Yesterday I received this question from a client.
Again this year, we are thinking about putting a Smartphone Auction card in our invite and on the back, adding information about two or three exciting live auction items with details about our auctioneer (you), including maybe your photo. We are trying to inform our guests that we have a new auctioneer. Here is what we were thinking we could say:
“We’re putting together an exciting array of auction prizes, including X, Y, Z, and more! Auctioneer Sherry Truhlar will guide you through a fun and energetic evening. (Picture of Sherry?)”
How does that approach strike you?
The short answer is, “Yes, do it!”
If you’ve hired a benefit auctioneer whom you’re excited to host, let the world know.
(This advice goes for whomever you’re excited to host. One of my clients in Louisiana strikes a deal with the Doubletree Hotel to have a world renowned chef cater the meal instead of the hotel kitchen. Of course they make a point of letting guests know the caterer.)
When we think about key personnel involved in creating a positive experience for guests, an entertaining auctioneer is right at the top. An auctioneer can help brand your gala, bringing good attention to your nonprofit.
(Some of you might remember my blog post about hiring contractors at GE and how important it was to vet anyone on our stage with a microphone. Read “Should you really give that guy a microphone” here.)
When the auction is great, guests can’t stop talking about it. “It was so much fun!” they’ll share.
Many auction guests attend three auctions annually. They know good auctioneers from mediocre ones because they can compare them. Your smart hiring decision could make the difference between a guest attending or not. Too many years of sitting through painful auctions, and even the most loyal donors will find something else to do.
In crisis situations, such as when I’ve been hired to revive a dying auction gala, revealing the change in auctioneers to your supporters is also advisable. Let them know you’re working to improve.
How should you promote your auctioneer? This video gives some ideas. I shot this yesterday; my first “Facebook Live!”
To see some of the examples I mentioned in the video, here are the materials.