Kathy sells Mystery Pumpkin at
Cranberry Country Chamber Auction
Halloween is my all time favorite. Have fun!
True or False? Take my Scary Auction Story Quiz.
1. Huge scaffold crashes on stage
2. Gourmet buffet forces hour delay
3. Ornate folding fan used as bid card
4. Auction committee parties on!
5. Fire on sponsor table
For answers and full stories: please read my article: Prevent Scary Situations
Learn the #1 secret to increase benefit auction profit now. Please join me in Boston Seminar on November 12. "Auction Success in Down Economy"
Prevent Scary Situations
Could these frightening situations happen to you?
Find out the true answers. Discover tips to avoid costly problems.
#1 Stage scaffold crashes
The live auction is in full swing. On stage volunteers hold up auction items as the auctioneer conducts lively bidding. The crowd hears crack, groan, and a big boom. The set behind the stage, including all the scaffolding and all audio equipment crashes down inches from volunteers and auctioneer. The auctioneer and volunteers jump off the stage within inches of life-threatening injuries. The auctioneer keeps on selling, doesn't miss a single bid and sells it for a record amount.
#2 Gourmet buffet steals the show
At a high-end auction gala, guests are invited to dinner. They stand in single line for a stunning gourmet buffet. Seven chefs prepare delicacies, including a steamship round of beef carving station, a cook-to-order pasta station and many specialties including lobster. The crowd of 500 clogged the buffet line and waited for an hour. Since it took so long, half the guests left right after they ate their meal. The Live Auction and Fund A Need occurred with quite disappointing results. Unfortunately, there was no way to recover the untold thousands of dollars that literally walked out of the door.
#3 Creative bid paddle fans loss of money
A lovely Asian theme added to the auction excitement. The auction committee created ornate Asian style folding fans to be used as bidder cards, writing bid numbers onto each fan. The auctioneer could not read bid numbers. Plus the fanning guests made it impossible to decipher who was actually bidding. This added confusion and a very costly time delay as bidding slowed to a crawl with loss of revenue.
#4 Blazing Sponsor Table
During bidding frenzy for a multi-thousand dollar trip, the auctioneer notices flames shooting from the sponsor's table. Guests stared in awe at the fire rapidly growing out of their centerpiece. The auctioneer calmly moved to their table, in one hand a microphone and in the other - a pitcher of beer, doused the fire, and kept the bidding and auction moving keeping up the auction action and profit.
#5 Party on ...
The Gala Auction Committees worked tirelessly for months on auction pre-planning. But on auction night, committee members turned into super guests and liberally enjoyed festivities and adult beverages. This left no one in charge, volunteers were not trained and did not know their jobs, and the timeline ran 45 minutes late. Regrettably, the Live Auction and Fund a Need - key revenue streams with the highest potential to raise significant dollars, fell to the end of the night with quite dismal results.
What's your guess? Ok, here's the spookiest thing: if you said all of them, you're correct. These are all true stories that actually happened to me as the auctioneer.
Remember anything can occur at your auction. While some situations are unforeseen, most benefit auctions are absolutely predictable.
If you'd like to learn more about the most profitable ways to prepare for your next auction, please join me for my next seminar in Boston on November 12.
Register here! Bring your toughest situations; I'll personally work with you for auction success in this challenging economy. See you there!
Tips to prepare for potentially daunting situations:
- Stay away from traditional buffets; sit down dinners or food stations are best.
- Create big white bid cards with giant numbers for greatest visibility.
- Retain an experienced professional fundraising auctioneer to maximize your fundraising efforts.
- Appoint an "Auction Night Chief" to keep you on time and manage volunteers.
Bonus: Here's my favorite technique (from my college track coach days)
Create a 3 person "Problems Committee" to deal with any unexpected circumstances. Make sure this hands on group does not consume
alcoholic beverages and is ready to handle any problems immediately.
Now for a real TREAT, scroll to the bottom for a Scary Auction Video!
Please contact me personally to set up a phone consultation to optimize your auction profit 603-926-1919 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring my energy & extensive experience to inspire your board, volunteers, staff, auction committee and your auction guests.
"We just held our auction...what a success! I used just about every technique I learned at your "Auction Success in a Down Economy" seminar. Our final tally exceeded last year's amount. Who would have thought that in this economy that could happen? I really owe it to you. What I learned in your seminar was well received by the museum's executive staff, the committee, and by the attendees."
Old Sturbridge Village, MA
Click here for more testimonials
Insights and Sometimes Rants
People spend more money when they are enjoying themselves. The #1 reason people attend auctions in America is FUN*. Add some interactive revenue games and hire a professional fundraising auctioneer. Create new energy and excitement to keep those bid cards waving.
(*MORPACE Study by the National Auctioneers Association)
Please, click on the video image below to play a special video from Kathy...
WATCH Kathy Kingston In A NH Chronicle TV Interview
Kathy is featured in a NH Chronicle TV interview! Click this link to watch her interview online.
We are award-winning auctioneers, providing cutting-edge consulting and innovative training for both non-profits and auctioneers. A national leader in fundraising auctions, Kingston Auction Company has raised millions of dollars for non-profit organizations throughout New England and across the country for over 22 years. The company founder and president is Kathy Kingston, CAI, BAS. Come to us to make your next benefit fundraising auction a record-breaker.
Our affiliations include...
National Auctioneers Association promotes professionalism of auctioneers and auctions through education and technology.
Certified Auctioneers Institute is the most prestigious designation awarded in the industry - only three percent of auctioneers nationwide hold the CAI designation.
Benefit Auctioneer Specialist designation provides auctioneers with unique skills and strategies to conduct, plan and market fundraising auctions.