Picking Up Where We Left Off!

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2012 James Bond Gala at The Club

February, as everyone knows, is the heart of Gala Season in and around Birmingham – and we are off to a ROARing start!  In a twenty-one day span, from February 4th – February 25th, Granger Thagard Auctioneers collectively helped our clients raise over $1 million dollars at their benefit events.  Sounds impressive, right?  Well, it should.  But, if you’re going to be impressed, I ask that you not be so impressed with the numbers, but rather what can happen when some very simple steps are followed…when groups make a choice to stop fighting their own event and allow their fundraising professional, their auction marketing professional, to guide them to success. 

GTA + great event team = exceeding expectations

Some of the groups we spent six to nine months with.  Their event also had 500 attendees, so they really needed the extra plannning and time.  One group called us less than a month from their event.  While I do not advise that tactic, we were still able to make some tweaks to their event format, their live auction procurement and add a pledge element to their evening.  End result….130% increase over the previous year.  Another group, just two years ago, was hosting a heavy hors d’oeuvres event and making about $30,000 with their auction segment.  We all know by now that heavy hors d’oeuvres means you’re leaving money on the table, right?  Well, this group made some healthy format changes last year based on our advice (25 years in the business and over 500 benefit events, and yes, they moved to a seated dinner) and followed up this year with a $90,000 auction segment and a sold out room!  All you have to do is pick up the phone and call The Granger Thagard team!  We are here to make your work far more easier, your event much more smooth, your patrons happier, and most of all – your bank account larger!  After all, the goal is to actually raise more money at your fundraiser, right?

Happy Bidding! – Joey

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aTeam Ministries event - another successful year!

The Red Zone

Happy 2012 everyone!  Time for a new fundraising season.  I hope those of you who enjoyed newfound success with your event in 2011, using Granger Thagard, are ready to go to the NEXT level.  And, those who are still wondering why your event seems to have something missing – will give us a call.

So, I’m watching the Super Bowl right now and getting ready for Madonna’s halftime show to come on.  I just saw New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady go 3 for 3 in the RED ZONE and score a touchdown with eight seconds left in the first half.  Which made me think…how efficient is your event planning in the RED ZONE?  Didn’t know your event had a RED ZONE did you?  What you do in the last two weeks…what you do the day of…in the last two hours…that’s the RED Zone.

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What will you do when you get in the RED ZONE?

We see it all too often that a group will, for the most part, do things the right way for the six months leading up to their event.  Then, crunch time comes.  You’re getting those last silent auction items dragging in, you’re writing out bid sheets and you start to feel the reality of the “night of” timeline upon you.  Do you continue doing things the “right way”?  The way you all agreed was a better way in our auction boot camp six months earlier?  Or do you revert to the familiar…the way you’ve always done it (the way that hasn’t produced that WOW event over the years)?

What does Tom Brady do?  How does he handle the RED ZONE?  The answer is preparation, trust in the team and belief.  You can do the same.  Do everything possible ahead of time and trust the system.  We have an event this Saturday night that is having a full walk through today (Monday) – to make sure the volunteers are familiar with their duties, that the venue knows how the timeline will work with serving dinner in conjunction  with the live auction, venue layout and auction clerk instruction.  There shouldn’t be any surprises night of, and the venue staff should have their marching orders.  Better yet, the committee will all hear instruction one last time so everyone can have a calm week and be on the same page at the event.

Lastly, RED ZONE success has a lot to do with who you have taking the snaps.  Let Granger Thagard Auctioneers be your RED ZONE quarterback.  We’re prepared, we have a proven team and you can trust us to go 3 for 3 in the RED ZONE with your event’s success on the line.

Happy Bidding!  Joey

Granger Thagard Auctioneers

205.410.4357