It’s a few weeks before your event and suddenly you realize you haven’t really thought about swag 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 or twice a year. There are two gifts however 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 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 and people. 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.
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.
What is the best gift you have ever give or received at an event? Share with us on Twitter or Facebook.