The whole point of the auction is to raise money, but for some things you really need to hire extra help. When do you decide to hire, and when do
you decide to stick with volunteers?
It basically comes down to a division of labor – skilled and unskilled. You need to hire professionals for tasks that are specialized or too complicated to ask a volunteer to do. Catering, auctioneering and entertainment frequently fall into this category. You’ll also have a hard time finding volunteers for the less than glamorous positions – like cleanup. Frequently, it is far more prudent to bite the bullet and pay for these positions – they are far to important to the overall success of the event to be left to amateurs. Catering, auctioneering and entertainment are all instrumental to the look and feel of the event.
Your guests’ happiness (and propensity to spend money) ride on their overall enjoyment of the event – and few people enjoy bad food and music.
And an experienced auctioneer can turn a lackluster event into a high powered spending spree by generating excitement and fervor during the live event. The key to the success of the live auction is to get guests to bid against each other and experienced auctioneers have experience turning a timid crowd into a hotbed of competitive bidding. It is absolutely essential that you have a personality that is engaging and to whom the guests are drawn. A dud of an auctioneer can spell disaster for your live event.
And probably the best investment you could make would be to hire a janitorial crew for the end of the night. Many event locations have security deposits that require you clean the venue after its use. Definitely considering spending the relatively nominal money necessary to hire a janitorial service to come in at the conclusion of your event. It’s incredibly difficult to find volunteers for this postion – and few people who do volunteer will end up sticking around to actually fulfill their promise. Often, you’ll find yourself and a handful of others at the end of the night, trying to pack up and clean your event space. You will be exhausted (and maybe a little tipsy) and the last thing you want to be doing is picking up trash and sweeping the floor in your stocking feet and evening gown. A janitorial service provides peace of mind and allows you to concentrate on packing up your important pieces of equipment and auction items that weren’t taken home that night. Odds are too that they’ll clean the space faster and better than you could do it on your own anyway.
You are far better off using your volunteers for the positions that are exciting, fun, in the limelight – ones that you’ll have volunteers falling over themselves to do. But that is another post….