CAI 2011 keeps students on edge of seats


Knowledgable speakers and exhilarating material educate and entertain

Following lunch breaks during CAI 2011, National Auctioneers Association member and CAI I student Sidney Smyth of Victoria, Va., says he didn’t have the “2 p.m.” feeling when he returned to classes.

Instead, he says he returned to the edge of his seat, ready for the next presenter, without “even thinking about yawning.”

“What was great to me is that so much of it was applicable to not only the auction business but to the traditional real estate sales business, which I’m active in,” he says.

Smyth says the CAI program exceeded his expectations. He was impressed with the NAA Education Institute’s choice of “top-notch” speakers, as well as the hidden benefit, he says, of networking and camaraderie with Auctioneers from across the U.S.

“I can’t wait until next year,” he says. “It was just really very, very informative. I was just totally blown away with what it had to offer.

“If auctioneering is your career and your passion, and you want to be the best at what you do, CAI will take you there.”

CAI 2011 took place March 20-25 on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

Fellow CAI I student Justin Vondenhuevel, CES, of Maplewood, Ohio, seems equally impressed with the educational event.

“From the very beginning of the program, it was something totally different than what I had expected,” Vondenhuevel says. “Very rarely do you walk away and you’ve got a light bulb in your head, and man, when I walked away from that, stuff was just pouring out my ears.”

He says he was intimidated at first, but once the classes began, he felt welcomed by fellow NAA Auctioneers. He says the interaction with fellow classmates during and after classes was especially important.

“It was a phenomenal, phenomenal program — cannot wait for next year,” he says.

Something new this year for the CAI program — in part to recognize its 35th anniversary — was CAI Next, a course provided to CAI designation holders.

Derek Gerstenschlager, CAI, CES, of Reliant Realty Auction Division, Nashville, Tenn., says he would have liked to spend four days with presenters Ann Bastianelli and Sam Richter, instead of just two days.

He says Bastianelli was motivational and “worth the price of admission,” and Richter stood out as one of the most well-prepared CAI presenters, Gerstenschlager says.

“He targeted almost everyone in our class and worked on our Achilles heel,” Gerstenschlager says. “That was amazing. I would have loved to have more time with Sam just to see how bad our Achilles heel really was.”

Richter showed the class of CAI-designation holders how they can best use information available on the Internet to improve their marketing efforts. Gerstenschlager says he doesn’t know of anything Richter provided that he couldn’t take back to his business.

“We all get complacent and lazy, and that man is far from complacent,” he says.

“We had a five-course meal, and then he gave us two desserts. How could he get any better? Having found him and Ann (Bastianelli) was amazing.”

Read the whole story in Auctioneer magazine.


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Filed under Auction Industry, Auction marketing, Auctioneer magazine, CAI, Education, NAA Members

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