Today I’m sharing a video. You’ll get to see the contents of a gift bag from one of my school auctions.
But first, let me provide some background on this event.
Fundraising auctions — or at least the kind I blog about on this site — are a fairly “American” thing — or so I’ve been told by those who have attended galas in Europe.
One woman who noticed these differences worked for a mobile bidding vendor. She told me that eventually she wanted to return home to London and become a benefit auctioneer. “But I want to run events the way you do here,” she said, “They’re more interactive and fun.”
I’ve worked a few galas in which most of the guests were of a different cultural or ethnic background than I, including Vietnamese, Indian, and French. Each one had its unique aspects that stood out to me.
And at this gala, I could tell these weren’t my typical school auction parents because of what they wore.
- As a group, the audience was exceptionally well dressed. The attire was black tie optional, and a majority of guests wore formal. I saw a parade of long, backless, strappy, plunging gowns. They upleveled their dress. That’s not typical of American school auction audiences.
- Hosiery: Sheer black hose. Fishnet hose. Patterned neutral hose. When is the last time you’ve seen many of the women wearing fancy hosiery at a school auction?
- Lace. Lots of it.
- Feminine cuts. I’m gathering that the French are great fans of alterations. Their dresses were form fitting and fit the form.
- Dramatic. This is harder to describe, but many of the dresses didn’t appear to be bought at Lord & Taylor. And some guests wore traditional dress, like the Africans from countries which had been part of the French colonial empire.
But the reason I wanted to write this blog isn’t because of the clothing. I wanted to share the contents of the event’s gift bag, which had a global vibe.
It’s not uncommon to receive a small token of appreciation at a school auction. It is often something small — a boxed chocolate, thank you cards created by children, or a tree ornament.
This gift bag went beyond that. It was a big shopping bag filled with more than just coupons and marketing literature.
In the video below you’ll see the contents of the gift bag.
You’ll notice a definite international flair, representative of their French / European culture.
Interested in other ideas?
Over the years, I’ve written other posts about charity auction gift bags.