So thank you to everyone who has emailed me and let me know what you think of my library of information:
“Wow Pat, great insights into the auction world and how to make it work!”
“I so appreciated your articles on product and décor displays”
“Are you an immigrant or were you born here?”
I didn’t say they were all helpful comments just that I appreciate knowing I have readers out there. I’ve been away for a while. I got sidetracked with work and raising a teenage daughter. I’m not sure when she became a teenager but it happened. I swear five minutes ago I was looking at this little ultra sound black and white blurring image of a little lump with what looked like little hands and a mouth saying something, and now fourteen years later I have figured out that little lump was asking for money, tampons, and chocolate!
Time passes quickly and the more time passes the more I realize the importance of timing. Timing is everything! EVERYTHING! You can be the most skilled basketball player in the world but if you were born during the Plymouth pilgrim irritated Iroquois days the only thing you were dunking was your head in the bay to take a bath.
I was at the gym doing my usual Twinkie Ding Dong burn the fat where it don’t belong exercises when I saw her. She was radiant, beautiful! She wore black spandex and a head band and the glimmering Rhinestones that spelled “pink” shimmy from her back. She caught my attention. The sweat glistened off her forehead while the cool air-conditioning crystallized the beady little drips till they descended like snow flakes. Her delicate frame… ah forget it I’m making her up to make a point.
If I asked her out and she said, “Sorry I’m flattered but I’m married. I just don’t wear my ring to the gym because I like to know I still got it.” Please note this is a fictional characterization and nothing reflects actual events. It doesn’t matter my timing is off. Someone got there before me and I have to move on and try to time my availability with someone who’s still a – vail –a -ble. Timing is everything.
Skills and timing make money. Meetings and timing make partnerships. Invitations and timing make memorable auctions. Poor timing leaves you broke, lonely, and buying a rocking chair and becoming an old man with several cats. ”I’m not going to cry! I’m not going to cry!” If you plan a marvelous event and you don’t keep time you’re dead. Look at the calendar and think to yourself when would be the best time to have your auction. You will always be in conflict with something. In these glorious United States where I am blessed to live as a citizen, whoever the ninny was that asked if I was an immigrant, there is always a plethora of events and occasions to attend. A proactive plan to time your event optimally will more than reap rewards for the trouble to think about when.
I am privileged to have a few of the greatest auctions in Anacortes and no matter how much we try and time it there is always something else in conflict. The rotary auction this year is the same day as Oktoberfest. Some of our guests drink beer all day and we bus them to the auction. I tape bidding cards to their fingers and tell them if they want another drink to raise their hands and I’ll bring them one.
We try a year in advance to pick a date that will be the least conflicted with other events and games. There’s always something. Its tough trying to schedule but for the sake of your best supporters and successful event timing is crucial. I do auctions all year round but there are definitely some months that are better than others. Summers and Christmas are tough but not impossible for event auctions. If you have a planned event that is synchronized with your greatest supporters calendars and it’s close to Christmas or summer then great! We will succeed. If you know your best supporters are available or willing do a New Years party auction I’m all for it.
But if there are several college and high school graduations in June and you’re best people have those age children, call them before you set a date. The more information you can obtain to time this event with their schedules the better your chances of having the right people sitting in the seats the night of the auction.
So far I’ve written about the event itself. The night of the event is also crucial to be properly timed. I’ve talked about it before but I like repeating myself so I don’t forget what I’m telling you – sit down dinners instead of buffets. It gives us control over time. I have a captive audience much faster than waiting for the last diner to get through line and take their seat.
Silent auction tables timed correctly to be closed within fifteen minutes of each other. Early attendance is rewarded with tickets to a drawing at the end of the night or money off their purchases – get people there on time. Higher valued items and trips to be timed toward the middle of the auction when energy, euphoria, and martinis have maximized their influence on the bidders.
Dessert dash timed with items when the sugar rush has kicked in and there is a new surge of energy before the crash. It’s amazing to me how much more you can make when you time these things and small incremental changes have lasting impacts on the momentum of good will that is generated for the following year and the money being spent.
Kenny Rogers sings a song about a gambler. There is a verse I’m certain most people have heard before.
“You got to know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run. You never count your money when you’re sitting at the table, they’ll be time enough for counting when the dealings done.”
I don’t believe a well planned event auction is a gamble. I’ve seen too much good come from generous people who’s hearts exceed the size of their sacrifice. Beautiful people give because they believe. They believe in you! They believe in what you do! They believe.
I do however agree with Kenny on some fundamental points. You have to know when to set the time and when not to – When to put an item in and when to place it elsewhere and when it comes to hiring an auctioneer you have to know when to embrace me and when to run like hell from those who can’t auctioneer well.
If you make those correct choices, “they’ll be time enough for counting when the dealings done.”