Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Friday, August 5, 2022

Developing An Auction Dinner (Part One - Continued)

 I have had the privilege of attending and working with thousands of auction dinners throughout North America for over 20 years. Some had several thousand attendees, while others only had fifty or so. The articles that follow are meant to give an overview of how successful auction dinners are conceived, planned and managed.

For anyone who wants a complete "Developing An Auction Dinner" package, complete with working manuals, workbooks, sample forms and PowerPoint presentations, visit my Festival and Event Planning website.

Event Development

  1. Payment

Make paying for prizes and raffle ticket as simple as possible. Today in our “cashless society”, charge and debit cards rule. To be successful, your event must arrange for charge and debit card facilities. You should be able to do this through you local bank or through a friendly merchant. Not having this facility will severely limit your events ability to raise money.

  1. Job Descriptions

When running an event, it is important for everyone involved (committee members and event volunteers) to know what is expected of them. A simple written job description will give all your workers the direction they need to make the event both successful and well run.

(Part Two of this series, "Developing an Auction Dinner" will talk about Event Planning.)

Friday, July 29, 2022

Developing An Auction Dinner (Part One - Continued)

 I have had the privilege of attending and working with thousands of auction dinners throughout North America for over 20 years. Some had several thousand attendees, while others only had fifty or so. The articles that follow are meant to give an overview of how successful auction dinners are conceived, planned and managed.

For anyone who wants a complete "Developing An Auction Dinner" package, complete with working manuals, workbooks, sample forms and PowerPoint presentations, visit my Festival and Event Planning website.

Event Development

17. Silent Auction and Bid Sheets

We have mentioned silent auction bid sheets previously. Now we want to address the sheets specifically. To hold a successful silent auction, you must prepare acceptable, user-friendly bid sheets. The key is to make your instructions clear and concise, plus they should indicate what the minimum bid is and what the incremental bids must be. Here are a few more thoughts about bid sheets and you silent auction. The bid sheet could include the actual value of the item being sold. This can be good and bad. Good, because it gives the bidder an idea of the value he/she is bidding on. Bad, because it could limit the bidders from going over the value of the item. Putting the value on the bid sheet is strictly a judgment call by your committee. Bid sheets should not be pulled all at once. They should be pulled (secretly) by one person and he/she should be the only one to determine which sheets are to be pulled and when. If volunteers are bidding and know the pulling sequence, then attendees may become upset and not bid on any of your auction items (silent and live). Finally, whoever is pulling the sheets should develop a system to determine which items are being actively bid on and which have stalled. The items that have stalled should be pulled first, with one exception. The first item pulled should be a real bargain. This will cause the bidders to keep on top of the items they are bidding which, in turn, should increase the amounts bid. It is important for the Master of Ceremonies to keep up the bidding interest in the silent auction items.

(To be continued)

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Developing An Auction Dinner (Part One - Continued)

 I have had the privilege of attending and working with thousands of auction dinners throughout North America for over 20 years. Some had several thousand attendees, while others only had fifty or so. The articles that follow are meant to give an overview of how successful auction dinners are conceived, planned and managed.

For anyone who wants a complete "Developing An Auction Dinner" package, complete with working manuals, workbooks, sample forms and PowerPoint presentations, visit my Festival and Event Planning website.

Event Development

19. Event Materials

Developing and producing event materials is an important part of controlling your event. These items include: event tickets, raffle tickets, posters, sponsorship letters, auction receipts, silent auction bid sheets, etc. Try to think of all your needs and then develop the materials needed.

20. Event Equipment

You need to make a list of all the extra equipment you will need to hold your event. Some of it you may already have, but others you may have to rent or purchase. If you are going to hold your event repeatedly, you may want to purchase some of the items rather than rent. Here is a partial list to help you start.

·         Easels for framed art

·         Raffle buckets

·         Signage

·         Pens, pencils & paper

·         Adding machine

·         Computer

·         Printer

·         Charge card machines

·         Calculator

·         Balloons

·         Site and table decorations

·         Name tags

(To be continued)

Friday, July 15, 2022

Developing An Auction Dinner (Part One - Continued)

 I have had the privilege of attending and working with thousands of auction dinners throughout North America for over 20 years. Some had several thousand attendees, while others only had fifty or so. The articles that follow are meant to give an overview of how successful auction dinners are conceived, planned and managed.

For anyone who wants a complete "Developing An Auction Dinner" package, complete with working manuals, workbooks, sample forms and PowerPoint presentations, visit my Festival and Event Planning website.

Event Development

17. Raffles

Event raffles are great for raising money from attendees who either can’t or won’t bid for auction items. They allow attendees to participate in the event without committing large amounts of money. It is very important, however, that the prizes awarded are of high quality and good dollar value. Additionally, they must be interesting and easy to play. Again, they should be in keeping with the theme of your event. Here are some “rules” to consider.

·         If you are having a general raffle, do not have too many prizes. If you have a lot of prizes available, it is better to combine some into larger more valuable sets. Remember, you want your attendees to go home thinking that they received great value for attending.

·         When selling tickets, make sure you have some way of identifying those attendees who have already purchased tickets. They are there for fun, not to be hounded to buy tickets

·         Have enough ticket sellers on the floor. You need to get as many attendees buying ticket as possible.

·         Have some raffles have limited tickets available and make a big deal when they are all sold.

See what other “rules” you can think of that will benefit your event.

18. Offsite Bidding

Sometimes people would like to attend your event but cannot because of personal reasons or prior commitments. It might be to your advantage to put an offsite bidding strategy in place for your live auction, especially if you have really unique and expensive items to auction off. It is not appropriate or workable for most events, but if it can be done, it might add dollars and excitement to the event.

(To be continued)

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Developing An Auction Dinner (Part One - Continued)

 I have had the privilege of attending and working with thousands of auction dinners throughout North America for over 20 years. Some had several thousand attendees, while others only had fifty or so. The articles that follow are meant to give an overview of how successful auction dinners are conceived, planned and managed.

For anyone who wants a complete "Developing An Auction Dinner" package, complete with working manuals, workbooks, sample forms and PowerPoint presentations, visit my Festival and Event Planning website.

Event Development

15. Financial Controls

Strong financial controls must be in place during the event. If they are not, confusion can break out and all the hard work will mean nothing because your attendees will be upset and your volunteers will be frazzled. Develop the controls in advance, you will be glad you do.

16. Games

Event games can be a lot of fun and if run properly, very exciting. However, if they are NOT run properly, they can become a distraction and take away from the other fundraising aspects of your event. Additionally, the games must conform to the theme of your event. There are many types of games out there. Some can be purchased or rented; other can be made up by your committee with little or no cost. Here’s a short list of ideas to start your creative juices flowing: darts, roulette, card games, crown & anchor wheel, balloon toss, etc.

(To be continued)

Monday, July 4, 2022

Developing An Auction Dinner (Part One - Continued)

 I have had the privilege of attending and working with thousands of auction dinners throughout North America for over 20 years. Some had several thousand attendees, while others only had fifty or so. The articles that follow are meant to give an overview of how successful auction dinners are conceived, planned and managed.

For anyone who wants a complete "Developing An Auction Dinner" package, complete with working manuals, workbooks, sample forms and PowerPoint presentations, visit my Festival and Event Planning website.

Event Development

13. Entertainment

Having entertainment at an auction dinner is always a question mark. While you may want to create a special atmosphere with music, you don’t want to take away from raffle ticket sales or interactive games. Make sure, if you do decide on having entertainment, that it has a specific purpose and is timed and located not to interfere with your fundraising efforts.

14. Celebrities

Creating a “draw” for you event could be very helpful both in promoting the event and increasing ticket sales. Inviting a celebrity is one way of accomplishing this. The committee should talk over the idea and go ahead with it if desired and possible.

(To be continued)

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Developing An Auction Dinner (Part One - Continued)

 I have had the privilege of attending and working with thousands of auction dinners throughout North America for over 20 years. Some had several thousand attendees, while others only had fifty or so. The articles that follow are meant to give an overview of how successful auction dinners are conceived, planned and managed.

For anyone who wants a complete "Developing An Auction Dinner" package, complete with working manuals, workbooks, sample forms and PowerPoint presentations, visit my Festival and Event Planning website.

Event Development

11. Flow

It is important to consider the “flow” when developing the event’s agenda. Having a smooth flowing, well planned event will insure that attendees enjoy the event, spend their money and come back for more. This stage should be discussed thoroughly and a detailed “event map” should prepared. The “map” should take the event from start to finish and it should be referred to regularly throughout the planning process.

12Awards/Rewards

Honoring your volunteers and sponsors is smart business. These people who volunteer are the backbone of your event. Their hard work deserves to be recognized. The chair should create special recognition awards for each member of the committee. The committee should create a special thank you for the chair. Hard work needs to be recognized for people to return to help in future events. Likewise, individual and corporations who contribute substantially to your event should be recognized. A reward system should be put into place at the beginning of the event and potential sponsors should be made aware of what rewards are available. Different levels can be put in place depending on the amount donated.

(To be continued)