Earlier this month I headed to Florida to again work with a Boys & Girls Club whose fundraising auction venue is a local car dealership.
Clearly this dealership is a good partner of the nonprofit, greatly inconveniencing itself to transform its space — sales floor, customer waiting area, service bay and lanes — into a festive venue to host a sit-down dinner for just under 200 guests.
Attendees begin the evening with a reception and silent auction in the service bay and customer waiting areas, then move to the sales floor for the seated dinner auction, and then return back outside to the service bay for dancing.
Imagine the scenario at the dealership earlier that day: While customers sat on the sales floor negotiating their new vehicle, desks, chairs, computers and other office furniture was loaded up around them and pushed aside to make way for incoming gala tables and chairs.
“We’ll have to send a special thank you to the 20 customers who bought a car today,” the dealership owner told attendees at the gala.
I’ve written before about how a non-traditional venue is an easy way to freshen up your auction. And event producer Endless Events called the non-traditional venue a 2017 trend.
Yet sometimes it’s hard to imagine how your auction will work in anything other than a hotel.
To broaden your imagination, one idea is to attend events held in non-traditional venues. Go as a guest or as a volunteer. At this event, a prospective client of mine drove an hour to witness the auction first-hand. “I think we might look at doing something like this for 2018,” the Director of Development told me before leaving.
Another idea is to watch recap videos, such as the two below.
See anything you like? Post your thoughts below.
2017 Rock N Roll Bash, Presented by Bozard Ford Lincoln to benefit the Boys & Girls Club – St. Augustine
The theme for 2017 was Island Vibes.
Guests “flamingled” among pink flamingos, hammocks, and tropical flowers.
2016 Rock N Roll Bash, Presented by Bozard Ford Lincoln to benefit the Boys & Girls Club – St. Augustine
The theme for 2016 was a nod towards the musical GREASE.
Guests dressed in 1950s theme while roller derby girls served food and a rockabilly band entertained.
Curious about the 2018 theme?
They are currently accepting theme suggestions on the event’s Facebook page.
Steve Smith says
What a unique way for fundraising! Beautiful post Sherry. My friend has started a noble cause called HopeAna to help people get a better life and live happily and peacefully. I will share your post with her. May be you can be some help to her. Thanks for sharing this post.