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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:45 pm 
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The most often question our benefit auction team members hear the night of an event is “What time does …………………?”
Whether it be a Silent Auction closing, the start of the Live Auction, the ending of a Revenue Enhancer the question is asked too many times.

Today’s guest is an impatient guest wanting an answer right now and if the answer is not forthcoming then the guest will find another activity that is more understandable. Dollars are not spent in confusion and doubt!

Visual signage is the key along with clear and attractive display to keep and maintain the guest’s interest. Remember, the guest came to support your cause, so let them comfortably participate!
A rule of good signing is to keep it simple, fewer words equal more understanding!

So what is visual signing? 1. Table Tents on the silent auction tables describing the item, its value, and sharing the donor/donors of the item. 2. Color coded mating under the silent auction bid sheet that corresponds with the color of the silent auction section. 3. Banner signs at least seven feet high with the color of the silent auction section, silent auction titles, and the closing time of the section. 4. Time line posters or banners for the evening, and 5. Posters or banners “featuring and thanking” event Sponsors and Underwriters. Again the sales adage the easier the easier to understand the easier to buy.

Another area is Informational posters or table tents such as posted times when the bars will close thus aiding in people moving the night of the event. Also, clear explanations on how each the revenue enhancer works at its area where being sold.. Look at your overall event and think what areas and aspects could use more definitive information.

If interested in learning more then visit our web site to see great examples of effective signage!

Where do you locate the signs, banners, table tents, etc? With the help of the internet the supply of affordable sources is amazing such as http://www.bannersonthecheap.com where you can get 2’ x 5’ vinyl banners custom made for as low as $12.00, Staples or Office Depot and other stationers for the Lucite 8½”x11” table tent holders, as well as markers, stickers, etc. Look for sources that are comfortable and with-in your event budget, but do not be pennywise and dollar foolish.

Auctioneers that provide consult can help clients accomplish this task to improve their bottom line and meet their goals

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RED DERBY CONSULTANTS & FUNDRAISERS, LLC
9924 LOUDOUN AVENUE
MANASSAS, VIRGINIA 20109-3234
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:09 pm 
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It's great to see more charity, fundraising, and or benefit auctioneers post on this forum. It's always been about sharing diverse points of information. I want to personally welcome Fred as a newly interested forum member.

While signage can be highly effective, I would offer the following points that might alleviate the need for excessive signage.

1. First and foremost a kick off meeting with the client is a prerequisite to discuss both strengths and weaknesses of the client's previous events or their newly proposed event.

2. Effective planning and preparation (the period six months to one year out from the event scheduled date) avoids catastrophes and redundancy. This is the period of ongoing client consulting. Sometimes too much of anything can just too much, whether it's signage, decorations, or even too many activities at an event.

3. An appropriate design and layout of the event also alleviates attendee confusion and those unnecessary questions such as What time does ......?

4. An effective event time line further enhances and insures your fundraiser's success! #3 and #4 are perhaps the most important in my opinion.

5. A trained group of volunteers guarantees your event's success. Limited signage while important, can't replace the human touch and interpersonal communications between the fundraisers attendees and the nonprofit's staff and volunteers.

These are signs of the times, as charities move away more and more from the walk-on auctioneer and insist on consulting from charity auctioneers to aid them in propelling their events further forward.

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Tom DiNardo - ISA-AM, MPPA
DiNardo & Lord Auctioneers
http://www.DiNardoandLordAuctioneers.com
View our upcoming auctions: http://www.auctionzip.com/WA-Auctioneers/271.html


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:15 pm 
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I would say that all though you do not want to preach about the economic times, you want to go on stage with energy and electrify the guest. Proper planning and consulting will fill your organizations bank account no matter what the econemy is. I believe the days of the walk on auctioneer are nearing an end for those organizations that can afford it.

If you think hiring a professional auctioneer is expensive wait until you hire an amateur or one who does not consult with you.

Carefull consultation from a professional auctioneer is a must.

I agree with Tom on that point

Building relationships with your client, rather than the one and done theory

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:53 pm 
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Personally, I still find that most such organizations still wait until the last minute to find an auctioneer. Many still think that there's really nothing to it, to put on an auction.

Point in being, I just received a call on Tuesday, from the organization that was hired to put together a fund raising event for the Yao Ming Foundation at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, which is to be held tomorrow evening.

Of course, once you start questioning them on the event and other possibilities they've considered, such as the Special Appeal... they don't know what you're talking about. That's when you have the chance to show them that it's best to consider a professional in advance, rather than just someone to "call" the auction.

Jim Ford
Professional Auctioneer & Auction Marketing for the 21st Century

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Texas-National Auctioneers
Professional Auction Services for Houston & the Great State of Texas
Personal Estate - Business Liquidation - Real Estate - Charity Fundraisers

http://www.t-na.com
281-479-7848


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:19 am 
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Jim and I are kind of at each other's throats on another post, but I am in agreement with him on this one.

I will forever be amazed at the organizations or families that will decide to put on a benefit auction and the last thing they think about doing is obtaining an auctioneer and I mean a real auctioneer, not "Uncle Bob" who always wanted to try his hand at it.

And then there or organizations who are in need of some fund-raising and you suggest to them you could solve at least part of their financial woes with a benefit auction and they turn their nose up in the air and you the auctioneer get the silent treatment.

An auctioneer who does a benefit auction for free is no less the professional than the one who does get paid, but he or she would be better served functioning strictly as a bid-caller for the night. It is a good way to serve your community and build your name and repuation, however if an organization is wise enough to incorporate all of the skills of a professional auctioneer and allow that auctioneer real and viable input and lets that auctioneer bring his marketing and leadership skills to the forefront, then if that auctioneer is not making fair compensation for all services rendored part of the package, then I believe he is making a poor business decision, cutting his throat so to speak and having an unnecessary effect on all those who specialize in benefit auctions and can conceivably offer even more value that an auctioneer like myself can perhaps offer.


Hopefully I covered all my bases and didn't pith someone off in the process. And if I did...oh well!

Lyn Liechty, Auctioneer
http://www.arealauction.com


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:11 am 
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The problem with doing it for free is you can't dedicate the time to do it right. I think most auctioneers would not mind popping in and crying an auction for a good cause.

This is what you are in for when you do that. First the PA system stinks, no clerk, the ring people become bored after the first item, organizer decides the items should be brought in at full retail price or they don't want to sell them. They go ahead and raffle off all the good merchandise and leave the garbage for the auctioneer. Uncle "BOB" wants to play auctioneer, he might even start dropping jewels of knowledge on you how to do your job.

For all your good effort you come out looking like a Hack.

If you are going to do it for free you must consider the time to at least do it okay. Your going to have give them a full day of effort to not look bad. It cost you $300 in effort to do even a simple auction correct.

"Just come in and call it" is a booby trap.

Again I learned this the hard way.lol And am still learning, committed to call about 10 items for charity auction.

Starting working for free it will make your phone ring. Only problem is now your are labeled as the free guy and when the money maker gig comes up they call the guy that charges.lol

RM


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:33 am 
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Ray
You echo my experiences quite well. Well said...

My previous engagement also illustrated this point quite well. The majority of the items were in the silent auction, not to mention they were also mostly consignments from those places that offer celebrity items for your fundraiser auctions. So, most of those also had no bids, as the minimums were determined by the consignment price. Most of those that did have bids, sold for the minimum, as they only had one bid. By the same token, I suspect that many of the $1000 tickets were comped, as they didn't seem to have the bidders/supporters that were really interested in supporting the organization's fundraising attempt. As any auctioneer knows, it doesn't matter what you are trying to sell or how good of an auctioneer you are, you won't get the money that is hoped for, if you don't have the right people in attendance. Too many seem to think that if you just get some people together, you can have an auction... they don't realize that there's a bit more to organizing a truly successful fundraising event.

Jim Ford
Professional Auctioneer & Auction Marketing for the 21st Century

_________________
Texas-National Auctioneers
Professional Auction Services for Houston & the Great State of Texas
Personal Estate - Business Liquidation - Real Estate - Charity Fundraisers

http://www.t-na.com
281-479-7848


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:39 pm 
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Another problem with benefit auctions is that many times, the people putting together an auction think they can do it better than the auctioneer and discourage any pre-auction preparation. That tends to stack the deck against the auctioneer when it comes time for the actual event.

Lyn Liechty, Auctioneer
http://www.arealauction.com


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:58 am 
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FREE is a four letter word. I prefer the word PAID, as in you get what you pay for.

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Tom DiNardo - ISA-AM, MPPA
DiNardo & Lord Auctioneers
http://www.DiNardoandLordAuctioneers.com
View our upcoming auctions: http://www.auctionzip.com/WA-Auctioneers/271.html


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