March 04, 2024

‘Learn from the best’ at auctioneers conference, trade show

Sherman Hostetter Jr.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Bid callers from across the Prairie State will converge for several days of educational opportunities, fellowship and fun at the annual Illinois State Auctioneers Association Conference and Trade Show.

Along with the usual top-notch lineup of guest speakers, the conference added a new marketing and advertising contest this year, as well as the premier auction team championship.

“The annual conference and trade show helps bring together not only our association members, but all licensed Illinois auctioneers, ringman and their staff,” said Cissy Tabor, ISAA executive director.

“Attendees have the opportunities to learn from some of the best in the auction industry including the National Auction Association and elite speakers from across the country in regard the auction industry.

“This event not only provides attendees with the ability to learn from professionals, but also from peers within the industry and to be able to have the opportunity to network with fellow auction industry professionals that adhere to a code of ethics and professionalism.

“The trade show aspect of the annual conference provides attendees the opportunity to meet, visit with and view professional services and products that can assist the auctioneers and auction companies with their company.”

“The auction industry is unique just as much as the products, tools, marketing and targeted social media. This aspect provides not only attendees to speak with the vendors in one location, but it also provides our vendors the opportunity to talk with as many potential clients as possible to show them their services and products to help make their job more efficient,” Tabor added.

Technology Thursday

The conference kicks off Feb. 8 with Technology Thursday that includes sessions on DirectOffer Audio Tours, customized marketing and the Shipping Saint program. There will be roundtable sessions that evening on multi-platforms for auction and benefits that are available for ISAA members.

“Technology Thursday was started last year and was so popular that the ISAA has brought it back,” Tabor said.

There’s a full slate on tap for Friday, Feb. 9, beginning with a breakfast where first-time attendees can meet ISAA board members.

Sherman Hostetter Jr., president and CEO of Hostetter Auctioneers, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and National Auction Association board chairman, will give his views on auction listing contracts and protecting assets.

The topics of ethics and legal issues for auctioneers will be covered by George Michak of Lemoyne, Pennsylvania, a highly regarded auction law attorney representing auctioneers and the auction industry. He also specializes in business and commercial transactions, administrative law and economic development financing.

A Friday afternoon session with Katie Lappe, founder and CEO of DirectOffer, Nashville, Tennessee, will explore artificial intelligence, how it is changing the industry and an evaluation of how it can assist the auctioneer and their company, and if it’s right for them.

David Whitley, lead auctioneer at Rocky Mountain Estate Brokers, Eaton, Colorado, concludes the Friday sessions with “How to Still Make Money with Small Estate Auctions.”

Call Competitions

On Friday night, ISAA will host the Illinois State Ringman Championship and a Novice Bid Calling competition that is targeted to showcase auctioneers that have been in the auction industry three years or less.

“And this year, we have added a new Auction Team Competition,” Tabor said. “The Auction Team Competition is judged on both the auctioneer and ringmen skills, communication to the crowd and one another in addition to their selling capability and the skills required individually as an auctioneer and ringman and as a team working together cohesively.”

These events are open to the public and the public can register to bid-to-win on items offered in the auctions.

“The competitions are fun to attend and we encourage people to come cheer on their favorite contestant,” Tabor said.

There will also be the ISAA Hall of Fame induction Friday evening.

On Saturday, Feb. 10, Michak and Whitley join up for a panel discussion on practical and legal considerations for auctioneers, followed by an auction company management and growth presentation by Hostetter.

Rob Karr, Illinois Retail Merchants Association president and CEO, will provide an ISAA lobbyist update, and Hostetter will give an update on NAA during lunch.

Whitley will lead a discussion Saturday afternoon regarding online only auctions, and Lappe returns for another session on artificial intelligence.

Prior to the organization’s annual meeting, there will be a panel discussion with ISAA Hall of Fame members and past presidents.

Fun Auction

On Saturday evening, ISAA will host its fun auction that is open to the public and there is free registration to bid in the auction.

“You will get to see auctioneers selling their item donations, bid on those items and have a whole lot of fun during this annual fundraising event for the ISAA,” Tabor said.

“There’s no other better time or place to come see multiple Illinois auctioneers have fun and bid at the auction during this weekend except when the Illinois State Auctioneer Championship is held at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.”

On Sunday, Feb. 11, the final day of the conference, a new mandatory continuing education class focusing on legal issues, best practices and risk management will be presented by Michak, and Tabor leads a mandatory continuing education class on better business practices and sexual harassment prevention.

ISAA Benefits

“Outside of competitions, education and networking, being a member of the ISAA provides many benefits to our members in regard to be listed on our association website in which they can showcase who they are, their specialties and services they provide along with listing their auctions on there for free,” Tabor said.

“Throughout the year, the ISAA is contacted for auctioneers and auction company referrals and we contact all of our members to notify them of these opportunities. However, there are many more times that auctioneers are contacted due to their listing in our association website.

“Members also receive the quarterly newsletter, The Illinois Auctioneer, that helps keep them updated about the ISAA, the auction industry, member spotlights, legislation changes, industry articles, conference information, furthering education notices, meetings and other such helpful tools.”

Illinois State Auctioneers Association Conference and Trade Show

Feb. 8-11

DoubleTree by Hilton

10 Brickyard Drive, Bloomington, Illinois

Tom Doran

Tom C. Doran

Field Editor