Prevue asked three event gift merchandisers: How do you make attendees feel like VIPs?
Rymax Marketing Services
“For us, creating a luxury experience is about making a connection,” says Bill Schafer, national sales manager with Rymax Marketing Services, Inc. Rymax’s Strategic Interactive Themed Events, or R-SITE, creates customized product bundles from today’s top brands to elevate gift experiences, whether sunglasses fittings, handbag events featuring brands such as Michael Kors, Tory Burch or Coach, or grills from Weber, kayaks from Crystal Kayak or camping gear from Coleman for outdoor-themed events.
“All of our events feel like a VIP experience because we make sure that each attendee receives individualized attention and high-end rewards that excite them,” says Schafer. “We also make sure that every attendee leaves our events feeling valued and understood, having attended an exclusive experience that they’ll never forget.”
A good example of this is an event that R-Site hosted for a long-standing pharmaceutical client and 500 of their top sales performers around the country. The highlight was a gift suite where each attendee and their guest got to choose rewards from 40 different handpicked and tiered items. “We took all the feedback [from this experience],” Schafer says, “and used it to grow and modify the event, which we do every year.”
Tumi works with planners on budget and demographics to construct the ideal assortment of upscale luggage, business cases and other travel accessories for attendees. Attendees receive product demonstrations and talk about their specific needs, before being matched with the perfect bag, which they receive later through the mail.
“Tumi conducts on-site fitting events for attendees,” explains Mike Landry, VP of special markets at Tumi. “We use Tumi banner stands and table drapes to replicate our retail store environment at your event. We can do this in a suite, poolside or even at a golf course. We can monogram the bag with the recipient’s initials in their choice of colors or rivet a laser-engraved black plate to the bag with the company logo and name.”
Landry adds that the gifting of a travel bag like Tumi is a great way to give attendees a tangible and highly functional gift that they will use frequently, and one that reminds them of the wonderful time they had at your event.
The Omaha Steaks experience is about gourmet tastings, education and gifting. The tastings can be conducted by the hotel or Omaha Steaks can provide a team to participate in the event. Building on this is a custom certificate program (often presented as pillow gifts), where attendees receive a voucher that can be redeemed for one of 12 gourmet products.
“We recently worked with a casino to offer Omaha Steaks as the perfect VIP summer event,” says Matt Burdette, B2B sales and marketing manager at Omaha Steaks. “Our custom certificates were given to each VIP as their parting gift. The casino culinary staff also prepared a steak tasting during the event so that attendees could try Omaha Steaks for themselves before taking the certificate home.”
Burdette says Omaha Steaks is also offering a video option to planners that will help them “reiterate their message long after the event is completed,” with more gifting options to come. “With the expansion of our WorldPort Seafood line we can begin to weave seafood into our tasting events.”