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August 26, 2014

First & Last Impressions

A smooth registration desk and efficient auction check-out are critical to the success of your fundraising auction event. The registration desk is your first impression and sets up guest expectations for your event. The event can be a great party and run perfectly smooth but if winning bidders have a bad difficulty or a long wait when they check-out, the entire experience can be ruined.

A major key is figuring out the staffing.

I recommend 1 registration station for every 100 guests as a general rule. If you know you’re collecting additional info from guests as they arrive or if you have the kind of crowd that arrives all at once, rather than trickling in, then increase this to 1 station for every 75 guests.

In addition to registrars, I schedule runners to assist the staff on the front line. Runners can assist by pulling name tags, bid paddles, and other collateral that your guests may need to receive. Runners can also help with trouble shooting by calling for a supervisor or senior staff member when necessary.

If you’ve worked (or attended) even one event then you know that at some point there will be a line. It’s almost impossible to avoid. So schedule a couple of people for line management. Guests will naturally gravitate toward the first registration desk they see after entering your event. Have friendly staff on hand to help alert guests to open registration desks to keep the lines moving along.

For check-out, I find it’s best to keep the same basic staff in place for consistency. Your registration staff saw every guest on their way in, so why not have them be familiar faces as guests leave? Though you’ll have fewer guests that need to avail themselves of auction check-out, the transactions take longer than registration so I like to keep the number of stations the same. After the initial crush is over, you can start closing some stations early for a staggered staff release.

Your registrars will become cashiers. Runners can assist with retrieving auction items, distributing gift bags, collecting name tags, and helping with parking validation. Again, I find that staff to help with the line management can be helpful to keep everything running smoothly.

And that’s it. The work is simple but critical, but if you think through your process and staff appropriately, then your registration and auction check-out can run like a dream.

Categories: Auction Logistics | Tags: | Posted by: admin

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