When I started working with this group in 2010, the organization was moving away from a sit-down dinner.
Goodbye traditional gala. Hello something new.
The “something new” has changed at each event. For instance, each venue is different. Quality entertainment is hired (I’m part of this). Unique staging and props are used. The event is well-run, from registration to flow to checkout.
Generally speaking, this is what I’d call a high production value event. It’s classy. There is an emphasis on ensuring elements are done well.
(That’s not to say you can’t have a nice event with home-grown entertainment. Every shindig is unique. I’ve got many ideas on my blog for homemade, yet cool, auction elements.)
To be clear, this isn’t high production like you might imagine the Academy Awards to be. Budgets do come into play. And it’s not high production like some of the more tony events I’ve worked both in D.C. and elsewhere. But for a smaller-sized event whose organizers wanted to shake things up, this is what I’d say is high production. It’s designed to have a “wow” effect.
As this is not a sit-down affair, a good portion of people stand throughout the night. Though there are usually areas one might find to rest, only sponsors have assigned seating.
Though the event has been high caliber every year, I was particularly impressed at how the group brought to life this 1930’s club. It really felt like I was walking into something from a decade gone by. Though the benefit auction theme was not specifically 1930, the date tied into a significant time in the nonprofit’s history. It worked.
Take a look at these two videos and tell me what you think.
This first clip was taken before guests arrived. I wanted to show you some of the classy elements brought in that recreated the club feeling, yet still managed to focus guests on the two stages.
This video will give you a sense of what a guest might experience, walking into the event. I didn’t shoot everything that happened that night (hey, I’m working!), but I took about a few clips and strung this together for you. The first band is Carte Blanche. The second is Dandy Wellington and his Band. Both were AWESOME! (As were the dancers, and you’ll see a bit of them, too.)
Post-event, here’s what my client had to say …
We have utilized Sherry and her excellent team at Red Apple Auctions for three fundraisers and continue to be impressed! Sherry is professional, well spoken, entertaining, and she gets the job done. Showcase 2014 was our most successful fundraiser yet – raising $400,000!
Sherry’s work doesn’t begin when she steps up to the microphone; it begins months in advance with guidance on auction items, how best to market to our group, consignment items if needed, how to sell strange or high-value items, recommendations for vendors and so much more.
After three events, we are also benefitting from the consistency of having the same auctioneer. Sherry understands the unique format of the event and she knows our donors – what they’ll buy, how much they will spend and even how to get their attention. All of this, and more, she puts to good use.
We also appreciate Sherry’s team members who help to sell raffle tickets, solicit donors to our bid-box and assist in the live auction as spotters. They are professional, efficient, and always look fabulous dressed in the theme of our event!
Another advantage of Sherry’s years of experience is her ability to analyze results after the auction; providing guidance that will help lead us into our next fundraising event.
Red Apple consistently exceeds our expectations. We wouldn’t consider using another auctioneer and look forward to working with Sherry many more times.
Cindy Merz & Rea Hacker
Suburban Hospital Foundation
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