Last November and December, the Bonny Slope community was invited to share their thoughts and feedback regarding one of BSCO’s biggest events-- the annual Soiree and Auction. A huge thanks is due to the 78 parents and community members who completed the survey and gave valuable, constructive feedback.
Leadership for this year’s event was not secured until mid-November, meaning that this year’s team is working within a much shorter time frame than previous years. While many of the suggestions offered in this survey will not be compatible with this short planning period, all of this data and ideas are appreciated and will be reviewed for further Auction events.
Five common threads:
- The past Auction themes have been both a lot of fun, as well as intimidating.
- The silent auction and pre-dinner social hour are well received.
- Many parents are looking for a simplified, more casual event.
- The sign-up parties are popular, yet need more variety.
- Ticket price and inclusivity must always be considered.
2018 Auction Response:
Check out how this year’s team is incorporating your feedback:
- Stepping away (this year) from a costume-driven theme
- Reducing ticket price to $50 (Feb 22nd until April 1st)
- Continuing to provide beer and wine
- Extending the silent auction timeframe to ensure more mingling and socializing before dinner
- Reducing the length of the live auction
- Adding a veggie option to dinner
Here is a short recap of the responses. The survey included a mix of required and non-required questions.
Have you previously attended the BSCO Soiree & Auction?
Of the 78 respondents, 52 had already attended a BSCO Auction, while 26 had not.
*Any specifics aspects or details that you enjoyed? What were your favorite parts? *(non-required question)
Of the 43 responses, the silent auction was mentioned most often, with ten responses commenting on its value.
Community members also consistently mentioned the social value of this event. Of the 43 responses, nine specifically mentioned “mingling” with other parents, while nine used the word “social” to describe their most enjoyed aspect. Other popular and similar mentions included seeing friends, having an adults-only evening, and meeting new people.
Other details mentioned included the sign-up parties, the live auction, the themes, dancing, dinner, drinks, the golden raffle, the class art, and the photo booth.
Looking at the silent auction packages & sign-up parties, sipping on a drink & mingling, watching the fun of the live auction.
I love the themes and getting the community together. It’s always such a fun event!
Being able to talk and mingle with other BSE parents on a fun night out while supporting the school.
I love the beginning; time to view silent auction items, have a drink and have a few conversations.
The social part of the event---having a party with other parents and staff members outside of the school is really fun and special.
*What factors played into your decision not to attend? Please check all that apply. *(non-required question)
Of the 26 respondents who had not previously attended an auction, the most popular reasons for not attending included a previous conflict (42%) and that the event was “too costumey” (38%). Seven respondents marked “not my scene,” while five are in their first year at BSE.
*In your opinion, what changes or additions could be made to the event? *(non-required question)
Of the 39 responses, the most common suggestions included a more casual event (six responses) and moving away from the themes (six reponses). Other repeated items suggested included not including dinner, shortening the live auction, reevaluating the seating, and lowering ticket prices.
Also suggested was rethinking the “cocktail party,” switching to every other year, eliminating the DJ, switching auctioneers, changing venue, charging for drinks, better veggie options, changing to electronic bidding, and selling notecards by class levels rather than all grade levels. Increasing the parties and experiences was also mentioned.
Hmmm.... would love it to be a little less "theme" driven. While a ton of fun, it's just one more stress and expense to worry about. The dinner/live auction does get a bit long. Once we sit down, we don't get up again except to leave. Not sure how to change that, but the most fun happens before dinner.
After auction party with DJ is not necessary. Love the location!!
Something more casual. Between the ticket prices, costumes / themes, roundtrip downtown, and a babysitter, you're looking at at least $500 before you even hit the auction. Perhaps somewhere local with a more casual feel would encourage greater attendance and participation in the silent auction?
Personally, I always favor keeping the ticket price low and having a no host bar. That allows for greater flexibility for those who don't drink (like me). Also, it appeals to a broader crowd.
Simplify the dinner part of the evening. The food is unremarkable, so sit-down dinner is not necessary. Perhaps buffet would be more economical or allow for better food for the same price. Also add more vegetarian choices.
How much would you be willing to pay for an Auction ticket/per person? Please check all that apply. Please note that admission price typically only covers actual costs.
62% of all respondents chose $40-$55 as an amount they would be willing to pay for tickets. The second most popular choice was $55-$70, which was chosen by 45% of respondents.
What items do you feel are most important to include in this event? Please check all that apply.
71% of all respondents chose beer and wine as important to include at Auction. 61% also chose appetizers and 47% chose “some level of free drinks.”
Have you previously attended an Auction sign-up party?
*If yes, do you have any ideas for improvements, changes, or additions to the sign-up party lineup? *(non-required question)
Of the 33 responses, the most popular answers included adding more variety (six responses) and adding more kid and family-friendly options (seven responses).
Other repeated suggestions were better communication and opening them up to those not attending the Auction. Other responses mention finding new hosts, buying an entire party, and finding more dad options. Four responses mentioned that they loved this aspect of the Auction and would not change a thing.
Well, it seems to be the same people hosting and the same people attending. Maybe some new blood and less exclusiveness?
Something that appeals to more families, like a movie night at the school, or just larger, more casual affairs. Targeting specific grades might be nice, since I have zero in common with a fifth grade parent. The wine nights are starting to feel stale.
I think this is the most successful piece of the auction - creating moments throughout the year for parents to meet other parents. I like how these are offered to those outside of the auction as well.
I really enjoyed this gathering! My only suggestion is to make sure all details all clear on the website for timing, expectations, etc.
Sign up parties are a fantastic way to meet other parents and make connections! If parents are willing to host, consider having more family parties where kids are invited as well. Possibly consider holding some grade specific parties for parents and kids to encourage parents to meet other parents in their kids grade. Kickoff a kindergarten book club.
Why do a party. Signup for a private tour of XXX. Where community partners donate time tour something behind the scenes at Nike, trimet, pge, Thprd, Costco. Get outside the box.
*If no, what factors played into your decision not to attend a sign-up party? *(non-required question)
Of the 25 respondents who had not attended an Auction party, the main reasons given were “None interested me” (eight responses), “Didn’t know about them” (seven responses) and “Didn’t know anyone attending” (six responses).
Why types of items are you most interested in purchasing? Please check all that apply.
78% of respondents are most interested in purchasing smaller items/raffles, priced $25-$50. The second most popular choice was the silent auction items, generally priced up to $500.
Do you plan on attending this year’s Auction, planned for April 21, 2018?
85% of respondents intend to attend the auction, or will ‘maybe’ attend the auction. 15% are no.
Any other input you’d like to share regarding this BSCO fundraiser? *(non-required question)
Several suggestions and feedback were mentioned, including:
- Appreciation for the parents that makes this event happen
- Simplifying the event or changing venues
- Eliminating dinner, changing to vegetarian or ethnic meal, or having food donated
- A Gatsby theme
- Broadening the “treat the teacher” options
- Moving to a biannual Auction
- Being sensitive to inclusion of all parents
- Emphasizing safe driving home
Thank you for all your feedback!