NE Auctioneer’s Association Celebrates 64 Years | TheFencePost.com

NE Auctioneer’s Association Celebrates 64 Years

Story by Robyn Scherer, M.AgR.
Photos Courtesy of Nebraska Auctioneer Association, Inc.

When auctioneers get together, there is usually no shortage of words. However, auctioneers also have a thirst for knowledge, and many do whatever they can to learn how to become a better auctioneer.

That is exactly what Nebraskan auctioneers did June 8-10 at the Nebraska Auctioneer Association’s annual convention. The convention, which was held in Kearney, featured speakers from different segments of the auction business.

“I’ve never been to a bad convention. They are all good conventions. Thanks to the board of directors and the people who attended,” said Kelly Kliewer, the 2011-2012 president and host of the convention.

One of the more popular sessions was held by Robert Mayo, a first generation auctioneer and founder of Mayo Auction and Realty out of Kansas City, Mo. He is also the Director for The National Auctioneers Association, and is also co-chair of the NAA Technology Committee. Mayo talked about Auction Technology, and how if affects the auction business today.

“Technology has already changed the auction business. It’s created a bigger market for auctions. I think they are only going to continue to grow as people embrace the ease,” Mayo said.

He continued, “I have found that there are some people who prefer a live auction, and some people prefer an online auction. There are some that just like auctions. However, most people are interested in what you are selling, not how you are selling it.”

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Another helpful session for the attendees was put on by Penny Parker, Director of Marketing, University of Nebraska-Kearney Dining Services. Her session was on Facebook Pages for Beginners, both personal and business pages.

“We went over Facebook 101. We talked about how to set up a page, and how to set up a page for their business use. We then went over how to look at Facebook insights so they could see if what they were doing was working,” she said.

She added, “We also went over what kind of things people should post, and what people respond to. We also talked about LinkedIN and how to use social media to drive people to their website.”

Parker gave tips for the different ways that people can engage Facebook users on their business pages. “The number one thing that engages people is photos, and the second is video. You want to put in there what you are promoting. People don’t go to Facebook to be marketed to. You can announce news within your company, and do other little fun things to engage people,” she said.

The group of people who attended the session varied from very experienced to beginner. “I had women in there who were pretty new to it, and others who were advanced. They were able to get around and navigate the browsers well,” she said.

Parker’s experience with social media has allowed her to help others learn to use the programs. “I did grow up in this new wave technology. I’ve been able to see how Facebook can be utilized in a way for profits. It’s exciting and I love seeing what gets people engaged. I’m happy to be able to help people out who don’t really know how to navigate it. The question isn’t whether or not you do social media, but how well you do it. I can help you do it well,” she said.

She offered one last tip of advice for the attendees. “Be true to yourself when you are representing yourself online. Just be who you are. The customers will appreciate that,” she said.

At the convention, the new officers were also elected. Jeff Temme, Petersburg, has been elected President of the 250-member Nebraska Auctioneers Association for 2012-2013. Temme owns Covered Wagon Auctions, specializing in agri-business, antiques, benefits, fundraisers, household goods, personal property, livestock and farm/ranch equipment and machinery auctions.

“I’ve been an auctioneer for 10 years. I love it, and what we do is promote the auction method of selling. That is our mission. The outlook for us is great. The numbers are up, and we are trying to grow five percent. We are excited about the auction business. We promote the auction business with honestly, integrity and trustworthiness,” Temme said.

Alton Heimes, Miller Creamer Heimes Janssen LLC, Hartington, was elected President-elect. Shayne Fili, Auction Solutions, Inc., Omaha, was elected Vice President.

Newly elected Board Members include Adam Marshall, Marshall Land Brokers and Auctioneers, Kearney; Rick Carr, Carr Auction, Springview; and Neil Bouray, Superior, Nebraska.

Another attendee of the convention was Bruce McDowell, who was the immediate past president. McDowell has been an auctioneer for 18 years, and owns McDowell Auction Service in Trumbull, Neb.

He has attended the convention for years, and has noticed a few changes in the auction business. “I think the biggest couple of changes that I have seen is number one, the growth of the internet both in a positive and negative way. It’s positive because people can bid online, and the negative is that we have seen a decrease in attendees,” he said.

He continued, “The other big change is that it’s getting harder to gain the interest of young auctioneers to come to the convention. The thing is, with an auction convention, I don’t think the young generation realizes it’s like going to college. It’s an education, and you get out of it what you put into it. It’s an investment. They are missing out on being able to mix and mingle with the older auctioneers who have experience.”

To combat this issue, the association is using new tactics to try to attract younger members. “We are putting out a new promotional DVD to attract the younger auctioneers. We have some people who have been there from the very beginning and they were some of the original founders of our association. They are great people to learn from. I think the biggest thing is they are missing the camaraderie and the chance to learn from seasoned auctioneers,” McDowell said.

In conjunction with the Convention, Sarah Fili, daughter of Shayne Fili and Mark Beacom of Omaha, Neb., Sydney Wegener, daughter of James and Michele Wegener, and Garret Reimers, son of Brian and Lou Reimers and grandparents Gary and Connee Reimers (members of the association) were awarded college scholarships by the Association and the Auxiliary.

The Association annually hosts a State Championship Auction Competition, providing professionalism for the industry’s top auctioneers. This year’s competition will be held July 27, 2012, at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Aurora, Neb. beginning at 1:00 p.m. In addition, the Association provides professional training for the industry.

“We have good seminars and good speakers. I also enjoy just being able to meet with the same people every year and see new faces every year,” McDowell said.