The last time I visited my parents, I did a lot of work outside. But before I could mow, trim, dig, rake, and haul, I needed to remove about 30 orange and yellow flags from the yard. The city had cross-crossed my parents lawn with small flags identifying various cable and utility lines in preparation for some work that had been completed a couple of months earlier.
When I asked Dad why he wanted me to store the flags versus just throwing them away, he said, “You never know when they might come in handy.”
And as I knew he’d never miss one flag, I packed one into my suitcase to share this idea with you.
Let’s turn our attention to your gala.
Remember that your silent auction is your store.
Just as commercial retailers go to great lengths to bring attention to specific items they want you to buy, you should make an effort to bring attention to specific benefit auction items you want your guests to buy. Flags are one way to do that.
The flags don’t need to be construction flags, though those might tie nicely into your theme. Construction flags are relatively easy to locate or inexpensive to buy online.
During a teleconference last week, I listened as a school auction chair explained their silent auction layout and closing. Their auction theme is “Construction Junction,” which is a cute nod to some upcoming renovation work (really, a demolition project) their school will undergo next year.
When our conversation turned to marketing, I thought of my Dad’s utility flags.
I asked her if she had any construction flags, explaining, “We can give them to your volunteers to wildly wave as we make our way through the silent auction, closing items. It will be easy for guests to know where we are in the crowd.”
Flags can also be used in the live auction.
One of my clients runs a large auction with 1,200 guests. Although I bring my own floor crew to identify bidders, she always has a bevy of volunteers eager to help.
She gives each volunteer a flag to wave when they have a bidder in their section of the ballroom. It helps those of us onstage spot the bidders.
Here’s a tip: Opt for fluorescent yellow and orange-colored flags. Blue, red, green and other colors aren’t nearly as effective in a large ballroom.
So have you ever used flags? How did it go?
Post your thoughts below.