That’s where the best and brightest from the benefit world plan to meet, Sept. 12-13, for the Benefit Auction Summit. The event, which will take place at the Admiral Fell Inn, is open to all Auctioneers and will include a “Crab Feast” dinner from the Auctioneers Association of Maryland on Sept. 11.
The first day of the summit features a presentation from Darron Meares, CAI, BAS, MPPA, of Meares Auction Group, Pelzer, S.C.
The session, “Understanding Generational Differences in Order to Facilitate Change for Your Clients,” is designed to help Auctioneers provide their clients with a better understanding of their audiences, no matter what the demographics, Meares says.
One of the biggest challenges in benefit auctions is getting younger buyers to spend money, Meares says. Many of them feel the cost of a dinner ticket is the end of the charitable donation.
Meares says young people have the money to spend, but it’s up to the Auctioneer to change the way they think about giving. So, in his presentation, Meares says he will discuss how benefit Auctioneers can connect young people to certain causes and “pull the right strings” to encourage increased bidding.
One way in which Auctioneers can better relate to younger generations is through social media. It’s not enough, Meares says, to simply have a presence on a website such as Facebook.
Rather, Auctioneers must know how to use the sites for specific business purposes, and he plans to provide some best practices, such as how to effectively invite people to events via social media.
Above all, Meares says Auctioneers should attend the summit to network with fellow National Auctioneers Association members.
“Anybody that wants to either get into the benefit auction area or excel their business should come to the event because of the exchange of ideas,” he says.
Jason Demicheli, BAS, of Portland, Ore., who attended last year’s Benefit Auction Summit in San Antonio, says other benefit Auctioneers helped him gauge what was and wasn’t working across the country. He took back to his company new auctioneering methods and ideas that ultimately rewarded his benefit auction clients.
“It’s going to help you understand how to make your benefit auctions more effective and how to bring in more money,” Demicheli says.
Something else that could help increase the bottom line for benefit auctions is media exposure, and that’s something Bill Menish, CAI, AARE, BAS, of Menish Auctions, Louisville, Ky., plans to help Auctioneers better understand.
An Auctioneer and 20-year veteran in broadcast journalism, Menish will present “Managing the Media: In Front of the Camera or Behind the Microphone.”
He says his presentation will focus on how Auctioneers can get the attention of media outlets before, during and after auctions. He also will reveal best practices for preparing for interviews and other media opportunities.
Menish says it’s easier to get stories picked up than many Auctioneers might think; however, they have to know how to define the newsworthiness of their events in order to attract producers and editors.
“Auctions have never been as prevalent and as commonplace in the vernacular as much as they are today,” Menish says, referring to auction-based TV programs and news stories covering auctions of celebrity memorabilia.
Menish strongly recommends Auctioneers build relationships with members of the media in their communities.
“The same thing that gets you auctions in the nonprofit world will get you the attention in the media world,” he says. “You have to build strong relationships so that when you call, you get the phone call answered.”
In addition to his career as an Auctioneer, Menish is an anchor for NBC affiliate WAVE 3 News in Louisville. Menish has won 15 Emmy Awards and the Edward R. Murrow Award.