On Saturday night, I had the pleasure of serving as the auctioneer for a rather large gala and benefit auction at a beautiful hotel in Cambridge. The room was lovely. The food plentiful and elegant. The perfect centerpieces graced the tables. The band played soft background music, people were dressed to the nines...EVERYTHING was WRONG!!
Despite all the loveliness, I think the folks running the show forgot why they, and 250 guests were there. Unfortunately I was called to "strictly" serve as the auctioneer, but they did NOT consult with me prior to their planning. There are ways to produce the highest possible proceeds from your silent and live auction, but...in this case, virtually none of those were utilized. For example, we were in a GIANT room, with the silent auction table looking like a runway along the wall on one side of the room. On the other side, WAAAAAAY across the dance floor, and along the opposite wall, was the splendor of an overwhelming hors deurve table with sides of beef, lamb chops, and other tasty treats. Guess where the crowd was!! Had this been a cruise ship, it would have been tipping to one side. Great way to get the crowd to ignore the silent auction table. Next time...Please pass the shrimp... to the other side of the room!!