Thursday, August 28, 2014

Good-Bye August

Greetings friends! Well, we are about to say good-bye to August, which means that our the Date Auction is only 3 weeks and one day away! It is exciting and nerve wracking. On the good side, we are in a very good place for the event. We have an amazing line-up of participants- I think it's the best we've ever had. Our flyer with the photos of a number of participants is already out which is the earliest we've had it out. Our marketing is a duplicate of last year's efforts. Here is the flyer- you can download and share it with friends- help us spread the word!
On the down side, my event anxiety is so high. I had another vivid anxiety dream about the Date Auction this morning. In this dream, I was horribly unprepared for the event. Instead of bringing the credit card machine, I brought a video game controller. None of my volunteers showed up. I didn't write up the list of bachelors/ettes that the payment table volunteers use to keep tracking of the winning bids. The gift certificates for the dates weren't in envelopes. My silent auction was a mess. I was so angry at myself at not putting the effort in to make the event run smoothly. I woke up in a panic and had to remind myself that it was only a dream. I am going to recruit more volunteers from another group just so I have enough- we would be in a rough shape without volunteers.

Today, Marcy, our volunteer, and I were working on putting the bachelors and bachelorettes in the correct order for the event. It seems like it would be a very easy task, but it actually requires a lot of thought. We alternate between 3 guys and 3 girls during the auction, but you still have to everyone in a good order. You want to keep it lively- not put all the hotties together- they can't go too early or too late. I was glad to have Marcy's help with it- you need a second opinion on things like this so you can see it from another perspective. I think we came up with a good order. I now need to organize the profiles and edit some of them for the space provided and make sure that there are no typos. It is too early to finalize the program because we always have last minute changes for participants. I wait as long as possible to get it printed because it is awful to have a program that features people who don't show up- there's always a few that don't show up, but that's why we auction off so many. The goal is to have the programs printed 3 days before the event, but ready well ahead, so that only small changes have to be made. I'm still waiting on a few more bachelors to send photos and I need some more ads from sponsors as well.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm now off to raid the fridge for some watermelon. On a side note- I am so happy that the Market Basket dispute had a happy ending. My family and I have been shopping there for the past 16 years and we love the place. These last 6 weeks have been dreadful with not being able to shop there. I am so inspired by the strong will and determination of the employees and it is so uplifting to know that they won. Because of their efforts, we will be able to have the Market Basket that so many of us love. My eyes filled with tears last night when I logged on and saw that it was resolved. It's a reminder of the power that people have and if we band together, anything can be accomplished.
Until next time friends... Happy Labor Day weekend!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Auction Dreaming

Greetings friends! So what's new? Well, the other night, I had my second Date Auction anxiety dream of the year. It was so vivid I woke up with my heart racing. In my dream, the Date Auction was a disaster. There was only about a hundred people in attendance- the dance floor in front of the stage looked so empty. In the dream, I was looking out at the crowd trying to figure out what went wrong, how did I mess up so badly. I didn't even know why it had gone so badly. Everything seemed to be going in slow motion. I woke up and could barely breathe. There is so much pressure on this event- there is absolutely no room for error. The good thing is that we're in a good place- we're more than half way in recruiting the number of ladies to participate and we're almost half way for the number of bachelors to auction. We have a great group signed up so far, so I'm really happy about that. I've been reaching out to our sponsors to get their ads. I'm having trouble reaching one of our graphic designers- I think she might be on vacation. We have almost 5 weeks to go before the event and I can't spend the entire time in a state of semi-permanent anxiety. We're doing all the same marketing, so I am confident that we will have another awesome event. There is a ton of work that needs to get done before, but as long as I keep going with my usual baby steps, we will be fine.

Of course, there is still the calendar to wrap up and the fashion show and Anniversary Celebration to work on as well as grants. Yes, it is just a wee bit busy! On that note, I'm heading off to bed- my eyes are hurting and my mind is going blank. Until next time friends...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Latest and Greatest

Happy Monday friends! It was a weekend of delightful summer weather and that makes me happy! So what's new? Well, we got some awesome bachelors and bachelorettes signed up for the Date Auction over the last few days. I reached out to a huge nightlife promoter in Boston- we had met in person last December and he offered to help recruit eligible singles for this year's Date Auction. I messaged with him on Friday and he spread the word and got some cool people on board. They in turn have been reaching out to their contacts and helped get others on board. That is the best way to get participants. I'm so happy with the people that we've been getting. There is a beautiful local actress, dating & relationship coach with a huge following, a lawyer & restaurant owner and some other accomplished people- and they are all very easy on the eyes! If this keeps up, we're going to have our best group of bachelors/ettes ever. We still have some more spaces to fill, but we're looking good. I've added photos to our Events page, so check out the new pics!

I've been following up with sponsors to get their ads for the program and website. I checked in with Sofft Shoes and they are going to send me a pair of shoes to wear for the Date Auction again. They've been sending me shoes to wear for the past few years to wear for the event. It is a wonderful perk of the job! It is always fun to choose a pair of shoes- they have such cute styles. I think I've settled on a cute pair of black suede heels that are a Mary Jane style. Sofft does an awesome partnership with us where they donate 10 pairs of shoes worth up to $150 each. The 10 bachelors with the highest bids come with the Sofft Shoes gift card for the winning lady. It really helps drive up the bids.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I already had my fill of watermelon, so now I'm off to sort some stuffed animals that came in the mail. Until tomorrow friends...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Welcome August!

Well, August has been here for a week, so I'm a little late with the welcoming the month. So what's new? Times are getting a lot busier. Last Saturday, we did a silent auction at the Summer Beer Fest organized by Boston Event Guide. They've been very supportive of us and let us do silent auctions at their wine/beer fests throughout the year. We auction off a variety of autographed sports pictures. We raised approximately $1,000 which was very good. It was in keeping with what we usually raise. It's always hard to predict which items are going to do well in the auction. People get in bidding wars for some photos, while others only get one or two bids. The good thing is that everyone paid for and took their items with them, so I didn't have to deliver anything. That is usually a bit of a hassle. I used the PayPal mobile card reader device for the first time. I have a credit card machine that I bring to events, but I have to use it in the store/forward mode which takes all the data, then I bring it back to the office and upload the info via the phone line. You don't know if someone gives you a bad card when you're at the event. Having the PayPal reader is good because the transaction is completed right then. The downside is that PayPal takes a higher percentage for their fee, it is slower if you're doing a lot of transactions (like at our bigger events) and I had to keep switching card readers because they would stop scanning after a few transactions. You can input the card number manually, but then PayPal takes a higher fee if you do that instead of swiping. I'm going to look into other mobile card reader options and see if there are others with no fee and a lower transaction fee.

In other news- we dropped off boxes of stuffed animals, books and coloring books/crayons to Fitchburg Police. The domestic violence advocate had reached out, asking for more items. We've been donating to Fitchburg for a number of years. Last week, I dropped off more stuffed animals and books for Worcester Police. They needed extra items to give out to children at Worcester's National Night Out event this week. They like to give out items to children in need who attend the event. Of course we were happy to help. I need to email DCF to set up our next donation of items.

We're working on winding down work on the 2015 calendar so our designer can start working on it. I only have a few more photo shoots to do. I still have 1 1/2 months that need to be sold. I've reached out to a number of potential sponsors. I received a tentative commitment from one business today and hopefully should get some good news from another sponsor soon. Keep your fingers crossed for us please! I need to get this all taken care of soon so I can move on to other things and focus on our big fall events.

Well, I'm off to work on some other things and eat some more watermelon. I've already had my fill of homemade chocolate chip cookies tonight, so now watermelon feels like health food! I have a meeting in Boston tomorrow morning with a potential sponsor for an exciting partnership. I'm excited for the meeting, so keep your toes crossed that it goes well for us! Until next time friends...