For corporate gifts, create meaningful keepsakes that remind attendees of your event and mission for years to come.
Diane Katzman, owner Diane Katzman Design, has designed private-label items for Anthropologie, Neiman Marcus and other top retailers, as well as custom-designed corporate gifts. Here are her insights on how to create impactful gifts that attendees will treasure and keep.
Provide a true keepsake
Pick a gift that is easy to transport and that someone will keep, and use a design that tastefully incorporates your brand, event or experience so attendees will be reminded of their wonderful experience—and your mission—each time they wear it.
Planners can present attendees with custom-designed jewelry, ties, scarves, accessories and other gifts that look like something purchased in an upscale store without spending more than they would to slap a logo on a pair of sunglasses or tote bag.
Make it meaningful
Customize gifts to the destination or mission. Katzman provides artist cards with her customized gifts that tie into the mission or theme of the event. For example, in Italy, Nissan’s top dealers received a wine charm with the name of the cities they visited to put on a ring with the Nissan logo and name of the trip.
Contribute to a cause
Attendees enjoy feeling their event is having a positive impact. To raise money for a breast cancer initiative, Merrill Lynch gave participants “money” to spend at a pink boutique, with all proceeds going to the local breast cancer charity, said Katzman, who owns the trademark to “Real Men Wear Pink” and produces pink ties and socks for the American Cancer Society.
Offer a make-your-own-gift activity
Hands-on, creative projects are fun for attendees; Katzman offers a jewelry-making activity that culminates in a personal treasure, which has been a big hit at Prevue’s Visionary Summits. “The activity should be something that can be done by people without talent or reading glasses, often while sipping drinks,” she said, noting that men enjoy these activities too. “There are options for unisex bangles that can be worn by both women and men. It’s a chance to be creative and to make something nice for someone in their lives, or themselves.”
Build on a motif
Presenting a charm or a unisex bangle for each annual award trip builds meaning. For example, ADP Security gives a unisex stretch bracelet with its logo to each year’s attendees. In Tucson, the logo was in turquoise; in Hawaii, it will be obsidian. “Each year, employees guess what the new bracelet will be and winners love to show them off,” she said.
Go for the unusual
For a Goodyear trip to Uganda, Katzman sourced paper beads from a local village to create distinctive logoed lanyards that attendees used for their ID badges back home. “They created quite a stir back in the office, giving recipients the chance to tell the story and re-create the memory of their trip.”
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