Dynamic Duos For In-Person Fundraising Events
Whether you’re hosting a virtual event, an in-person event or a combination of the two, your auctioneer and emcee can make or break your fundraiser. While a lot of orgs rely on a charismatic board member or Executive Director to fill the emcee role, we often realize better results when utilizing professionals in both these roles. Here’s why having a Dynamic Duo (auctioneer+emcee) will translate into a better experience for all involved – and more importantly, more money raised for your org.
Are you glossophobic? You probably are! Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking. It’s estimated that nearly 75% of people experience it on some level, whether it presents itself with sweaty palms and racing hearts, or full-blown panic attacks. Either way, it’s extremely uncomfortable for an audience to witness. Your auctioneer/fundraising ambassador IS comfortable on stage; it’s a key part of the job. A professional emcee has similar training. Watching two pros play off of each other AND the crowd puts your crowd at ease – the opposite of the feeling that a non-professional emcee can give rise to. You’ve probably seen someone moonlight as an emcee, right? They may earn an A for effort, but it likely wasn’t an enjoyable experience for you and your fellow guests. Watching someone struggle on stage is downright painful and memorable in the worst possible way. Don’t let your mission be overshadowed or even forgotten, when all anyone can think or talk about is how awkward the on-stage performance was.
SOS with Improv Skills
Improv skills are key in an environment where despite our best planning efforts, the unexpected can and does arise, more often than not! It’s a live show, folks. Anything can happen! When it does, only a pair of pros can salvage the night. Professionals are flexible and can pivot gracefully, turning crazy and potentially disastrous hiccups into memorable moments. That’s because our great auctioneers and emcees have mad improv skills. In addition to their years of experience with events, both virtual and in-person, many have backgrounds in the performing arts, improv, comedy, digital and/or voiceover work.
Think of the peace of mind you’ll enjoy, knowing that if something were to go wrong, the night isn’t memorable for ALL the wrong reasons. Or worse yet, completely ruined!
Keep Donors Engaged
We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again – a bored crowd is disengaged – therefore, rarely generous. Donors will never be bored with a fabulous emcee at the helm. Emcees understand the importance of pacing and momentum. They work hard to keep the live program on time and on topic. They make sure donors are with them. They are there specifically to enhance overall guest experience. They can do anything from getting guests to where they need to be, to making them laugh, to ushering speakers on and off stage, to delivering succinct mission language with flair. The more fun your guests have, the more likely they are to support your cause. And talk about what a great time they had for weeks after! Word-of-mouth publicity is invaluable.
We REPRESENT You
Your auctioneer and your emcee are your mission’s brand ambassadors. They represent you – good, bad or indifferent. If you cannot be absolutely certain that what they put out there is what you desire, then there’s room for disaster. Professional emcees and benefit auctioneer specialists, in contrast, are masters of this work and genuinely love what they do and for whom. They love YOU. Our professional emcees don’t simply show up and read their script cold. They ALWAYS do their homework and they ALWAYS represent your org as their own – it IS their own – during your event and beyond. We’re ready and eager to provide you with a duo who can play off each other, ignite the energy and professionally DELIVER.
Professionally Poised at All Times
As the word implies, a pro is also professional. This is their job and they take your event success very seriously. Pros will schedule long in advance, communicate clearly, manage your expectations, deliver the services they are contracted to, arrive on time, dress appropriately, stay sober…the list goes on and on. Do you really want to risk your event’s success on an unknown? We don’t advise it.
Ready For Your Homework?
Attend all the events. Shake down your network. And determine who locally is rocking the emcee world. Meet and get to know them. Appreciate their work. Then put them to work at YOUR next event! We have an tensive list of emcees we love working with and highly recommend. Or let’s keep it in the family, shall we? All of our auctioneers also serve as professional emcees when not busy fundraising. Every. Single. One. We boast emcee services from the ever entertaining (dancing, signing, songwriting) professional emcees Amanda Valley and the bilingual and oh-so-righteous Roberto Suarez.
With all this said, we understand some orgs have their reasons for asking someone from their own network to serve as emcee. We get it and we won’t hold it against you! BUT, if you’re not using a professional, here are some crucial things to go over with your emcee before the event:
*Read it over completely before the event. You can always tell when someone is reading cold. It doesn’t sound good.
*Are there any unfamiliar names and/or places in your script? Make sure you ask for pronunciations. There’s not much that will sink an emcee’s credibility faster than mispronouncing names.
*Is there an event theme or a color scheme? Find out what your auctioneer is wearing. It can be fun to coordinate looks and/or colors. Then you can joke about getting the memo. (Does that joke ever get old?)
*Take care of your moneymaker! Rest it a night or two before the event.
*Drink water. Ice water isn’t ideal; it can be hard on your vocal cords.
*Warm up your voice through facial exercises and blow raspberries to loosen up your lips.
*Make enunciation easier by reciting some tongue-twisters before you take the stage. Irish wristwatch. Unique New York. What are your favorite tongue-twisters??
We can provide some more emcee guidelines, if you do have your own reasons for using someone from your network. But we DO strongly believe that hiring a professional emcee is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for fundraising success. Schedule your free consultation and let us provide you with a Dynamic Duo for your next fundraising event!