Message Boards



The forum is in read only mode.

Welcome to the Message Boards
Join the conversation! No soliciting or ads, please. Registration is not required but encouraged to get the most out of our community features.

Looking for advice? Join us on Facebook

Get advice, ideas, and support from other parent group leaders just like you—join our closed Facebook group for PTO and PTA Leaders & Volunteers .

Auction Night Timeline

9 years 2 months ago #156743 by Roger.Devine
After volunteering at some of our customer's events this year, I think I want to write an eBook on event-night management. The variation in expertise out there is pretty huge - I've seen school auctions that have an org chart and run with military precision, and ones at the other end of the spectrum. All of which deserve success, and all of which have taught me something.

Here's the timeline I'm going to use at the Robert Gray Middle School auction on April 8th. Note - we are not serving dinner, just heavy appetizers and dessert.

2:00 pm - we get in to the space

2:00 - 5:30 pm: set up silent auction tables, front-desk area (for check-in, item sales and check-out), guest tables, and stage.

5:30 pm - Front-desk training. Will-call setup.

6:00 pm - Doors open. Check-in and Silent Auction bidding begins

7:15 pm - First Silent Auction closing. Data Entry begins. Will-call volunteers start bagging items.

7:45 pm - Second Silent Auction closing. Signup Party Boards closing.

7:50 pm - Guests move to tables; dessert is served

8:00 pm - Introduction of Auctioneer and M.C.

8:05 pm - Live Auction (this is going to be small; 7-10 items plus a paddle raise)

8:45 pm - Dancing; check-out opens; will-call (item pickup) begins

10:00 pm - Music stops; Clean-up begins.

10:30 pm - Will-call closes.

11:00 pm - Clean-up is done; we all go home

It isn't going to be a complicated auction; probably 50 or so silent-auction items, plus 5-6 party boards & the live auction; 120 guests or so. And it is a really mellow crowd; the parents at our school generally have been attending school auctions for 6-9 years at this point. So everyone pretty much knows what to do, and I expect it to go pretty smoothly. We did a volunteer-swap with an area preschool, so our front-desk and will-call people won't need to go bid and drink and schmooze during the event; they can just work (like we did at their auction last month).

I'm contemplating trying a no-check-out plan; where we require guests swipe their cards and give us an email address at check-in; then we can just have guests go straight to will-call and get their stuff on their way home. I need to talk this over with the team a little further to see how comfortable they are with this, but I volunteered at a local charity event last weekend where we pulled this off and it was pretty cool. Everyone just went home; no lines.

Roger Devine
2011 Robert Gray Middle School Auction Chair
The following user(s) said Thank You: xanshark
8 years 7 months ago #158960 by Nicole
Replied by Nicole on topic Re:Auction Night Timeline

How did the timeline work for you? I'm especially interested in the credit card swipe. Last year we used Square to process payments so I'm trying to figure out if I can have everyone sign up for square ahead of time and see if that hurries check out along.

Also, what's a signup party board?
8 years 7 months ago #158961 by Roger.Devine
Hi Nicole,

Square won't store the card numbers for you at check-in; it will only process the cards at check-out. Send me an email (roger at schoolauction dot net) and we can talk more about how your school can set things up so you can swipe at check-in, and hold the card numbers for express check-out.

The timeline worked as planned; we had a lovely event.

Signup parties go under a lot of different names - easel parties, pay-to-plays, etc. They are fixed-price items; the donor agrees to host some fun, themed party, and guests at your event sign up to attend it. They pay a fixed price for a "slot" - each slot allows one person to attend. I have a list of signup party ideas that I'm willing to share with you; I can't post it here, but email me and I will send it along.

8 years 1 month ago #160916 by Janine
Replied by Janine on topic Re:Auction Night Timeline
Our event isn't a large scale one, but it's my first year as chair of it, so I'd like some advice. The basket raffle/silent auction happens at school on the same night as open house. The open house happens from 6-7pm, so families go to their classes at some point during that time to see what their child has done during the year.
So we're thinking of starting to sell raffle tickets at 5pm. We'll have 30 or so baskets to raffle, plus 20 or so donations (usually tickets to museums and such) that will also be raffled. We won't have many silent auction items, maybe 10. Our school has a lot of low income families, so we like to have mostly raffle to give them a chance to win something without necessarily paying a lot.
When should we close the raffles? Last year they closed at 6:30, which seems way too early. I'm thinking that we should close one section at 6:45, then another at 6:55, then the silent auction at 7pm? People won't be expecting to stay very late.
Any suggestions would be welcome. Our event is taking place on May 17th.
8 years 4 weeks ago #160918 by Rose H
Replied by Rose H on topic Re:Auction Night Timeline
Hi Janine,

It does seem to make sense to stagger the end point of different raffles and the silent auction. That way, there isn't a mad rush. Plus, if you have lots of silent auction items, you can close it in two different stages. That way, you could get more bidding. If people miss the first cut off, they'll perhaps go for the second silent auction closing.

Hope that helps,

Rose C.
2 years 7 months ago #172136 by xanshark
Replied by xanshark on topic Auction Night Timeline
I found a pretty good list of resources here:

There is a pdf download of extra info, but I didn't check it out. It might be helpful
Time to create page: 0.352 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum
^ Top