Fundraising Auctioneer - Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

Fundraising Auctioneer

Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog


Posted by Scott On October 16th

The Art of the Ringman

Benefit Auctioneers are comfortable in a room no matter the number of people.  However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need a little help on occasion.

Scott has a rule of thumb.  If the crowd size is 200 or less, he’s able to handle the auction depending on the configuration of the venue.  But for every 100 people above 200, he surrounds himself with expert ringmen. As an example, if the benefit auction had 500 guests, Scott would work with three ringman.  If there were 1,000 guests, Scott would have eight strategically placed around the room.

The ringman’s responsibilities are to observe the crowd and work with bidders and potential bidders, than pass that information to the benefit auctioneer through designated voice or hand signals.

A ringman’s job is not to just spot bids, but to solicit bids without being confrontational or offensive. That’s why Scott often prefers women ringmen at benefit auctions – a welcome change since most auctioneers and bid spotters are traditionally male.

A professional ringman also knows exactly where to stand as to not block the potential bidders’ view of the action – yet must always be within eyeshot of the auctioneer

And finally, bid spotters must develop a trust and really get to know the people in their section of the room.  Knowledge of the items up for auction is also crucial.  A quality ringman always completes his or her homework and is able to answer any questions coming from their assigned area regarding a particular item.

In large crowds, professional ringmen play an important role in the success of benefit auctions.  By connecting personally with the bidders and helping their bidding voices be heard, the ringmen help keep the momentum of the auction fast paced and exciting – and the charity comes out the winner.


1 Response

  1. Jonathan Says:

    Well, Phoebe is having a hard time sleep and every time I try and sleep I hear your voice saying ” I can’t believe you aren’t writing in your blog more! What is your deal, are you lazy?” So on my sencond trip up stairs to rocky, I decided that I write some blogs. That led me to checking yours out. I haven’t published any new ones yet, but since I am writing them at 1:30am I thought I would wait till tomorrow to proof them and make sure they still made sense. I haven’t gone through your whole site yet, but I will and let you know what I think. Also I will have to check out your facebook. That is one thing I despise dealing with, but feel that in order to get the word out I will have to be obnoxious about covering all of the angles.
    Oh, the real reason for writing this is now I see that I may never be called to be a ringman for you since you prefer to have woman do it. ha ha I thought that was clever. I like having Rachel help with it when she can, because she is good, but she claims I never hear her. I better go, I hear a little one calling my name. It will be a long and hopefully creative night. Take care and have a Happy Thanksgiving. Say hello to Mary for us. Jonathan

    Posted on November 21st, 2012 at 2:40 am

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