How does your event rebound from a poor event that was conducted in the previous year? That event could have run into a number of problems and it wasn’t just raising less money. Do not dwell on the past event, focus on what you will do to create a great fundraising event again this year.
I will not begin to write about poor or bad auctions. I have heard a lot of tough stories and I have had my own experiences that had a wrenched thrown into the event. From day of the event snowstorms, fires at the event and even a death. It is how the organization bounces back that is the key to success.
Face what went wrong. Honestly, it could have been the lack of donors that filled your tables. Every event needs generous donors to create an engaging auction. The nonprofit must have them attend. Sponsors and individuals must bring partners and friends to the event to participate. The auction packages are there but it is the people who come with spending in mind that drive the auctions. Have conversations with your table heads and ask them to bring guests who will compete in the auctions and are willing to donate to the Fund-a-Need cause. There is nothing wrong with inquiring about the people who are attending your event. Actually the more you understand who is attending, the better you are at projections and providing packages in the auction that will get them bidding.
Also, seek new ideas that are engaging with your audience. Do not give them a chance to dwell on a poor auction that was a year ago. From the moment they receive an invitation, they should feel like last year never happened. Spark your supporters with something that engages them to get them committing early and make this years event the best they have ever attended.