A good friend of mine relayed this story to me about a special event she volunteered at several years ago.
The gala committee had worked hard. They secured new sponsors, sold out the event and ensured through decor, lighting, theme and activity that it will be an unforgettable evening.
The local radio station was a media sponsor and they provided, for free, the morning show host as MC for the live auction. A well known volunteer in the community offered to be the auctioneer for the live auction. Everyone was enthusiastic about having this duo on the stage. No expense for the event and the personalities were popular, funny, well known and well respected. It was a win-win situation.
The event coordinator made every effort to ensure the MC and auctioneer had a carefully crafted script and details about all the live auction items well in advance.
The night of the gala arrived. Everyone was in high spirits. The guests were enjoying themselves. Senior staff members and volunteers were pleased with the evening.
The live auction packages were amazing. One of kind. Sure to push revenues for the evening beyond goal. Everything seemed to be going according to plan.
And then it happened. Mid way through the live auction, the auctioneer was confused by the details of an item. He turned to the MC for assistance. They muddled through the script, commenting out loud that what they were reading didn’t make sense to them.
They fumbled and stumbled for an awkward period of time and then they called the event coordinator to the stage. Yup. That’s right. The professional radio personality and well respected volunteer stopped the auction, scanned the audience and requested that the event coordinator come to the stage to deal with the matter. They handed her the microphone and had her explain the item.
This was a $1,000 per table event for a large charity with the who’s who of the community in the room. This was not the local bingo night. The evening continued on, but it broke the momentum of the auction and generated some significant stress for the event staff.
During your event, you need to know exactly how everything will go. There are no second chances, no follow-up opportunities. The live auction represents massive revenue generating potential and will produce the greatest ROI per minute at your event. It may only take a small percentage of the evening in terms of time; but the amount of revenue that is generated in that time period is significant.
Who are you letting control whether you will meet your goal or not?