This low, Balinese-inspired auction centerpiece worked well.

Once again, I’d like to welcome Sherry Truhlar to Step By Step Fundraising!  Sherry’s written a number of great articles for us on the topic of fundraising auctions, and she has a great site at Red Apple Auctions that you should definitely check out.  She also has a FREE Auction Item Guide (listing the 100 best-selling items to sell in your benefit auction) here .  Thanks, Sherry, for sharing your time and knowledge with us! – Jim Berigan

Shrink those floral centerpieces at your benefit auction

When I was a corporate event planner, deciding on centerpieces for special events was one of the creative aspects of my work. Part of the process was making them functional and fun.

As an auctioneer, I have definite ideas on what makes for a good centerpiece!  To keep this post short, I’m only going to talk about fresh floral centerpieces.

Here are three auction tips for selecting a good floral centerpiece for your auction fundraiser.

Keep them inexpensive.

I’ve noticed a trend that the centerpieces are being scaled down in this economy — smart move! Even when the economy is booming I’d prefer if the centerpieces were inexpensive.

Keep them small.

The auctioneer needs to be able to see around and over them. Both bidders and auctioneers get frustrated when they can’t see each other.

If you aren’t selling them (or borrowing them), give ‘em away.

Guests love taking centerpieces home! If you think there’s going to be a swarm of people clamoring for your centerpiece, create a process so guests know the correct pecking order. Mark one of the wine glasses with a gold star, or tell the group that the person with the shortest hair at the table gets first dibs on the centerpiece.

For other auction tips on centerpieces, you might want to read about:

About the author

Benefit auctioneer Sherry Truhlar’s stories and advice has been published in publications (e.g. Town & Country, The Washington Post Magazine, AUCTIONEER, The Eleusis, The Virginia Auctioneer) and heard on television (e.g. E! Style, TLC) where she inspires and teaches volunteers how to hit new fundraising records in their auction galas.  Enjoy her FREE Auction Item Guide (listing the 100 best-selling items to sell in your benefit auction) here .

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Posted on 11 April 2011

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