It’s a few weeks before your event and suddenly you realize you haven’t really thought about gifts for your VIPs, speakers and special guests. Should you run to your usual chotsky provider? Perhaps visit your local mall and one of those customizable gift stores? How about finding meaningful gifts that also help local organizations?
I can always tell when someone is excited about a gift. They don’t really expect it, but when extra thought is put into selecting it, they genuinely appreciate the gesture. You can insure they will remember your event and your city. It’s easy to give your speakers the same folio, or thumb drive, or t-shirt, or water bottle everyone else is receiving at your event. Your guests have seen it before and probably can’t tell them apart.
As a speaker I used to put them in a box when getting home, and donated them en masse to a local nonprofit once a year. However, there are two gifts I treasure to this date. They weren’t more expensive than the standard stuff, there was just more thought put into it, and reflected the spirit of the city I traveled to at the time. One is a small bronze wind-bell, handcrafted at Arcosanti, given to me at a Scottsdale event. It’s a beautiful little piece of art that reminds me of a great conference, people and the area. The other was a small glass paperweight designed by a local artist and specifically selected for me. The planner knew I enjoyed glass art. I was impressed by the research of the planner and the very thoughtful token of appreciation.
Musical Instrument Museum Gift Shop
I love putting thought into gifts for special guests, and at the same time make a positive contribution to my community. It’s super easy. When looking for gifts, consider visiting the gift stores at your local museums and parks. Most carry amazingly beautiful and affordable gifts created by local artists, and at many there is no sales tax. Your event budget gets a break, and at the same time you are helping your local community.
LOCAL PLACES TO SHOP FOR TAX-FREE GIFTS
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Shop here
Phoenix Art Museum. Shop here
Desert Botanical Gardens. Shop here
The Heard Museum. Shop here
Musical Instrument Museum. Shop here
Lead in photo: Detail of the James Marshall (a.k.a. Dalek) designed store wall with a view of one of his books. Photo copyright Sean Deckert / Calnicean Projects.