Event Timeline and Best Practices
When planning an event, it helps to have an event timeline to help keep you and your team accountable for completing tasks throughout the months leading up to your event. Below is a great event timeline to think about for your next fundraiser or auction.
9 to 12 Months Out
Secure Venue Secure Auctioneer (if applicable)
Secure Guest of Honor/Emcee (if applicable)
Secure Food Vendor
Secure Auction/Event Management/Mobile Bidding Company
6 to 9 Months Out
Create Event Ticket Page
Create Auction Donation Form
Send Save the Date Email Out
Start Marketing your Event (Social Media/Email/Newsletters/etc.)
3 to 9 Months Out
Start asking for Sponsorships and Donations for Auction
30 Days Out
Send Final Push for Ticket Sales and Auction Items
2 Weeks Out
STOP receiving Auction Items and Start Packaging!
1 Week Out
Finalize Auction Packages to create Displays and Bid Sheets for Print
3 Days to 7 Days Out
Finalize Guest List – Get as many Names and Emails as possible! (this helps both Auction Company and Food Vendors/Venue for Final Headcount)
A FEW BEST PRACTICES TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING YOUR AUCTION
More Items DOES NOT equate to more Money! LESS IS MORE!
Assign Everything a Number (Packages, Raffle Tickets, Bidders, Everything!)
DO NOT CHECK-IN ALPHABETICALLY! (this actually takes longer at Check-In. Let your guests Check-In at any Laptop for Check-In and look up their last name in the system you are using to find their Bidder # or Add Bidder # as Guests walk in)
10% Rule | Try to keep your auction packages at about 10% of the guest count (Example: 400 Guests = 40 Auction Packages)…this used to be 20%, but, Increase in Value + Less Items = More Competition + Increase in Auction Revenue (typically)
TIME. TIME. TIME. Be sure to allocate enough time for you to update the Guest List and Auction Packages. To properly market the companies that are donating to your event, you need time to create displays and programs in a timely manner.
Most Revenue tends to come from Live Auction and Paddles Up/Fund A Need. Try and find someone close to your organization to talk about the mission at your event so they can see exactly where the money they are donating goes towards.
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