Our guide to choosing a suitable corporate gift

One of the (many) responsibilities of an event planner is to choose a thank-you gift for guests. What many fail to realise, however, is that finding a corporate gift that will delight guests, reflect the brand’s identity and fit into the overall event budget can be tricky. Our extensive experience in the events industry has taught us that choosing a suitable corporate gift is just as important as your décor, catering, and speakers.

Gifts need to adequately reflect the type of corporate event they’re part of.

One of the most crucial considerations when finding a gift for your guests is to make sure that it’s appropriate. Your gift should echo the client’s ethos. It goes without saying that anything tacky, cheap or risqué is not an option either. Essentially, corporate gifts need to be on the right side of conservative. Identifying a gift that reinforces the professionalism of your client takes some skill, so ensure that you allocate adequate time and attention to this task. It’s pointless pouring your time and energy into creating a world-class event, only to undermine your work thanks to an inappropriate or lacklustre gift

Events industry norms differ, so make sure to establish your client’s preference when compiling the event brief.

While most corporate events include a gift, some clients feel that the event is enough of a gift and eschew this practice completely. Bear in mind that gifting can eat up a large portion of your budget, so ensure that you and your client establish an allocated amount from the get-go. Every rule has its exceptions, but a general guide is between R100 – R500. Most companies will have governance guidelines pertaining to gifting – be sure to establish what these are at the briefing stage in order to avoid any embarrassing situations.

Steer clear of overly-extravagant gifts, but make sure that they’re not tacky either.

Ostentatious gifts should be avoided at all costs, as should anything that looks cheap. The majority of companies favour gifts that aren’t wasteful. Eco-friendly or ‘green’ gifts are always suitable – they’re long lasting too, which means that your event won’t be easily forgotten.

Approach gifting guests who weren’t able to attend your event with care.

It’s up to the client’s discretion whether or not they want to give thank-you gifts to guests who were absent. This should be discussed while the brief is being compiled too. Many companies feel this practice is pointless, as they don’t want to reward guests for not attending. At the same time, if a guest could not attend for a legitimate reason, sending them a gift, along with a copy of the presentations or product info pack can be a thoughtful gesture.

Image Credit: Shows in a Box