/

Underwrite your Benefit Auction just like the new Dodge Dart Registry idea

Crowd-funding idea for your next auction?

The website reads, ”

NEW RULES FOR BUYING YOUR CAR. Pick out the features you want in your new Dart and then invite friends and family to sponsor individual parts of the car.

You can raise a portion of the cost of a new Dart or the full price. Then all you have to do is go to a dealership and pick it up.”

 

How clever! Not only does this speak to a hip, Millennial generation, it offers a solution to funding a major cost –  by crowd-sourcing.

What a great idea to change up how you offer sponsorships this year for your event. Sure, most events already ask for sponsors, but typically at generic dollar amounts not tied to anything specific. Anyone else bored with the “Sponsorships available at $25,000, $10,000, $5,000 and $2500” approach?

This year, be forward thinking and socially savvy. Post a great photo from last year and offer opportunities to underwrite parts of the event at all different price levels. Instead of funding the engine on a future Dodge Dart, your supporters can fund the venue, the food, the bar, the linens, the decorations, the invitations, the technology…even pay for your professional auctioneer!

Just like chipping in to buy a beloved and deserving person a new car, your benefactors will feel good about helping fund something concrete, and empowered by being given a real choice. Come to think of it, isn’t that exactly the feeling we want to give our non-profit supporters all the time?

Categories: Auctioneers, Charity, Event Logistics, Other Money Makers

Unlock a PDF

June 20, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

Short and sweet…!

When I need to unlock a PDF document so that I can edit it or pull a logo out, I pop over to www.PDFtoWord.com, upload the PDF and within a minute it’s back in my Inbox, ready to edit.

Handy Tech Tip of the Day 🙂

 

Already using this? Just tried it? Leave a comment below!

Categories: Consulting, Technology