The Dream Team: Front Desk Manager

22 Jun 2013 By Roger Devine

Today’s post picks up where we left off a few weeks ago in the_Building Your School Auction Dream Team_ series, in which we are outlining and describing key positions in the Auction Committee Organizational Structure.

The Front Desk Manager plays a pivotal role in making sure all the preparation pays off on Auction night. It’s a big job, no doubt about it, but one that is very manageable when properly supported by the other team positions.

In our structure, Event Night responsibilities fall into two general categories:

  1. The front-of-the-room “host” tasks such overseeing catering, lighting, seating and wine service. We recommend that these responsibilities be handled primarily by the Themes and Decorations Chair.
  2. Logistical tasks such as check-in, check-out and item redemption, which is handled by the Front Desk Manager with a team of volunteers.

To be effective, the Front Desk Manager must:

  • Be very comfortable with the event-night functions (we have plenty of training videos and written documentation to help them develop this expertise).
  • Be actively engaged in and monitoring the event schedule and layout of the event venue.
  • Be a capable leader and effective at delegating tasks. Flexibility proves critically important as event night unfolds and, as we’ve all experienced, some plans don’t go as planned.

The Front Desk Manager will:

  • Assemble volunteers to staff Front Desk and Auction Item Pick-up areas.
  • Oversee Guest Check-in and Check-out. This works best with a team of 3-4 volunteers who will man the computers and enter details into the software as guest arrive and leave. The Front Desk Manager will oversee this process, stepping in to give individual volunteers breaks as needed.
  • Oversee Auction Item Staging and Pick-up area. This works best with another team of 3 or so volunteers who will move silent auction items and bid sheets to the staging area, group them by winning bid number, enter bid sheets and winning paddle numbers into the software, and assist guests in redeeming their items at the end of the evening. The Front Desk Manager will oversee this process, stepping in to give individual volunteers breaks as needed.

If you’re stepping into the role of Front Desk Manager, as you recruit volunteers to help during the event keep in mind that these are great jobs for people who can really only commit to helping once. For this reason, these can be really popular volunteer positions that are relatively easy to recruit.

Remember to print this out, add it to the others in the series, and keep them handy in your auction planning binder for future reference.

After all, a short pencil is better than a long memory.

Here to help,

your Team