Here are some common questions we have received from event planners.
Q. The hotel that I use for my benefit is beautiful and we use the “in-house” sound system. It sounds OK for the guest speaker, but rather muffled for the
live auction. What would you suggest?
A. Nearly all hotel “in-house” sound systems have speakers in the ceiling. Sound travels in a straight line that may be reflected off any and everything in the room before it enters the ear. Speakers in the overhead will lose its clarity and become muffled or foggy sounding by the time it is reflected many times before entering the ear. Add to that a chatty crowd and it is very difficult to clearly hear the auctioneer.
The answer would be to budget for a good sound system with four speakers in each corner of the room. Speakers must be at least 6-8 feet above the floor. Direct sound is very important. Tom also must have at least one wire-less mic to do the live auction. Tom will be working the crowd during the live auction and will be moving around keeping the event exciting.
Q. With the economic times as they are, and with the benefit that
you have been doing, are you seeing a lot less money being raised?
A. All of the Benefits that Tom has been the auctioneer in 2010 have been record
breaking events in the amount of money raised. Bottom line, it depends on the Benefit,
the items being auctioned and the people you get in the room. Tom can give you helpful advice and guide lines on how to streamline your costs and improve your net.
Q. Does Tom work with a large group of people that will cost me big bucks?
A. Tom works alone as your “Benefit Auctioneer Specialist”. On occasions Tom will be
assisted by a “Pedigree” or someone who will describe the live auction items. Tom will
arrive at your event hours before it begins to go over any last minute details. Tom will
also get with your spotter and clerk to make sure everyone is on the same page before the live auction begins. They will know what to look for when the bidding starts.
Q. I can bring my brother Joe who is a radio personality to the Benefit and he can do the auction. Why would I need to hire Tom?
A. Your brother Joe may be a great radio personality and a great MC for the event, but he is not a trained and skilled professional benefit auctioneer. “You get what you pay for” is very true. From testing the sound system, to lightning, from meeting and greeting your guests, to working the silent and live auction. Tom will be there every step of the way.
Q. When is the best time to hold a Benefit / Charity event?
A. Many Benefit / Charity events stay away from Christmas and January and during
most summer months. With that being said, most Benefit / Charity events are held from
February to May and August to November. Also to your advantage, check when other
Benefits are holding their Gala evening. The least competition for that night, the better.
Q. I seem to always have a loud group or table at my event, and they just
want be quiet for the live auction. How does Tom handle crowd control?
A. Tom has a very unique way with crowd control. He can have the table quiet in about
3 seconds. Tom will have their undivided attention while everyone is still having fun and many times Tom will receive a higher bid on the item being auctioned.
Q. How many live auction items should I have?
A. Tom prefers 15-20 at the most. After that many people will start to walk out of the
room because it is taking to long to get to their item. Alignment of live auction items is
very important. Tom can help you with the selling order with a proven technique that will get more money.
Q. Will Tom do more than just show up and call bids?
A. Absolutely, Tom will communicate with you and your event committee on everything from centerpieces to the theme of the benefit, from how many and what type of live and silent auction items you should use. Many times an event will become stale, Tom will bring a new and fresh and excitement to your event. (For more on what Tom can do for you and you benefit, please email Tom or just pick up the phone and give him a call).
Q. When should we start a live auction?
A. Live auction start may vary somewhat with each event. But if you have a site down dinner, it would be best to start right after the salad or during the main course. This way people are still eating and they will remain in place during dinner and during desert.