In the last blog we talked about my day leading up to a live auction. I told you how I prepare. What I review. When I eat. What I load into my car. What I do on the way to the venue. And then I stopped at my arrival. So, now let’s continue my journey from the first hello to the final thank you and goodbye.
By the time I arrive at the venue I pretty much have my game face on. I know what I need to do. I know who I need to meet prior to the live auction.
But, the first major item on my agenda is the all important – in fact crucial – sound check and meeting with the sound engineers. Unless they are totally in sync with me – and know the program from start to finish – the auction will not have the professional atmosphere I demand and that could reflect on the charity’s bottom line.
After coordinating the sound check I meet with the volunteers and other staff members who will be working with me, especially the recorders, clerks and bid-spotters.
30 minutes before the auction begins is ME TIME. I don’t want anyone to talk to me unless it is absolutely necessary. This is when my final game face goes on and I totally focus on the task ahead – the charity that is depending on me to deliver – and the families my effort will help. So please. No idle chit-chat.
With 10 minutes to go – I like to be alone. I need to review my final preparations. I need total focus. I need my head clear. And then, the adrenaline begins to flow. I’m getting amped up. I’m being introduced. I’m walking into the room. I scan the crowd quickly. And think to myself; “Hello folks. Game On!”
From here on out – it’s all fun. All the preparation, work, meetings, phone conferences, research and planning comes out as the first auction item is revealed and doesn’t stop until the last one is sold.
When the event concludes and the attendees begin heading toward the exits – with adrenaline still high – I make a point to personally thank every major bidder as well as the organizers for the event.
As the ambassador for the organization, at least for that night, I feel it is my responsibility to shake every hand I can – and in return – help those high-bidding heroes bond tighter with the charity. I don’t do this out of obligation, but rather as a heartfelt thank you.
Occasionally, a well-intended person will approach me after the event and say, “WOW. You make pretty good money for just an hour or two of work!” I simply smile and respond, “Yes, I do.”
But, as they walk away I reflect on the past 6 months or longer that I’ve worked with the charity. All the meetings. All the phone calls. All the planning. All the detail. And, as those “well-intended” walk out the door I smile and think to myself, “If they only knew! If they only knew!”