Picture a room full of denim, thongs, ugg boots, mullets and flannelette shirts as far as the eye can see. There’s some 90’s rock blasting through the PA system, empty beer cans decorate the room and Australian flags adorn the walls. Why? You may ask. To play bingo, of course! But not just any old bingo. It’s Bogan Bingo time!
One of our readers, a resident of a small mining town in Western Australia, recently held a very successful Bogan Bingo event to raise funds for new equipment and the upcoming relocation of their playgroup to a new premises. They also enlisted the support of a local community group who helped by running a BBQ at the event and donating auction items. They very kindly agreed to let us profile them….
Name: Kelly Nunn
Organisation name: Wickham Playgroup
Event name & date: Bogan Bingo in Wickham – 19th March 2016
Approximately how many people attended your event?
How did you set a date?
Normally Wickham Playgroup run a large community event in October – after the weather cools down and the winter events stop. But as we received funding for this event, our timeframe was thrown out, so we decided to delay until after school holidays, but before the weather cooled down too much for all the annual events to begin.
How did you come up with the idea for your event?
I had seen some friends attending similar events, and Playgroup had talked about doing a bingo night for several years, so it seemed to be the right fit.
How many organising committee roles were there and what were they?
Our organising committee consisted of the Wickham Playgroup committee (5) plus 5 Playgroup members. We had two members committed to approaching organisations for donations. One member was responsible for decorations, but had plenty of help from all committee members. All other roles were based on requirements as different issues were raised.
Have you ever been involved in organising an event like this before?
Wickham Playgroup aim to host one large event each year. The committee that were involved have previously organised a quiz night, a poker tournament and Mum’s night out, plus several smaller events.
Why did you choose Bogan Bingo?
We chose Bogan Bingo due to its popularity elsewhere, and we felt that our community would really enjoy this type of event.
Did you raise any money from sponsorship?
We received sponsorship from the City of Karratha (our local government) and our local Tidy Towns Organisation.
How did you go about it?
The funding from City of Karratha was applied for under their quarterly grants scheme for events. We approached Wickham Tidy Towns for sponsorship for the event, and in turn they used the event to raise some funds by providing the food for the evening, and they also were involved in the auction on the evening.
What is the best way that you have found to get people to volunteer their time?
The best way of securing volunteers for an event like this is by holding an event by that the volunteers are interested in and are willing to support. We held several meetings to confirm everyone’s commitment, and then had nights to prepare decorations and props for the evening which included nibbles and drinks.
Do you have a thank you dinner/party for your helpers?
No, we all attended the evening, and had a great night together
Describe any success you had with your publicity –
We started advertising the event was coming in January to inform the community. We were lucky to have the help of graphic designer Live Love Create, which helped put our posters and displays together.
How did you promote your fundraiser?
We advertised our event via social media, on local noticeboards around town. We live in a small mining community, and were also able to have the poster emailed across the mine site to all employees (most of whom are Wickham residents). Our tickets sold out in less than two days, so we did not have to do much promotion. Most promotion was to inform people prior to ticket sales, and to update on things such as food and bar facilities.
What was your fundraising goal?
Our fundraising goal was simple – raise as many funds as possible to minimise any future fundraising requirements for the year. Our main in aim for these events is to provide a great night for our community.
How much money did you raise?
Just over $8000
Did you run any games or other fundraisers to increase money raised?
We had lots of prizes donated, and we had a door prize, raffle and silent auction through the night.
What would you do differently next time?
We ran short of alcohol supplies, and were lucky enough to have the local fire station help us with some extra supplies during the night. And we did a steel boot toss outside during the break. It was difficult for anyone to see the hula hoops, so more lighting would have been better. But they were really our only issues. Everything else was great.
Is there anything you wish you had known before you started?
That the demand for tickets would be so much – we would have picked a larger venue to accommodate more tables.
What is the best advice that you can give an event organiser?
Take it easy. Don’t sweat the small stuff – most people attending events won’t notice the small things that can cause so much stress for organisers. And there is no need to spend a fortune on decorations or supplies – our entire venue was decorated with recycled goods – which our volunteers turned into awesome creations.
Kelly told the Fundraising Directory that she couldn’t be happier with how the night ran and given their location (Pilbara WA), how easy the guys at Bogan Bingo were to deal with. Bringing in professionals guaranteed there would be a fun night, and all they had to worry about was the decorating and ticket sales (the fun stuff!). Their whole community enjoyed the event so much that she’s already been approached by a number of other community groups in their town asking her to organise another Bogan Bingo night for next year!
If you’ve done your fair share of trivia night fundraisers and are looking for something different, then Bogan Bingo might be for you. A chance to get your local community together for a fun night out and raise those much-needed funds at the same time.
Aside from ticket sales, this type of event gives you heaps of opportunities to rope in extra dollars too – raffles, lucky number (lucky squares), fashion parades, coin toss (or in Wickham playgroups case – the steel boot toss), silent auctions, heads and tails, alcohol and food sales. Selling your tickets ahead of time makes sure you stay on top of the number of blokes and sheilas you’ll have to set up and cater for and will reduce your stress levels on the night.
Bogan Bingo Entertainment provide 2 professional bogans to call the bingo, tell jokes, play music, host an air guitar competition and encourage your bogan community to empty their wallets for your cause. Contact Bogan Bingo Entertainment for more information and so you can unleash your inner bogan!