Knightsbridge Fundraising Event Goes Virtual

Some+of+the+retailers+for+2020%27s+virtual+Knightsbridge+event+include+Red+Note+Botanica%2C+Thumbs+Cookies%2C+Madeline+Lynne+Baubles%2C+By+The+Lake+MKB+Designs%2C+Bare+Honey%2C+and+Jotted-Lines.

Knightsbridge Vendor Logos, Fair Use

Some of the retailers for 2020’s virtual Knightsbridge event include Red Note Botanica, Thumbs Cookies, Madeline Lynne Baubles, By The Lake MKB Designs, Bare Honey, and Jotted-Lines.

Jackie Bucaro, Editor-In-Chief

Knightsbridge, BSM’s fall fundraising event, went virtual this year due to COVID-19. Since predictions indicated that COVID-19 would spike in the fall and winter months, BSM’s Parent Association made the decision to shift the bazaar-style fundraiser online. 

In previous years, Knightsbridge has been a marketplace in the Haben Center where small businesses and vendors from around the community came together to sell their products. The stylized event was modeled after the Knightsbridge shopping center in London, with a bit of Christmas decor mixed in. “The Haben Center was decorated with British flags and life-size standup cutouts of British royalty to give it a royal flair. We also had Christmas trees and piped in Christmas music to help set the ambiance for the event,” Parent Association Ways and Means Committee Assistant Chair Martha Long said in an email.

As a major fundraiser, Knightsbridge promises large revenues to BSM: 15% of every purchase made goes back to the school. Without the in-person attendance, it’s difficult to gauge how the final amounts will look this year, but the organizers think that they will likely be lower than in the past. “We do not have final numbers in yet, but expect that there were less people participating online and likely less virtual sales than previously occurred at the Haben Center,” Long said. 

The shift from in-person to online was marked with challenges, especially because of the wide variety of vendors working with BSM. “Most of our merchants are small local businesses that do not have sophisticated websites and rely on events like Knightsbridge and word of mouth to sell products… [it] took a tremendous amount of time gathering information [and] images of products,” Long said. 

For Knightsbridge, the largest draw factor is socialization. As the Parent Association shifted to a virtual event, they did their best to preserve the feeling of community inherent to the event. “The virtual event was difficult to organize because we could not replicate the social aspect in an online environment… We promoted the event in the Knightly News, emails, and… posters at school. We thought that the best way to try to make it social was by using social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook,” Long said.

We miss the excitement, energy, and the boisterous sounds of people at the Knightsbridge Event”

— Martha Long

For some events, newly utilized virtual technologies might stick around after COVID-19 due to their efficiency and convenience. In the case of Knightsbridge, this is unlikely. “We definitely want to bring back the in-person Knightsbridge event as that provides excitement and a sense of community… We miss the excitement, energy, and the boisterous sounds of people at the Knightsbridge Event,” Long said.

A full list of Knightsbridge vendors can be found on their virtual merchants list.