DATA- Don’t Let Your Numbers Lie!

Don't let your numbers lie!

You can’t argue that event software made your life easier.  Whether it’s keeping an inventory of your items, maintaining your mailing lists, or producing invoices at the end of the event, it sure beats doing it by hand.  That software most likely does a whole lot more.  Sure, it will lay out your catalog and make nametags, but what about the numbers?  Are you looking at your numbers in a meaningful way to improve next year’s event?  Here’s a few things you might want to consider.

  • Is the space for your silent auction tight? Many silent auctions have more items than is practical for the space.  Looking at what items brought can help you reduce items by eliminating those that didn’t at least bring 50% of their value.  Having more space increases the bidder’s experience and the likelihood they will return to bid again.  Even if your space isn’t limited, doing this analysis will help you decide what items or types of items to replace.
  • What’s your return rate? Of course not every attendee returns each year.  Even if they are a dedicated donor, personal schedules often get in the way.  It’s important to analyze who didn’t return.  Were they good financial supporters at last year’s event or seat fillers?  Were they sitting at a sponsor table or did they come on their own?  If they were financial supporters, a phone call before the next event to personally invite them might provide you additional information and get a return supporter.
  • Is your live auction supported each year by the same people? Let’s say you have 300 people at your event and 10 live auction items.  How many actual bidders do you have for those 10 items? You maybe will have 15-20 people.  Often many of those people have been your bidders and buyers for years.  If they always buy a trip, experience, or wine, why not design next year’s live auction list for them.  Call them and thank them for their continued support.  Mention that you noticed they have bought a trip the past few years.  Is there somewhere they really would like to go?  Design it for them and make them feel special.

These are but a few ways that using your data can add to your next event.  Use those numbers, don’t let them lie.