A lot of people ask me what should be considered when developing a dynamic auction team. You know, an auction is a one-day business. There’s a myriad of details and processes that have to be in place to have a successful auction and all of that rests on the quality of your auction team. In the big picture, I like to consider the auction team the board of directors, your development staff, your key sponsors, volunteers for the day of the auction, and your auction donors.
First I would like to take a look at what I call the “Kathy Kingston Big Five”. When you look at what are the core functions that have to happen for a great benefit auction you need a group of people or a committee that is going to procure great auction items. Secondly, you need a group of people or a committee that will attract and engage the right people, your guests. The third group is a marketing function. The fourth is benefit auction logistics; your finance, the food and beverage, the event arrangements, the volunteer solicitation, the audiovisual. That is all the auction logistics. Your check-in and check-out would also come under that. The fifth would be solicitation of auction sponsors. So, for a small organization or an organization that has a tight focus the five committees would be the item committee, the guest committee, the marketing committee, logistics, and sponsors.
So how do you ensure that your auction team is functioning at peak performance? Here are two important considerations. One, engage the board of directors and have someone from the board serve as a liaison on your auction team; and two, select energetic, well-connected, auction co-chairpersons. Take your team to the next level and have a great auction.