We sat down with Molly Loubiere, Event Coordinator at the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, after their 10th Annual Carnivale du Vin Fundraising weekend. They used Greater Giving Mobile Bidding for their two-day fundraiser and hit it out of the park! The Emeril Lagasse Foundation supports children’s educational programs, life skills development initiatives, culinary training and cultural enrichment, and these events are a big part of their annual fundraising.
“We used Mobile Bidding at both event’s silent auctions. Guests enjoyed the convenience of using their mobile phones for bidding and the easy check-out process at the end of the evening. The use of Greater Giving Mobile Bidding helped us to reach our fundraising goals.”
Q: How successful was your event (based on your own metrics and goals)?
Molly: We raised over $2.25 million for children’s charities! The weekend kicked off at Champions Square in downtown New Orleans as 4,000 people attended the Louisiana inspired Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s Boudin, Bourbon & Beer, co-chaired by Emeril Lagasse and Donald Link. The following evening, the Foundation hosted the 10th annual Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s Carnivale du Vin, its premier wine auction and gala dinner.
Boudin, Bourbon & Beer expanded its footprint to Champions Square and is quickly becoming one of New Orleans’ hottest outdoor events. Fifty-five of the country’s best chefs cooked up their take on boudin, while guests enjoyed an array of craft brews, bourbon cocktails and wine. Patrons kicked up their boots to the sounds of headliner Grace Potter and other top notch musical acts. Guests had fun using Mobile Bidding to bid on one-of-a-kind auction packages donated by the participating chefs and sponsors, such as a “Pizza Party for Ten at Domenica hosted by Chef Alon Shaya” and a “Shell Beach Fishing Trip with Chef Aaron Burgau”.
The following evening, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation celebrated a major milestone with the 10th anniversary of its annual nationally-recognized wine auction and gala dinner, Carnivale du Vin, held at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Live auction lots included unique experiences such as a trip to Cabo San Lucas with Emeril Lagasse and Sammy Hagar; or a trip to the Russian River Valley with wine stars Dan Kosta, Bob Cabral and Jonathan Cain of Journey. Guests were invited to use their smart phones to bid on the silent auction, which included over 80 wine lots and over 90 luxury lots. Visiting guest chefs Jimmy Bannos, Jr., Jimmy Bannos, Sr., Michelle Bernstein, Roy Choi, and Jacques Torres showcased their culinary talents. Esteemed “Honorary Bacchus” winemakers from the last ten years returned to pour rare selections.
Q: Paint us a picture of the event.
John Chase, Greater Giving’s Senior Manager of Business Operations: This ‘event’ is really two events wrapped into one weekend. Starting Friday morning the event runs a continuous auction that people can bid on for multiple days. Though for the most part, the auctions have two separate audiences, bidders who win on both evenings have one streamlined check-in and check-out process. Saturday night’s 850 person gala is the event that results in the most funds raised. All of the events used Greater Giving Card Reader, Mobile Card Reader and Mobile Bidding.
The “Cajun Cocktail” themed Boudin, Bourbon, and Beer event had a $99 admission ticket, which included gourmet food tasting, a concert (this year was Grace Potter, the Lone Bellow, Pine Leaf Boys and Sweet Crude), and amazing silent auction packages. The event hosted roughly 4.5K people! They also had other revenue builders, such as “99 bottles of beer on the wall” (a twist on wall of wine), and retail items like shirts, hats and tote bags. The retail sales from this event were sold using Storefront so purchases all tied in to the final guest receipt.
The next day, the Carnivale du Vin gala hosted 850 people at $1000 per ticket. The guests sat at elegantly decorated tables and bid while dining (and drinking wine) on 300 one-of-a kind live auction packages using Greater Giving Mobile Bidding. There was also a fund-a-cause to include the entire audience. It is a beautifully executed gala which brings the best of food and wine pairing, priceless wine, and unique experiences to their loyal supporters.