Enterprise for High School Students

Fall-Winter 2014
Project Type
Full team
Project Focus
Market Analysis,
Marketing & Communications
Organization Type


Founded in 1969, the mission of Enterprise for High School Students (EHSS) is to engage and empower at-risk San Francisco Bay Area youth for success in employment and higher education. EHSS provides training, guidance, and employment experiences so that these youth can discover career opportunities and cultivate their individual interests. The organization’s programs develop critical skills: how to get a job, how to keep that job, and how to plan for the transition from high school to post-secondary education and employment.

Currently, 225 students participate in the Pathways Program and receive twenty-five hours of workshop training before they are eligible to apply for employment. Seventy-five students participate in the This Way Ahead Program which provides fifty-five hours of workshop training. Students completing these two programs are then eligible to apply for one of 125 summer internships as well as employment through the EHSS Job Bank, which focuses exclusively on high school students. For these summer internships, students are given an opportunity to test their “get a job” and “keep a job” skills such as communication, reliability, teamwork, self-confidence, and self-awareness, as well as learn and improve job-specific skills. Finally, through post-employment college and career counseling, these youth develop the ability to plan for their futures.


EHSS’s $1.5 million annual budget is heavily supported (40%) by a special event, the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show. The Show is now in its 33rd year, attracting 60-65 premier quality dealers from around the world. Its Opening Night Gala is a major event on the San Francisco social calendar and provides significant revenue, with admission prices ranging from $275 to $2500 per ticket. However, the Antiques Show itself, which opens the morning after the Gala and runs for four days, has experienced flat attendance and exhibitors have complained that their sales during the Show have been weak, reflecting a general deterioration in the market for high-end antiques. As exhibitor sales have declined, a number of important international dealers have been lost. The combination of shipping expenses, airfare and hotel expenses make it far more difficult for international exhibitors to earn a profit at the Show. Continued loss of highly regarded dealers increases the risk of the Show becoming second-tier, with associated loss of the Gala’s glamour.

Project Objectives

The ACT team was asked to define and assess opportunities to reposition the Enterprise for High School Students’ (EHSS) major fundraising event, The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show (SFAS), so that the event continues to generate the desired contribution to EHSS’ operating budget.

Project Overview

The ACT team’s project went through many stages. First, the team defined success factors that EHSS uses for the SFAS; reviewed past SFAS shows, determined trends in attendance/revenue/vendor participation, and conducted a pre- and post-show survey of the show dealers to assess their expectations and sentiment for this year’s show, and attended the SFAS Gala on October 22 and talked with patrons, dealers, and EHSS staff. Afterwards, key board members were interviewed, with an emphasis on those with significant tenure. The ACT team identified other non profits with a similar fund raising event (gala/auction), as well as competing commercial and non-profit auction enterprises and interview to determine industry trends, and interviewed them when possible. Through research of the antiques and art market, the ACT team determined trends in demand, purchaser demographics, and dealer demographics in order to determine how closely SFAS fits with these trends. The ACT team finally reviewed marketing, logistics, and organization structure of the SFAS to identify opportunities for improvement.

Key Recommendations

  • Change the product to cater to the emerging target dealers and collectors
  • Change the promotion strategy to reach the right audience

Final Report Outline

  • Review of project plan
  • Market analysis
  • Findings
  • Recommendations in the context of product, placement, promotion, pricing (the 4 P’s of marketing)
  • Next steps
  • Q&A and discussion


The European Fine Arts Foundation Annual Report 2014 contains a detailed explanation of the worldwide art and antique market including an excellent breakdown of the current and future market in the United States.