Map the Way to Fundraising Success!
In the fundraising and benefit auction world, big beautiful signs are a must to keep your guests in the know, and get them to where you need them to be – as close as possible to the fundraising action!
Great signage at live events enhances your guests’ overall experience, and in turn, your bottom line. From arrival to departure, use signage to help guests get where you want them to be and let them know what’s happening next.
Think of signs as another informational tool (along with announcements from your professional Benefit Auctioneer and guidance from volunteers and staff) to help guests find the important pit stops – check-in, revenue streams, bars, tables, check-out, and so on. Without large, clear signage, guests can become confused, frustrated and angry – exactly what you DON’T want at a live event!
Great Signage = Positive Guest Experience
You probably know the venue well, but put yourself in your guests’ shoes. Imagine you know nothing about the room, the night, the activities, the entertainment – and ask yourself what you need to know to get the most out of the night. A little exercise like that will put you in the right mindset to guide your guests through the entire event.
Big, bold signs from the entrance of the venue to check-in are needed. If the registration table isn’t close to the entrance, or it’s on another floor, you’ll want even more signs leading people directly to it.
Large signs leading people to your silent auction(s) are a must. If you’re offering a green line or lucky line silent auction raffle, indicate that clearly on your signage. If you have three silent auction sections closing at different times – try categorizing them into gold, silver and bronze. We also recommend posting the closing times on your signs so there’s zero confusion.
Let your signs tell your buyers everything they’ll need to know (so your volunteers don’t have to) – how much are raffle tickets? What is the prize? When will the winner be drawn? How do I buy? We’ve seen much success with a sign-indicated “raffle station,” alerting guests what they could win and when the drawing will take place. Pro tip: be sure your guests know who’s selling raffle tickets by arming your sales folks with colorful clothing, hats, light-up bling – we’re also fans of huge balloons attached to the sellers’ clipboards! Let all salespeople be seen aerially, when possible.
There are as many ways to conduct a wine wall as there are bottles to sell – which is why it’s important to provide succinct signage explaining the rules of the one at your particular event. Are there any high-value or specialty bottles, or surprise prizes? Indicate that on your signage, in addition to highlighting the price per bottle, spin or pull.
Other Revenue Streams
With ALL your revenue streams, it’s important to have signage that clearly state the rules, details and descriptions. For example, if you have a table full of mystery boxes for sale, indicate the cost AND the possibilities of what could be in there!
Put Yourself in their Shoes
Again, pretend you’re a guest at your event and you don’t know anything about it. You walk in – what do you immediately want to know? Where’s the silent auction? Where’s the bar? Who’s selling raffle tickets, and what might I win if I buy one? What time is dinner? WHERE will we eat dinner? Every potential question you (as a pseudo guest) can think of should be answered with big beautiful signs!
Placing signs on easels or on tables is just “fine.” But remember, we’re focusing on your guests’ experience, and “fine” is never good enough. Events are often dimly lit – plus they get crowded, and before you know it, people are blocking others’ views of the signs, or the signs are getting knocked down and stepped on. Avoid these pitfalls by getting vertical! Hang signs from the ceiling, above the center of the action (and well lit) if possible.
When sign-making, keep in mind the room will likely be dim and crowded. Make them large and brightly-colored. The smallest size you should even consider is 18”x 24”. Making them even bigger will ensure your signs get seen AND read!
For more tips on great signage at your next virtual gala or in-person event, reach out. We can’t wait to work with you and share our tried and true methods of keeping your guests in the loop using great signs. Help do more good by making it easier to support your cause. Together, we can change the world one fundraising event at a time.