The 2016 Salmon & Trout Conservation Auction
The S&TC 2016 annual online auction - Veronica Kruger previews the new auction site and appeals for lots.
I once worked for a fine art auction house - purely in a backroom capacity! One of its great pleasures for the employees was the privilege of having a constant succession of private views of some of the most stunning works of art seldom seen before, as owners took advantage of a flourishing market to turn that dusty oil painting of great-great-aunt Mildred ‘by that Sargent fellow’ or the porcelain bowl used as a doorstop (but was actually a priceless piece of Ming) into ready cash.
For me, the best entertainment was people-watching. A live auction is pure theatre, and a really talented auctioneer will turn on a bravura performance to control the room, using his hammer like Harry Potter's wand to conjure just one more bid from "the gentleman in the back there"; to spot a barely perceptible nod from someone sitting right on the periphery of his vision, to egg on two strangers sitting rows away from each other into a rage of competitive bidding.
When I asked one these Oliviers what made a successful auction, he replied without hesitation, "The right lots - the lots that everyone wants, that have a rarity value, that are seldom available but, above all, that are the very best in their category and price range."
And this absolutely describes the lots I hope to offer in this year's S&TC annual online auction. Now, that is a bold claim - but I believe that it is more than justified. Over the years - and with four successful annual events behind us, I think we can rightly claim to be "up there" with the best - the format and content have been fine-tuned to offer bidders wonderful sporting days and an easy and enjoyable bidding experience.
The online auction site this year has been redesigned to make it all much clearer. Easier to identify and hone in on what really interests the committed bidder, while still enabling the adventurous and undecided to browse while choosing.
The lot list will still be available in simple numerical order. But, if you choose, you can now filter it to locate just the type of fishing you are looking for, and in what part of the country. Any accommodation on offer nearby? You can find that too. And, as usual, a full lot description ensures that you know exactly what you are bidding for.
The S&TC Annual Online auction opens on Monday 12 September (when registration opens at www.salmon-trout.org), and closes at midnight on Sunday 16 October. So why am I writing about now? This is actually the most critical time for the auction. This is when I remind everyone that this is our biggest single fund-raising event; and this is when I ask supporters of S&TC to offer items that will attract the bidding that any desirable lot offered at auction generates.
If you or your club has an item, fishing or shooting or any other sporting lot that could be included in the auction - then please do get in touch and help us raise the funds so desperately needed to ensure the success of our campaigns - and ensure the future of our fish.
You may contact me, Veronica Kruger, at email@example.com
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