Is your benefit auctioneer angling for a one night stand?

It’s a provocative title, n'est-ce pas? But as we are nearing Valentine's Day, it is oh-so-appropriate for us to be frank about this subject. Here's a dirty little secret: As you're calling different auctioneers, trying to find one for your benefit auction, you should know that most of them are secretly hoping for a one-night stand with you. In and out. Perform, collect the check, and leave. These types of benefit auctioneers are not seeking a long-term relationship. They hope that you'll book them for that one glorious night, and require nothing more than that they be onsite for a big performance so they can “do their « Continue Reading »

How to talk like an auctioneer – free training

UPDATE: The class mentioned has passed. To keep abreast of future calls, subscribe to Benefit Auction Ideas. ++++++ Do you know the question I'm most often asked?  You might think it's a question about the benefit auction ... like, "How many items should go into our live auction," or, "Should we wait until dessert to start the live auction?"  But it's none of those types of questions.  Instead, I'm asked this: “Sherry, how did you learn to talk SO FAST?” Auctioneers are known for their “fast talk.” The official term for it is a chant. Some auctioneers learn to chant by listening to other auctioneers. Some learn it « Continue Reading »

Nashville benefit auctioneer for a day, uncensored comments, & my 100% guarantee

If you're seeking benefit auction ideas, this is a no-brainer event to attend. For those of you living in the Nashville area, I invite you to meet me at Maggiano's on Thursday, September 13.  It's like a country-western fairy tale for me ... I'm becoming a Nashville benefit auctioneer for one day.  :) I'm coming to share information on planning profitable auctions. Click here to reserve today.  (I've seen photos of the room and SPACE IS LIMITED.) I'm presenting in conjunction with GreaterGiving, a benefit auction software company.  (I'm delighted that I get to meet another representative from the company, Gretchen.)  « Continue Reading »

Sherry takes 1st runner up in Virginia State Champion Auctioneer contest

It's been three years since I last competed in the Virginia Auctioneers Association (VAA) State Champion Auctioneer contest. In 2009 I took 3rd place (2nd runner-up, as they say).  You can see photos from that event here. Since then, I'd not entered the contest. In part, I've been busy growing my business. But another reason was that I hated the heat. The facility -- though very nice and the owner always arranged for this awesome BBQ -- wasn't air conditioned. There I'd be, in a light wool suit with string-y hair from my sweat and the makeup melting off my face. The men were uncomfortably warm, too. But they have short « Continue Reading »

VIDEO: A DISadvantage of large crowds at your nonprofit auction

When it comes to gala auctions, most of us generally think that "bigger is better." Often that is true. A larger guest count frequently suggests a positive trend, but it can adversely affect other areas of your gala. For instance, you might need to change benefit auctioneers.  Watch the video below. P.S. For other nonprofit auction ideas, get great tips delivered to you by subscribing to Benefit Auction Ideas. It's free! « Continue Reading »

PODCAST: Benefit auction secrets – One DISadvantage of a large crowd

Just because your benefit auctioneer knows how to manage 250 people doesn't mean he’s ready to oversee your gala of 1,000 guests. His ego, enthusiasm, or lack of money in the bank might have him saying, "I can do this!" But his experience level might suggest that he needs to stick with smaller groups for a couple more years (or longer).  If you move forward, you're taking a risk.  In today's podcast, learn how to negotiate those risks. Listen to the podcast below. « Continue Reading »

Benefit auction secrets: The DISadvantage of large crowds

When it comes to benefit auctions, some think bigger crowds are always better. Perhaps.  But there is one distinct DISadvantage of a larger crowd -- it's harder to find a good benefit auctioneer. When you're interviewing auctioneers, find out how many events he or she has overseen with your same guest count.  In other words, if you have 400 attendees, ask how many galas he or she is running in that size. Just because an auctioneer has the personality to work an event of 200 guests does not mean he or she will translate that personality into a larger event.  (This is one of those benefit auction secrets your auctioneer hopes « Continue Reading »