You Can’t Raise Money in the Dark!

Ballroom Bad Lighting

Ballroom Bad Lighting

Illuminating Tips That Brighten Your Benefit Auction Bottom Line

Maximize your Revenue!
For Benefit Auctions, “Fundraising Auction Quality” lighting serves in the best interest to maximize revenue and adds to the quality of guest experience. Here are some important factors to design the optimum sound and lighting system to raise the most money and excitement at a benefit auction.

Written Proposal
Get a written proposal with equipment specifications, placement of lighting and technical staffing.  Make sure all the costs are included, including equipment, labor for set up, event, and break down.  Appoint a key committee member to be the liaison with the lighting company to insure that they DO set up the EXACT system that you approved for the night of the auction!!!  Schedule early, good audio-visual companies are booked sometimes a year or more in advance. Note: Be sure you are getting their “A” team and high quality equipment. Be sure to emphasize that the key factor is to make sure you maximize your fundraising and you deserve the best equipment. Also, many lighting companies also include audio as part of their service. Be sure to work with them personally to leverage their best equipment and technical skills.

What If I Don’t Have a Big Gala Auction?
Every benefit auction is different in every venue.  For some auctions, the use of the venues general lighting is great.  For others with more complex needs that include the addition of entertainment, video and other technical requirements, more lighting is required.

ballroom good lighting

Light Up the Ballroom at Live Auction Time!

It’s Live Auction Time!
Bring house lights UP and as full as possible for the Heads and Tails, Live Auction and Fund a Need.  NEVER any spotlights on auctioneer, period.  It is impossible to see the guests and bidding activity — which means you loose money if your auctioneer can not see.

What About Your Silent Auction?
Make sure you have excellent lighting on your Silent Auction and Live Auction displays.

Be sure to have the lighting focused ON your silent auction items, not in your guests’ eyes.

Don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish.  Bring in extra lighting to optimize your profits.

Don’t Blind Your Auctioneer!
Never focus spotlights on your auctioneer. Why? She or he can not see the bidders and you wll not make money if your auctioneer can not see your guests or if she can not read their body language or see the bid cards. (Just think of shining a flashlight in your eyes and trying to see anything.) Here’s a solution. Definitely have your lighting tech install a dimmer switch so that lights can be turned full for live auction and adjusted for other phases of the evening. You can light the stage with down lights or lights from the side. So you can have lower lighting to view a video or have dinner or dancing. But bring up full house lighting for you live auction and fund a need special appeal.

What if You Are In An Outdoor Tent?
It’s imperative to have lighting levels that guests can read the silent auction bid forms and descriptions and their auction catalogs. Remember that many guests need reading glasses and can not see well in low light.  Place 3-4 flood lights on tent poles directed up to create great ambient light. Make sure you have strong lighting at the Silent Auction and Live Auction displays. You can light the stage with down lights or lights from the side.  Keep floodlights out of the auctioneer’s eyes.  Definitely install a dimmer switch so that lights can be turned full for live auction and adjusted for other phases of the evening.

Why have a Pre-Event Lighting Rehearsal?
It’s imperative to also do a lighting rehearsal to practice the lighting transitions – since the lighting levels change during different phases of the event, everyone will be prepared and you will maximize fundraising and guest engagement and enjoyment.

Light it right and raise more money!

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