February is synonymous with Valentine’s Day, so this month I’ve committed to writing every blog post with a tie-in to love, romance, sex and even lust.
Today, it’s about sex appeal. (You know, keeping your benefit auction fresh and attractive.)
Has your gala auction lost its sex appeal?
Earlier this month I talked with a long-time auction chair. For 17 years she’s overseen the auction and she’s bored.
Her loving feelings are gone. After almost two decades of gala intimacy, her auction just doesn’t give her the same butterflies-in-her-stomach that it used to.
Nowadays, she finds herself reminiscing over the feelings she used to get when she thought about her auction.
“What can I do to stay interested,” she implored.
I think we’d all agree that 17 years is a long time to lead a gala. Frankly, I doubt I’ll be excited about benefit auctions in 17 years. Surely by then I would have moved on to some other interest.
But as she asked, I’ll address it.
I’m sure a number of these ideas have already been tried … perhaps multiple times. But for those of you getting that “7 year itch,” this might hit the mark.
1. Add a new element.
Easy enough … just keep it fresh.
If you haven’t done *that* game, do it.
If you haven’t tried *that* tool, try it.
2. Change an old element.
Always had a 50/50 raffle? Banish it. Try a new raffle instead.
Or if you’ve been doing your Fund a Need for the same way for 10 years, it might be time to shake it up.
3. Try a new venue.
Changing your venue can be stressful and re-energizing at the same time.
Testing a new sound system … checking the lighting … considering new layout options … all of these new choices will force your brain to fire on all cylinders.
4. Change the concept.
Always done a sit down dinner? Offer an upscale bites tasting, pairing elegant appetizers with wine and champagne instead.
Maybe your formal event becomes a casual summer solstice affair under a tent.
Maybe your informal event evolves into a spiffy affair.
Maybe — just for the fun of it — you become the first gala in town to be darn-near-LEED-certified using environmentally friendly materials and serving vegan food.
5. Change the name.
I’m all for branding an event with a name. But just like kitchens, galas need remodeling every-so-often.
Changing the name of your gala might help it set a new tone.
Make it a catchy acronym, or include an overarching name with a sub-title that reflects a theme.
Sometimes change is good.
It makes us more money … it attracts more donors … it’s easier to manage our auction.
Sometimes change is bad.
It reduces our profits … our guests dislike it … it complicates our work.
Sometimes change is just change.
And that’s A-OK. Sometimes change offers a new perspective, and that’s all we need to keep us interested.
So friends, if you’re NOT interested in your auction regardless of what you try, just go find something else to do. Benefit auctions are a TON of work, so unless you enjoy working on the auction more than you dislike it, it’s not worth doing.