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3 Common Charity Auction Errors

Three mistakes that will surely affect your charity fundraisers bottom line.

In our other blog posts we write about the many elements involved in organizing a successful benefit auction fundraiser. Even the very best planned charity auctions are often hampered by the same three errors. These mistakes will affect your bottom line. Error #1: Inadequate sound system. Believe it or not this is a common and serious problem! Just think, a benefit auction gala where attendees cannot hear the auctioneer? Often, the event facility’s “house” sound system is not adequate for a live auction and no consideration is given for a proper sound system in the silent auction area. Sound is the lifeline of your event. If attendees can’t hear what’s going on, your event is losing money. The silent auction is one of the noisiest times of the entire event. For the silent auction segment of your charity fundraiser to be successful, it is crucial that the benefit auctioneer is heard over the conversations of attendees. He/ she must be able to promote bidding, close the silent auction by section and encourage the attendees to proceed to the next agenda segment of the gala or charity fundraiser. Error # 2: Failure to brighten house lights. Often the house lights are dimmed as attendees are seated for dinner. It is essential that the house lights are brightened at the beginning of the live auction! It sends a signal that something is about to happen and assists directing the attention of the attendees onto the main event. Your auctioneer needs good lighting to see the bids and interact with the attendees and attendees are more attentive and engaging in brighter lighting conditions. A spotlight on a performer in a dimly lit room might be great for a singer, but not for a benefit auctioneer. Inadequate lighting will always have a negative impact on live auction revenues. Error # 3: Delays in Schedule. This is the number one error for a charity auction fundraiser. Like it or not, people have a limited attention span. Human nature cannot be changed, but can worked with in the most effective possible way. Before your guests arrive at your charity gala or benefit fundraising auction they have an idea of how long they plan to stay. A common mistake auction committees make is extending the silent auction, or deviating from the schedule by spending unallocated time selling raffle tickets before the live benefit auction. Any delays have a domino effect that will cause a delay in serving dinner and starting the live auction. The later the live auction is started, the less attentive guests will be. Less attentive guests spend less money. Once a charity auction gala gets off schedule, guests become disconnected. They no longer believe the agenda and do not know what comes next. Disconnected guests are less happy and spend less money. In summary: Stay on schedule, be sure that your guests are comfortable and fully engaged in the live benefit auction. (Please see our blog post titled Charity Auction Gala Agenda for Success“) Don’t let this number one mistake change the outcome of your next charity fundraiser to anything less than superb! Conclusion: We are pleased to share these three simple common mistakes with you and invite you to visit our website and other blog posts that focus upon the elements of successful charity auction galas, charity auctioneers and benefit auctions.






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