Strategic Planning: After Parties with Red Apple Auctions
Hello my Fabulous Fundraisers! And welcome to Artisan Auctions! I’m your host Kelly Russell, and today we are joined by one of my fellow fabulous female auctioneers, the beautiful and talented Sherry Truhlar!
While we love the energy at our benefit auctions, we also love to see guests extend the night with a great Post Party. After all, guest already have the babysitter hired, why not take a night to give generously and spend time with your friends or significant other.
Ready? Let’s go raise some money!
Sherry is from the East Coast, and you all know I am from the West Coast, so let’s see how Post Parties vary from each side of the country. Sherry, how do you all host post parties?
Most of the post-parties I see are handled ON-SITE. Here’s an example.
One client reserved an outdoor pavilion at the hotel. When the program ended, guests were invited to the garden to enjoy cigars and a flaming coffee bar, which were underwritten by sponsors. And YES-- thanks to the addition of alcohol in the coffee, the drinks *were* flaming … at least for a few seconds.
Another client divided the ballroom into two sections. The first third of the ballroom where guests entered held the silent auction. The rest of the ballroom was the sit-down dinner. When guests left the silent auction to go eat, the ballroom’s airwall was pulled to physically separate the silent auction area from the sit-down dinner area.
Then, the committee got busy! All silent auction items were packaged and moved to a separate checkout area in the hallway, and the area that previously held the silent auction items was transformed with furniture and lighting. When guests re-entered the space after the program, they enjoyed lounge music, desserts, and evening cordials. It had the vibe of a club.
Interesting. I find many of our clients will host their after party OFF-SITE. Here’s a version of what we see on the West Coast.
Taking your after party off-site can be super helpful. One, it will get your attendees to a new location where they can have a great time into the morning hours while your committee can take care of cleaning up the venue. Once done, they can join the party-goers and dance the night away.
AND, if you pre-determine the location, such as a bar or dance club, not only can you invite folks who couldn’t make it to the fundraising auction, but you can get the bar or club to give a percentage of the bar proceeds back to your organization. I always like to start by asking for 20% of the bar tab from the hours after the event ends to closing time. After all, you are bringing 200-500 people to that location, post party. You can negotiate the percentage, but you get the idea. Keep your fundraising going as long as your attendees are out on the town.
Negotiating 20% of the tab is a great idea for boosting revenues, Kelly!
Sounds like we can share great ideas across the country for our post parties.
You bet, Sherry. No matter which way you decide to host your after party, we wish you great success on your Party with a Purpose - the benefit auction!