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San Francisco charity auctioneers and fundraising consultants » Is It Time for a Makeover?

Is It Time for a Makeover?

Is It Time for a Makeover?

Many events become stuck in a rut producing diminishing returns with each year’s Gala.  Same venue, same auction lots, same food, etc. What this does is suck any excitement out of your attendees.  Perhaps you can change your attendees thinking from “they do this every year” to “I wonder what they’re going to do this year”. I want to use two recent events as an example of what can happen if you shake things up a bit.

One of these examples is a new client that has done an event for many years and the other is a client that I have been working with for five years. Both events decided (with a little help from yours truly) that it was time to change and I was more than happy to spend some time revamping.

Kick-off parties were organized and new blood was welcomed with a more comprehensive delegation of committees and teams so the auction chairs weren’t putting out fires all the time!

New venues were scouted with one of the events actually getting the site donated! The other ended up in a hotel ballroom which was head and shoulders above the tired meeting hall that had held the event for years.

Next, was the food but more importantly how it was going to be offered?  Both decided to go with a seated dinner as opposed to their normal buffet.

The silent auction was no longer endless white linen tables with boring clipboard after clipboard.  Silent auctions lots were paired down to a more palatable number, presented with a little more creative flair and laid out so they were much more “strollable”.

As for the live auction, we went back and looked at which lots were offered year after year with diminishing returns and pulled them out. They were replaced with new offerings that were based on the interests and input from the attendees.  This is not a difficult thing to do.  Simply ask some of your known bidders what they would buy at auction if they had $xxxx.xx to spend.

Both events held the auction during dinner, which we always recommend and usually increases revenue.

Obviously both events did very well or I wouldn’t be posting this blog.  But the really interesting thing is how these events were received by the attendees.  There was an air of excitement about all the changes and the buzz generated by the anticipation of the “new event” garnered more participation.

I’d like to think that all the hard work put into changing the event was rewarded by more paddles in the air!


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