The auction business has seen some drastic changes in recent years. With the advent of new technology and the growing popularity of mobile bidding, online bidding, and the overall growth throughout the entire industry in all sectors it now takes a special kind of auctioneer to conduct a special kind of auction. Plus how do you remain relevant with so many options for people to choose from? The competition is fierce to garnish the attention and attendance you need. Every auction is different with various challenges and no single auction is more different than the benefit auction. The benefit auction diversifies several different methods of revenue generation, entertainment value, theatrics and most importantly managing the fine art of sustaining the proper emotional resonance with your guests to understand and support your cause.
Thus the emergence of the Benefit Auction Specialist (BAS). The Benefit Auction Specialist is An auctioneer that does much more than talk fast and move inventory. The few benefit auction specialists (about 150 nationwide) immerse themselves in the field of benefit auctions because the time needed to properly prepare your event leaves room for little else. As Benefit Auction specialists we have positioned ourselves in this particular field to be your consultant and help you plan, avoid pitfalls, make your life easier, raise you more funds and create the most successful fundraiser possible. We spend any spare moment searching and contemplating new methods of revenue enhancement and we spend days, weeks and months with you planning and preparing for your event. It is all in the consulting and pre-production! The hands on attention and consultation combined with a greater understanding of showmanship, event coordination and non-profit experience creates the perfect Benefit Auctioneer. I am proud to be recognized and certified by the National Auctioneers Association as a Benefit Auction Specialist.
Overall charities, schools, and non-profits are tired of reinforcing the stereotype that attending a fundraiser is what you do if you have no other plans. I want to see people go to a fundraiser instead of going to a movie, or out to dinner. I want your guests to look forward to attending your event year after year and not dread the night when they reluctantly have to spend money to attend an event they will not thoroughly enjoy. That is where a benefit auction strategist comes into play.
Here are some very specific reasons why you need a Benefit Auction Specialist. These reasons are not from me alone. These are reasons provided to me from past clients. This is what other event coordinators, directors of development and committee chairs have told me why it is important not just for you to use a professional benefit auctioneer but why its important for the entire non-profit industry and education system as a whole.
1. Specific expertise: “It is specific indeed! You need someone with the experience, the skills and expertise to guide your staff and streamline your priorities. This will lighten your work load, save you countless hours and keep you focused on what needs attention and what is superfluous. If for-profit companies bring in professional consultants why can’t non-profits? It’s the same reason why we all have smart phones opposed to flip phones. You need the right tool for the job.” Your right tool is a Benefit Auction Specialist.
2. “To identify problems and be an objective onlooker. Sometimes volunteers, event coordinators and development directors are too close to a problem inside an organization to recognize it. That’s when a benefit auction specialist like Zack comes in with fresh ideas and perspectives that have been implemented before and have seen them work with other non profits and schools.”
3. To supplement your internal committee: “You need a point person. There are a lot of ideas, thoughts and opinions floating around and you need someone who can filter through these ideas and give objective logical reasoning why some ideas will work or how a different idea can be tailored to fit your needs.”
4. To act as a catalyst for change. No one likes change, especially a non profit that may be set in their ways. But when change is needed due to revenue, attendance, setting, fundraising efforts etc. A Benefit Auction Specialist generally can do things without worrying about the culture or politics within a group that may prevent necessary change. They will listen to your needs and provide sound options to solve your problems. Some people say, “if it aint broke don’t fix it.” Without the expertise, experience, and vast resources of revenue enhancement how do you truly know if you are maximizing your full potential? You may be “broken” and not even know it.
( Recently I conducted an event for wonderful organization who had never hired a full time benefit auctioneer. They had either used a volunteer or a commercial auctioneer. I took the time to study the event and I saw where there was room to introduce new methods of enhancing revenue throughout the silent auction, live auction and fund a need. The event raised three times the amount of their goal)
5. To take you to the next level. “You have to give your crowd something new to keep them coming back.” You have to give them a reason to listen to whoever is on the microphone. Whether it is a speaker or the auctioneer I will help set up your event to be as conducive as possible towards your guests comfort and enjoyment while maintaining entertainment value consistent with the cause of your event.
6. To Teach: Knowledge is power and you will have set the stage for this year and years to come to know the difference between a good idea and a bad idea. Zack implemented ideas effectively, cheaply and without worry that saw a huge return and more than covered the investment of hiring him.”
7. To do the hard part: The stage is set. The guests are seated, the show is about to begin. Don’t leave all of your months of hard work and the single most profitable hour of the year in the hand of a volunteer. Your auctioneer needs to command the crowd and is the tip of the spear for 60-70% of your revenue goals that evening.
8. To bring new life. We are idea starters and innovative thinkers. We are experts on the subject. THIS IS ALL WE DO!!! We can jump start your fundraising, and reinvent the public image of your charity or school and this will keep your audience engaged and most importantly keep them coming back.
9: You have grown up and success is contagious. Your non-profit or school is expanding. You are finally ready to stand in front of your constituency and say, “We are growing!” People respect that. They will be grateful that you decided to step up to the plate and give them what they feel they deserve: A quality event with a qualified professional on the microphone. Success is contagious and by taking this step not only will see a handsome increase in your revenue this year but you see an influx of more volunteers, an easier procurement process, earlier sign ups and ticket purchases… all of which adds value to your event while making your pre-production successful and efficient.
10. We are still auctioneers: We know whose bid to take. We know when to speed up, slow down, and not look desperate. We know when a crowd needs a laugh, a break, sentiment, or a jolt of energy. We know how to break up a tie bid, or whose bid to favor. We know just the right amount of pressure if any to apply. We can tell by HOW someone bids of they are looking for a discount or in it to win it. It’s like poker: everyone has their “tells.”
“Zack knew exactly how to build momentum using energy, ego, entertainment, excitement and impulse. He never made the guests feel uncomfortable and he certainly doesn’t let them get bored. I have never seen someone run around that much while wearing in a suit”
11. Your ground work: What items sell well? What items don’t? How do you get the right people in the room? Where should you focus your procurement efforts? How should your bid sheet look? Where should we start the bidding? How many people should you have at registration? How should you focus your direct giving? The questions go on and on and you need someone to answer them and be in your corner.
12. To share contacts. We know people. People know us. We are tapped in. We are in this together and we like/need/want you to have a successful event. We bring synergy to like-minded organizations where civic and social goals are shared. I recently introduced one of my non-profit clients to a bigger organization that was searching for beneficiaries that fit their model and mission. This increased their yearly revenue by 10% simply by making a phone call.
I hope you have found this information to be useful and there are plenty more reasons to hire a professional benefit auction specialist. Overall I want you to have a great event. Not only for the benefit of non profits and schools but for you…the individual who took this event on their shoulders. It is no small task. Your reputation and livelihood are wrapped up in the success of the event as well as the hundreds if not thousands of people, animals, businesses, eco-systems, teachers, and children who will benefit from the work we can accomplish together.
Thank you for reading and I look forward to working with you