Pre-Auction Consulting Services
A Stellar auctioneer does more than just hop onstage and conduct your auction. We work with you and your team throughout the year to help lay the groundwork for success, so when we take the stage, you know it is going to be something special.
Our pre-event consulting starts the moment you engage us to be your auctioneer, continues through the event, and after to our post-event breakdown. Our strategic consultation focuses on the key areas of auction and fundraising planning: auction lots, fund-a-need, donors, bidders, event logistics, and cause marketing.
The best things to sell at auction aren’t things, they are unique experiences and access. We sell thousands of lots every year and have our finger on the pulse of what’s hot in fundraising right now. We brainstorm with your team to identify creative auction lots that get your crowd’s paddles flying, emphasizing relationships and donor development. Once we have the list of lots finalized, we offer guidance on the sequencing of the auction in order to create and sustain momentum best – and thereby make the most money.
The fund-a-need is the single most important part of any fundraising auction. It raises more money than any other single lot, and often raises more money than the rest of the auction combined. When done correctly, a good fund-a-need brings the room together and is the emotional highlight of the evening.
And though a good fund-a-need may look spontaneous, they are the results of tons of advance planning. We’ll work with your team to identify a need that is honest, emotionally engaging, and challenges your crowd to a level where they can be successful (without leaving money on the table). We’ll help you identify lead donors, find creative ways to use challenge grants, and place the fund-a-need in the flow of the auction where it will be most successful. And the night of your auction, we’ll put on a performance that helps your crowd come together to help you change the world – simply by making pledges.
We work with your team to identify potential new donors to your auction and strategize ways to approach them. We frequently find that some of the best auction lots have been a degree of separation from your auction all along, and it just took some creative brainstorming to get there.
But we also know that every fundraising auction is a potential target market. Most donors participate in fundraising auctions with a combination of altruism and expectation; they look for an opportunity to get a return. We help you think of your auction and crowd in communicable terms that will help get new donors, and then we ensure that the donors are taken care of during the auction so they feel compelled to participate again.
You can have the largest, most fun-loving crowd in the world, but if they haven’t come to bid on your auction we won’t be successful. Getting bidders in the room is a process that starts months before your event --it starts the day after your last event, actually -- and requires strategy and commitment. Few people like to invite their friends to come spend money in support of a cause, but that’s exactly what we need to do.
The good news is it takes fewer bidders to make an auction successful than one might think. And we think a lot about how to get them in the room in the frame of mind to support you. We also want to help you convert first-time bidders into long-term supporters.
Everything we do the night-of an event impacts the bottom line. When should we close the silent auction? Where in the dinner service should we place the live auction? How many lots should we do?
All of these questions have an answer that is unique to your event. We’ll bring our experience to the table and work with your team to find solutions that best fit the culture of your event – all with an eye towards making it as fun and profitable as possible.
People won’t come to your event and give you thousands of dollars because they like the entrée the caterer prepares, because of the décor, the band, or even because you hire us as your auctioneers. People will support you because of the great work you do and their belief in its importance.
It is imperative that you market your cause to your crowd long before they arrive, in clear, concise terms. All of your event-related communications should flow from a single message point: Why do we need to raise the money? Why should people support you?
The goal isn’t to brow-beat people, the goal is to motivate people to help you make the world a better place. Nothing beats a motivated crowd of attendees who have come together to change the world by supporting you. It is the goal we strive for with every auction.
Stellar auctioneers regularly attend committee meetings, give special presentations to boards, and participate on conference calls to cover all of these elements of consulting and more. We’re auctioneers, after all; we love to talk. But when the time comes to do the event, we’ll do it the way you want to, and we’ll do it better than anyone else out there.
And while our auction performances alone set us apart from other fundraising auctioneers, it is our pre-event auction consulting that makes us one of the premier fundraising auction firms in the United States. Find out more about how we'll help make your next auction more successful, contact us today.