The Eventful Company staff are true professionals and masters at the art of event planning! They always see the big
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Scott Robertson Auctioneers
August 22, 2011

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Fundraising Event Guest Touches: Registration and Check-Out

Our company lives by a very simple motto: the best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today. We also discuss this with our clients as it pertains to their work. One of the premier opportunities for a charitable organization to do good work is through a fundraiser. As the name suggests, it is geared towards raising money to support the organization’s mission. Beyond that, a fundraiser also provides an opportunity to increase awareness for the organization, build ties with the community, and develop long-term donors. An event also provides many touch points with your guests.

The registration is their “first touch” with the guest and the check-out is their “last touch.” Our clients are very aware that if you have a misstep at either of these two “touch points,” the guest may take away a negative first or last impression of the entire event. So do you really want to negate all of the positive things that you plan to accomplish at your fundraiser by making a mistake with registration or check-out?
What typically causes these back-ups is that most of their guests arrive at the same time and within a few minutes, the spacious registration area looks like a crowded New York subway station. The same scenario can be applied to the auction check-out at the end of the evening. In many cases, the check-out is even more complicated because guests are notorious for wanting to leave immediately after the Live Auction is complete. This creates two major challenges for event staff and volunteers—too many guests at once and very little time to prepare their final purchase tally.

Since so many clients came to us with this problem, Eventful modified and fine-tuned manual registration/check-out procedures many times. Ultimately, we did an industry-wide search for software systems that addresses our client’s challenges. Our research led us to a great system using Auction Maestro™ software, which is an integrated event management database software. Auction Maestro™ is a multi-faceted, extensive software, which became the foundation upon which the Eventful solution was built

Our staff was initially trained by the company’s CEO/Founder and has continued to expand our knowledge through extensive training so that we could capitalize on ALL of the software’s capabilities. The software became the building block to develop event procedures that address the challenges that were described in the second paragraph.
The software enables us to swipe all major credit cards at registration so that the card is on file for any evening purchase. Similar to guest registration at a hotel, guests receive a number, which is used for ALL auction, raffle, and other purchases during the evening. Guests use their number to bid on the auction or purchase raffle tickets or participate in other games throughout the evening. Since the guests are not using a credit card or cash for each individual purchase, they typically spend more during the evening.
At the end of the event, the guest receives a printed invoice with a listing of the purchases during the evening. If they provided their card at the registration desk, the guest does not need to pay at the end of the evening. The guest just stops to pick up their auction items and their receipt. It is simple, quick and efficient. The attendee is happy and the host organization is thrilled that the guest’s last touch is a positive one. A happy guest is likely to support the organization in the future. To top that off, complete printed and electronic financial summaries of the event proceeds will be provided to the event organizers before they leave the event so that they can share the results to any of their constituents immediately.
As you plan your next fundraiser, consider this: will the registration and check-out procedures allow our organization to do good work today?

Lori Cook North
The Eventful Company