Obsess on Audience Development

Kathy energizes Waterford Country School guests

Kathy energizes Waterford Country School guests

One question I’m often asked is “How can I bring in big bidders?” First, let’s explore why audience development is paramount. In this economy, I believe auction committees must fixate on “putting the right people in the room” to make more auction money.

I’ll cover top Audience Development strategies at my new “Auction Success in Down Economy” Boston Seminar on November 12. Register now for the early bird rate.

Although procurement of great auction items remains a priority, filling your venue with the right bidders is more critical to your success. Why? Let’s face it; when you attract auction guests who have means and motivation they will drive bidding over the value on each item – whether it’s a South Africa Photo Safari or a Sock Monkey.

Further, it’s absolutely critical that your guests have the capacity to give generously at your Fund A Need Appeal, since not everyone wants or needs a Silent or Live Auction item. Fund a Need offers your guests another superb way to support your cause.

(Hurry, if you are new to Fund A Need, register now to learn how a well executed Fund a Need can equal or double your Live Auction revenue in just a few minutes!)

Here’s an often overlooked first step. Position your auction as a cultivation event and a major “power networking” occasion. Audience development is best achieved through targeted outreach and careful guest list creation.

Here are a few tips to reel in Power Bidders:

  • Personally invite those who strongly support your cause
  • Identify your top 20 bidders for the last 3 years. Phone them to personally invite them. Be sure to write a handwritten note on the auction invitation.
  • My favorite: personally engage your vendors

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