75 years: Auctioneers to celebrate diamond anniversary

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — National and regional speakers, competitions, an auction technology showcase, contests and fellowship are on tap when the Illinois State Auctioneers Association celebrates its 75th anniversary during its conference and trade show.

ISAA was founded in Decatur by a group of auctioneers who knew that in order to provide a better business environment for themselves and strengthen their share of the auction market, they needed to work together.

Their purpose was to speak with one voice for the auction industry in the state and in the process obtain tools to help them make sound and profitable decisions in their auction business and promote the auction method of marketing to the general public.

C.B. Drake of Decatur served two one-year terms as the first ISAA president in 1947. The National Auctioneers Association was founded two years later.

Through the years, ISAA has provided countless educational opportunities for its members and, fittingly, begins its conference Feb. 23 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bloomington with an afternoon of software training sessions. The sessions include training in Auction Flex, Wavebid, Shipping Saint, AuctionTime and Tractor Zoom software.

“The annual conference and trade show each year helps bring together not only our association members, but all licensed Illinois auctioneers, ringmen and their staffs. At our annual conference, our members have the opportunities to learn from some of the best in the auction industry and from other associated industries that affect the auction industry,” said Cissy Tabor, ISAA executive director.

“There are multiple divisions within the auction industry such as personal property, real estate, auto, livestock, land, benefit and fundraising. However, there is concentrated areas within an auction that might require additional education such as appraisals, coins, jewelry and more.”

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 who adhere to a code of ethics and professionalism.

In addition, the trade show 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. Therefore, this event 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 said.

On Feb. 23, the ISAA is sponsoring Technology Thursday in which many of the auction industry exhibitors will be hosting technology learning sessions to showcase their products, answer questions and provide additional one-on-one teaching with attendees.

This is the first year that the ISAA is hosting this event and the association is excited to provide the in-depth opportunity to attendees.

The ISAA will be hosting the 2023 Illinois State Ringman Championship and a Novice Bid Calling competition Friday night that is targeted to showcase auctioneers who have been in the auction industry three years or less. These events are open to the public and is free to register to bid-to-win on items offered in the auctions.

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

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

“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.”


When ISAA was organized 75 years ago, its core mission to provide opportunities and a voice for its members still holds true today and will carry on for future generations.

“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.”

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