Why Gifting Local is a Smart Decision

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The award-winning Hibear Adventure Flask is Nevada product – the . It is designed to make everything from cold brew to cocktails, that Welsh has found perfect for gifting in the Las Vegas market.
The award-winning Hibear Adventure Flask is a Nevada product designed to make everything from cold brew to cocktails, that Welsh has found perfect for gifting at Las Vegas meetings and events.

Insights and ideas from meetings pro Sarah Welsh, founder
of a one-stop-shop for gifting that makes a difference.

“We truly put the city in a box,” says Sarah Welsh, CMP, CAE, speaking to Prevue recently about her company boxthecity. Having been part of all sides of the meetings industry, including as an association meeting planner, Welsh had noticed that “whenever I was giving or receiving gifts, it seemed like options were limited to the same generic items no matter the city. Something was missing.” The idea behind boxthecity, she says, is to serve as a one-stop shop for curating and designing local gifts that incorporate the essential branding that planners need. “Whether it’s designing a custom-branded gift box or sourcing unique branded or themed elements such as promo products to be included along with the local gifts, we can do that. Boxthecity handles everything from sourcing to fulfillment, and serves every city in North America.”

Why is it smart for meeting planners to gift locally? “Attendees seek authenticity when they travel to another city for a meeting,” notes Welsh. “While they may not have time to get out and explore, receiving something local feels special. It’s smart for planners to deliver a gift that reflects the culture, creativity, and uniqueness of the region. Recipients are also more likely to keep these thoughtful gifts long after they return home.”

As well, gifting locally can reinforce a company’s CSR and DEI commitments, says Welsh. “Local products reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation, can be specified to eliminate unnecessary packaging and can be made by companies that have a charitable component built in. In 2023, 42 percent of boxthecity gifts were from organizations that give back.” As for DEI, “it is no longer a buzzword but an expectation,” she says. “It’s something that boxthecity takes seriously, and is smart for planners to consider. We celebrate the diversity of makers we work with: woman-owned, LGBTQ+ owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned.”

5 Cool Local Gift Ideas

Among a large selection of local gifts, Welsh gives a shout-out to the following:

1. Coffee vanilla soap from Bossom Artisanal in Orlando is a handmade goat’s milk soap in gender-neutral packaging that is booth soothing and energizing. 100 percent of proceeds go to providing jobs and services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Added bonus: Salesperson Nate is willing to be onsite at gifting suites to talk about the products and the brand.

2. Also based in Orlando, women owned Wash + Wik has a hand-poured City Beautiful candle curated by owner Ariel who is also is a Certified Sommelier. This candle is one of boxthecity’s top sellers, says Welsh, “and they have worked with us to create specially themed and scented candles like the Champa Bay after Tampa Bay won the Superbowl.

3. For meetings and events in Las Vegas, the award-winning Nevada-made Hibear Adventure Flask is designed to make everything from cold brew to cocktails, and also serves as a water bottle. The Climate Neutral Certified company has a strong commitment to sustainability.

4. A new favorite product carried by boxthecity is roll-on essential oils by Thistle Farms out of Nashville. Small enough for carry-on, they come in such categories as Breathe, Calm and Focus. “Products handcrafted by this woman-owned company help provide housing, healthcare, therapy and dignified employment to women survivors,” notes Welsh.

5. “Some of the coolest products are those we make in-house by our super-creative design team,” says Welsh. These range from an engraved toolbox for a CEO to custom s’mores kits with specially branded boxes for a thousand corporate attendees. As with all purchases from boxthecity, 4 percent of net profits support a local charity.

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