Proper planning and smart investments are key to creating a successful and lasting event. The goal is to lay a solid foundation so you can have a successful event now and for years to come.
One investment Nonprofits can make when planning a first-time event is hiring a professional benefit auctioneer.
While the upfront cost can make it tempting to skip hiring a professional auctioneer, this mistake can end up costing thousands in lost funds.
Let's look at some of the reasons a charity event committee might decide not to make this investment.
1. You don't want professional advice.
Benefit auctioneers have years of experience planning and running charity auction events. In fact, the auctioneers we work with are booked almost every weekend of the year hosting multiple charity events across North America.
When you hire an experienced professional auctioneer, many typically offer consultancy services during the event-planning process. This expertise is invaluable for first-time events learning the ropes and will pay dividends for years to come.
You may have trusted friends and colleagues who can offer advice, but their scope is limited to their experience, organization and audience. No one is going to be able to offer the breadth of knowledge that comes from an experienced professional who works and attends hundreds of nonprofit events each and every year.
2. You don't want to save time and money.
Auctioneers can help you save time and resources - two commodities there's just never enough of in the nonprofit world.
As stated, their job involves working two, three, sometimes four charity events per week! They have figured out what works and what doesn't.
These professionals want to raise as much money for your cause as possible. One way they do this is by providing a third-party, independent view on other investments and purchases you make leading up to the event. You can run important details by them: everything from the venue to the agenda to A/V rentals, catering, entertainment, decorations, auction item procurement, consignment, sponsorships, ticket sales, bidding technology, and more.
Having someone to simply check in with and ask, "Have you heard of this company? What's your experience with them?" can save you tons of time and money in the long run.
Most nonprofits are best served hiring a professional benefit auctioneer three months or more prior to the event so you can take advantage of these consultative services.
Bottom line: Don’t wait until the event’s second year. Why wait to learn from your mistakes, when you can benefit from someone else's proven experience?
3. You don't want your guests to have a good time.
In addition to consulting, professional benefit auctioneers bring plenty of value to the event itself. Their main responsibility is to run the auction, perhaps even emcee, but you’ll quickly find their professional skills hand showmanship improve your event at a much deeper level.
Benefit auctioneers are there to entertain. They are trained to work the crowd and keep attendees happy and engaged. With quick wit and charismatic personalities, these experts will keep crowds interested before, during and after the auction.
It sounds obvious, but the better the guest experience, the more likely your audience is to return year after year.
4. You don't want your auction items to sell.
Extracting as much money as possible from every single item, is where having a professional auctioneer at the helm makes the biggest difference.
Before the event, auctioneers get to know your charity and your mission so they can address the audience with genuine enthusiasm and authority.
During the live auction, an auctioneer engages the entire audience, inspiring passion and excitement that will get them to step out on a limb and bid in both the live and silent auctions.
A good auctioneer generates the kind of high energy and a pleasant presentation that boosts bids without pressure.
5. You don't want to maximize your event revenue.
Selling more auction items is great - especially when it starts bringing in some cash. This is ultimately the reason for hiring an auctioneer, right?
Well, auction items are only one revenue source. Auctioneers are also especially effective at special appeals, which can sometimes raise even more than the auction. Also known as a "Fund-A-Need", the most important thing is to keep the energy up, encourage participation and feed off any momentum that is generated - all skills a professional auctioneer has mastered.
Find the right professional to maximize your investment
It’s important to find a professional charity auctioneer with experience and a style you like.
Some tips to find the right auctioneer for your event: Ask for references from people you trust. Interview at least two or three auctioneers and ask about their techniques for entertainment, methods for keeping things on course and philosophies for how they approach a project. Keep in mind that auctioneers with a Benefit Auction Specialist (BAS) designation from the National Auctioneers Association have completed advanced training that makes them fundraising specialists.
Looking for a benefit auctioneer in your area? Here at Winspire we work with the best partners in the charity auction industry. Request a free event consultation today and one of our event consultants will reach out to refer a benefit auctioneer in your area.
Remember, smart investments today will make the difference between a mediocre one-time event and a successful event that becomes a highly anticipated annual tradition.
If you have any experience with hiring a professional benefit auctioneer - good or bad - we want to hear about it! Please leave a comment with your story.