Make a Great First Impression at Your Auction Fundraiser

You only have once chance to make a great first impression at your auction fundraiser. Check in is the first impression at your event and can set the tone for the evening with your patrons. Make sure your checklist of a perfect check in includes:

  1. Valet Parking. If your organization can get this donated then this will be the perfect way for your patrons to roll up to the event like they would to the red carpet. Give your guests a small card at valet that explains the process for check in. Contact us to get a copy of our check in card!
  2. Greeters- have volunteers standing at the door welcoming guests with a smile and directing them to check in. It is also nice to greet guests with a special cocktail as well.
  3. Hiring a professional company to handle your registration process frees your staff to mingle with guests and learn more about your supporters.  Who knows, maybe you will meet a new board member or your next auction chair while at your gala!
  4. Ask your auctioneer to greet your guests as well.  If you have hired a professional charity auctioneer, he will likely know many of your guests who support various causes.  They will often ask your auctioneer for information on the items offered in the live auction and tell him what they are interested in bidding on.
  5. Check In Lines. Make sure to have enough lines so that your patrons can check in easily and have a great start to the event. We suggest that you do away with the alphabetical lines and allow guests to check in at any open computer, which saves time. Computerized check in allows you to put the bid packets in numerical order, to make check in quick and easy. Allow one check in line per 100 guests.
  6. Pre-swipe the patrons’ credit cards.  This makes the check out process quicker and if your patron leaves early, the organization will be able to check them out with no after event phone calls for collections. It makes it easier on both the patron and the organization.
  7. Program, bid paddle, and table number- keep it simple. Put it all in one packet with colorful manila folders or envelopes that go with your theme. Loose papers, bid paddles, and table cards can easily get dropped and lost. This way your patrons can carry all of their information in one packet and will have it for reference at the end of the night. See the picture below for ideas.  To find out more about professionally printed auction materials, click here.