Prevent Scary Situations

Halloween is my all time favorite. Have fun!Kathy

True or False? Take my Scary Auction Story Quiz.

1. Huge scaffold crashes on stage
2. Gourmet buffet forces hour delay
3. Ornate folding fan used as bid card
4. Auction committee parties on!
5. Fire on sponsor table

For answers continue reading….

Prevent Scary Situations

Could these frightening situations happen to you?

Find out the true answers. Discover tips to avoid costly problems.

#1 Stage scaffold crashes
The live auction is in full swing. On stage volunteers hold up auction items as the auctioneer conducts lively bidding. The crowd hears crack, groan, and a big boom. The set behind the stage, including all the scaffolding and all audio equipment crashes down inches from volunteers and auctioneer. The auctioneer and volunteers jump off the stage within inches of life-threatening injuries. The auctioneer keeps on selling, doesn’t miss a single bid and sells it for a record amount.

#2 Gourmet buffet steals the show

At a high-end auction gala, guests are invited to dinner. They stand in single line for a stunning gourmet buffet. Seven chefs prepare delicacies, including a steamship round of beef carving station, a cook-to-order pasta station and many specialties including lobster. The crowd of 500 clogged the buffet line and waited for an hour. Since it took so long, half the guests left right after they ate their meal. The Live Auction and Fund A Need occurred with quite disappointing results. Unfortunately, there was no way to recover the untold thousands of dollars that literally walked out of the door.

#3 Creative bid paddle fans loss of money
A lovely Asian theme added to the auction excitement. The auction committee created ornate Asian style folding fans to be used as bidder cards, writing bid numbers onto each fan. The auctioneer could not read bid numbers. Plus the fanning guests made it impossible to decipher who was actually bidding. This added confusion and a very costly time delay as bidding slowed to a crawl with loss of revenue.

#4 Blazing Sponsor Table
During bidding frenzy for a multi-thousand dollar trip, the auctioneer notices flames shooting from the sponsor’s table. Guests stared in awe at the fire rapidly growing out of their centerpiece. The auctioneer calmly moved to their table, in one hand a microphone and in the other – a pitcher of beer, doused the fire, and kept the bidding and auction moving keeping up the auction action and profit.

#5 Party on …
The Gala Auction Committees worked tirelessly for months on auction pre-planning. But on auction night, committee members turned into super guests and liberally enjoyed festivities and adult beverages. This left no one in charge, volunteers were not trained and did not know their jobs, and the timeline ran 45 minutes late. Regrettably, the Live Auction and Fund a Need – key revenue streams with the highest potential to raise significant dollars, fell to the end of the night with quite dismal results.

What’s your guess? Ok, here’s the spookiest thing: if you said all of them, you’re correct. These are all true stories that actually happened to me as the auctioneer.

Remember anything can occur at your auction. While some situations are unforeseen, most benefit auctions are absolutely predictable.

If you’d like to learn more about the most profitable ways to prepare for your next auction, please join me for my next seminar in Boston on November 12. Register here! Bring your toughest situations; I’ll personally work with you for auction success in this challenging economy. See you there!

Tips to prepare for potentially daunting situations:
• Stay away from traditional buffets; sit down dinners or food stations are best.
• Create big white bid cards with giant numbers for greatest visibility.
• Retain an experienced professional fundraising auctioneer to maximize your fundraising efforts.
• Appoint an “Auction Night Chief” to keep you on time and manage volunteers.
Bonus: Here’s my favorite technique (from my college track coach days)

Create a 3 person “Problems Committee” to deal with any unexpected circumstances. Make sure this hands on group does not consume alcoholic beverages and is ready to handle any problems immediately.

Now for a real TREAT, click here for a Scary Auction Video!

* Learn the #1 secret to increase benefit auction profit now.

Please join me in Boston Seminar on November 12. “Auction Success in Down Economy”


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