Fundraising events are a vital source of revenue for organizations, and auctions are one of the most effective ways to generate funds. However, conducting a successful auction is not as easy as it sounds. 

Although some organizations will ask a volunteer or local celebrity to conduct their auction in an effort to save on costs, it often becomes apparent that conducting a successful auction requires specialized skills and expertise. This is where a benefit auctioneer comes in! Hiring such an auctioneer can make a significant difference in the success of your fundraising event.

Let’s start with a simple question: What is a benefit auctioneer? A benefit auctioneer is a professional who specializes in conducting auctions at fundraising events. Their role is not only to facilitate the auction but also to create an engaging and exciting atmosphere that encourages guests to bid generously. A benefit auctioneer must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to connect with guests and build a rapport with them.

A benefit auctioneer with a BAS (Benefit Auction Specialist) certification has undergone extensive training through the National Auctioneers Association, and has demonstrated a high level of proficiency in conducting benefit auctions. This certification provides event organizers with the assurance that they are hiring a qualified and experienced professional. Currently, there are only about 200 individuals in the United States who hold this certification, and our very own John Bessolo is one of them

In addition to facilitating a great live auction on your event day, a benefit auctioneer can also help to advise and guide you throughout your event planning process. Below are some of the ways that a benefit auctioneer can help make your event great:

  • Maximizing Revenue – A benefit auctioneer has the experience and expertise to maximize the revenue generated from the auction. They know the ins and outs of auctions and can provide guidance before your event day on the best auction items to offer, the order in which they should be presented, and how to structure the bidding process to encourage higher bids.
  • Engaging the Audience – An auction is only successful if people are willing to bid on items. A benefit auctioneer knows how to create a fun and engaging atmosphere that encourages guests to participate in the auction. They are skilled in building excitement and energy in the room, which can help to increase the number of bidders and the amount of money raised.
  • Professionalism – A benefit auctioneer, particularly one with a BAS certification, is a trained and experienced professional. They understand the importance of maintaining a high level of professionalism throughout the event. This includes everything from dressing appropriately to handling any unexpected situations that may arise during the auction. This can help to create a seamless and enjoyable event for guests.
  • Networking Opportunities – A professional benefit auctioneer has worked with many different organizations and individuals. They can advise on ways to leverage your existing network to help benefit your fundraising event. They may also make recommendations on other event vendors, and may even connect you with organizations that may help you acquire items and experiences for your auction.
  • Enhanced Guest Experience – A benefit auctioneer is skilled in creating a memorable and enjoyable experience for guests. They know how to engage with the audience and create an atmosphere of excitement and fun. This not only helps to increase the number of bidders and the amount of money raised but also leaves guests with a positive impression of the event and organization. A successful benefit auction can be the highlight of a fundraising event, and the right benefit auctioneer can help to ensure that guests leave feeling satisfied and happy with their experience.

Ok, you’re thinking this all sounds amazing…but what about the cost? It’s true that hiring a professional benefit auctioneer will cost more than having a volunteer do it. However, your benefit auctioneer is the one vendor who exists SOLELY to help you raise more money! Although a caterer, DJ, or photographer will absolutely help to enhance your event, none of them will be directly appealing to your guests for donations. The auctioneer serves as a representative of the organization, and most organizations report a substantial increase in fundraising success when they hire a professional to handle this most important task. 

Pro tip: Many of our clients have found success by asking a sponsor to underwrite the cost of the auctioneer. 

Hiring a benefit auctioneer can be an excellent investment for any organization. The benefits (pun intended) go far beyond just facilitating the auction itself. An experienced auctioneer can maximize revenue, engage the audience, save time and effort, provide professionalism, offer expertise in benefit auctions, provide networking opportunities, consulting, and enhance the overall guest experience. 

If you are ready to work with a BAS professional, or just want to learn even more about what benefit auctioneers have to offer, feel free to reach out to us here at Johnny B. Auction!