Most benefit auction galas take place across several rooms. Registration and checkout might be in one area, the silent auction elsewhere and the ballroom in a third space. Some groups have a VIP reception elsewhere. A benefit auction last fall had guests enter a rejuvenated dairy barn. The space was beautiful, but there were no restrooms inside. Guests were directed to portable toilets outside.
To help your attendees move through your space, you’ll be relying on directional signage. Directional signage can be expensive … or not.
When I worked at GE, I recall planning a conference in a large resort with many hallways.
Initially I’d planned on printing many directional signs to direct attendees down various halls. XX number of signs would have an arrow pointing right, XX number of signs would point left, and XX number of signs would point forward.
As I tried to consider all the spaces we’d be using and the traffic flow of the guests, the project became too complex and the cost for signs ballooned! One day I had an epiphany. I printed many signs with the conference name on each, and then manually cut and taped arrows onto the signs once I was onsite. I moved the signs and arrows around each day as guests were directed to new spaces.
Practical, cheap and effective.
In that case, I was hosting a one-time conference, so it didn’t matter to me if the tape scuffed up the signs. If I was using those signs annually, I would have opted for what this smart nonprofit did … Velcro. (See photos.)
Using a long strip of Velcro on the arrow and a shorter one on the sign, it enabled the flexibility to move the arrow around a bit without exposing the Velcro strip.
And because the signs are sufficiently generic — featuring the signature color of the nonprofit (teal) and the name of the nonprofit’s annual event (Turn Up the Heat) — these signs can be used every year.
Here are some other blog posts to give you ideas on keeping auction signage affordable.