Allen’s Party Blog

Top Tips for Improving Your Charity Auction Proceeds →

Auctions, silent, live, and big board, are great ways to raise more money during fundraisers. Great auctions are built on powerful CONNECTIONS between the buyer (your donor) and the seller (your fine organization). As an entertainer, I am constantly looking for ways to build rapport and strengthen the connection between the audiences and the performers—and an auctioneer is a performer.
Here are my top tips to make more money from your auction and for your cause by setting up the auctioneer and your guests for success:

1. Always sell your organization rather than selling a bargain. Your organization does great work to empower people and help our community. Your service is powered by money and caring people. If your donors were solely motivated by bargains they’d eat fast food or rice and beans rather than paying $500 (or more) to attend your gala. Your donors believe in your organization and are attending to provide financial support to you. Remember all of your donors contributions are based on your great work!

2. Always say THANK YOU and appreciate every single bidder that wants to give you money!

3. Don’t publish market value of auction items! You are not a retail store. Auctions are a competition between two or more buyers that want the same item. Showing people that they can buy the auction item for $2,500 at the store means they won’t pay more to buy it from you, even though the money they spend with you goes to your programs!

4. Just because you like selling something doesn’t mean someone else wants to buy it! Everyone loves puppies, but not everyone is willing to make a lifelong commitment to a dog you have picked for them.

5. No one buys an auction item because it is a valuable item—they only buy it if they want it.

6. Invest in a professional auctioneer! A professional auctioneer practices and improves their craft every day. They are personally motivated to maximize the proceeds from your auction! They know how to build rapport with your donors and create competition to drive bids. A professional auctioneer can pay for themselves by generating higher returns on one or two auction items.

Your CEO, board chair, or superstar volunteer might be gregarious and incredibly successful at work, but that doesn’t always mean that person can step into the auctioneer role. Let them contribute by bidding, mingling with donors, sharing their passion for your mission, and encouraging others to bid.

7. More auction items do not automatically mean more money. Too many items overwhelm guests, and similar items dilute the value of each one.

8. Make sure you have good spotters and cues for live auctions. Spotters are a key part of the experience. Give them cowbells, whistles, or something else that makes noise when you get a new bid. This helps the auctioneer and creates excitement.

9. Order of live auction items is key. The first item should not be the most expensive or most difficult item to sell, but a warm-up that will attract plenty of bidding, allow donors to test the waters, and give the auctioneer time to build rapport with the audience.

10. Always ask for money to support your services after the live auction. Some people call these paddles up or service sales. I’ve seen health care providers ask everyone in the audience for $100 to provide mammograms, $500 to help pay the light bill, or $3,000 to provide a single scholarship. This raises money while connecting donors to exactly what you do.
Participation is key on this one. 10 people donating $100 is generally easier than finding one person to donate $1,000, so start with the lower-dollar options that give more people the ability to participate. Of course, if you can find 10 people to donate $1,000 at once, GO FOR IT!!!! Did I mention that these items are 100% margin and are already part of your daily activities?

11. Smile and have FUN!

12. Pre-sell – don’t wait until the night of the gala to let your donors know what you are offering! Send a mass email or just pick up the phone and call a few donors about auction items you think they will want. The longer your donors have to think about winning a particular auction item, the more they will bid competitively to make sure they win.

Have a great auction and thank you for the great work you do improving our community.

Posted by Allen on July 14, 2014

Free, Family Friendly and FUN Concerts at Discovery Green →

The Discovery Green Thursday Concert series is always a great experience and I am honored to work with one of Houston’s finest parks!  When I book the artists to perform each season, I focus on performers that have a universal and high-energy level.  Kids are great FUN and talent judges.  While very few of the performers sing about nursery school, all of the performers deliver their songs with pure conviction and energy that delights kids of all ages.

All of these concerts are FREE, family friendly, and tons of FUN.  The shows always start at 6:30 pm.  The spring series kicks off on Thursday, May 8 and concludes on Thursday, June 26!
Check out the spring line up below and just click on the artists’ pictures to learn more about each group!

May 8: Bill Kirchen & The Hollisters
Twang o Rama!
Saint Arnold Recycling Night – Double Your Reward Points by Recycling your empty 6, 12, and 24 pack Saint Arnold carriers!  Click here for more information on Saint Arnold recycling!

Bill Kirchenweb

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May 15: Chuck Mead of BR-549 and His Grassy Knoll Boys
Deep Cuts Open

Chuck Meadweb

DeepCutsweb

May 22: Quiet Company
Finnegan Opens

Quiet Companyweb

Finneganweb

May 29: Kashmere Reunion Stage Band
Peterson Brothers Open
Saint Arnold Recycling Night – Double Your Reward Points by Recycling your empty 6, 12, and 24 pack Saint Arnold carriers!  Click here for more information on Saint Arnold recycling!

KahmereReunionStageBandweb

Peterson Brothersweb

June 5: Little Joe Y Familia
Daheebeegeebees Open

Little Joe web

DaHeBeGeBeesweb

June 12: Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band
Zydeco Dots Open

CoreyLedetweb

ZydecoDots

June 19: SKYROCKET!

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June 26: Archie Bell, Barbara Lynn, and Larry Lange and His Lonely Knights
Saint Arnold Recycling Night – Double Your Reward Points by Recycling your empty 6, 12, and 24 pack Saint Arnold carriers!  Click here for more information on Saint Arnold recycling!

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LarryLangeandhisLonelyKnights

Posted by Allen on March 20, 2014

Happy New Year →

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Thank you for a 2013 full of FUN!

Posted by Allen on December 30, 2013

Kelly Clarkson is right again: Let’s Hire a Band! →

Over my performing career, I’ve been lucky to entertain and create joy for thousands of people. From the stage, I have a vantage point. Whether it’s a heartfelt moment between the bride and groom during their first dance, grandparents leading the charge on the dance floor, or the best man doing the gator, I get to see it happen and watch the fun fill the room.

As a booking agent, my goal is always to help you set the stage for magical moments. As a participant in so many joyous celebrations it is natural for me to visualize the success of your party. While guests are always welcome on my stage, not everyone has had the opportunity to see from the front row just how much fun a group of people can have at a great party.

I thought about this while watching Kelly Clarkson’s latest video, Tie It Up. You can feel the excitement as she shows highlights from a bunch of successful receptions.The fun she showcases in the video shows the magic that can happen when your party boils over and takes on a life of its own that you and your guests will never forget.

And, of course, how could I do anything but endorse her advice—let’s hire a band!

Posted by Allen on August 26, 2013

Dance Floor, Staging, and Band Power Tips →

The size and location of both the dance floor and the band’s performance area are key factors in a successful dance party with fun live music. I am always happy to walk through your venue with you to fine tune these details. In the meantime, here are a few tips and guidelines to help prepare for a great night of dancing: Continue reading »

Posted by Allen on July 25, 2013

Top Tips for Hiring the Perfect Wedding Band →

Great wedding bands unify multiple generations by getting all age groups to the dance floor throughout the night. By playing fun, recognizable songs the right band can help you create memories that will last a life time.

I can help you make the search process a fun and easy experience as we find the best band for your celebration. After a quick conversation to learn more about your favorite types of music, party setting, and fun surprises I will put together a short list of great options for you to hear in action. Continue reading »

Posted by Allen on June 19, 2013

More Agents, More Options? Think Twice, Call Once →

Calling more than one agent at a time can actually make it harder, not easier, for you to find a great band for your party. Here’s why.

Bands and agents have long-term relationships, and the business has its own rules that almost all professionals follow: Continue reading »

Posted by Allen on June 4, 2013

The Right Band for Your Fundraising Gala →

Galas can inspire your supporters, staff, clients, and the community that you benefit with your programs, but as with any complex project with critical goals and multiple audiences, gala planning can be stressful. 

As your agent, I can be helpful during the planning process to reduce stress and set up everyone—you, your guests, and the band—for success. Here are my thoughts on the questions I hear most often from event managers and gala volunteers: Continue reading »

Posted by Allen on May 6, 2013

I’m Allen Hill & I’m Ready to Help You Turn Up the FUN on Your Party! →

Howdy and thanks for checking out my party blog!

I use this blog to share tips, successes, best practices, and observations from throughout my career as a booking agent, entertainer, host, and guest at an extremely wide range of celebrations. Continue reading »

Posted by Allen on May 1, 2013

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