Help Us, Help You: Corporate Gifting Advice From the Pros

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corporate giftingThe market offers a ton of corporate gifting options.

How you find the right one for your gifting needs is ironically less about the gifts and more about how your attendees define value, according to Allyson Krichman, senior director of product sales for Rymax Marketing Services, and Robert Hoffman, national sales manager of corporate sales and event gifting for Castle Merchandising. Krichman and Hoffman offer a few more ideas below. Need corporate gifting ideas? It’s in the bag.

On defining value for attendees…

Krichman: Understand the effort and drive that winners have demonstrated to reach their milestones and achieve success. Regardless of the size of the achievement, each one deserves to be recognized and the best way to show value is through the use of retail brands and trends in the marketplace. When choosing items, it’s important to think about current retail trends, while also considering the wants and needs of the program winners. Find items that might appeal to them based on the location of the event, the theme of the program and the demographic of the audience. Also, appreciation can be conveyed through thoughtfulness. Giving the power of choice in any program shows that you thought about your attendees and understand what appeals to them. All items should provide event attendees with a fun, personalized and empowering gifting approach.

Hoffman: No gift is one-size-fits-all. We offer multiple category on-site events, since your event attendees truly prefer to participate in selections. We also carry a diverse portfolio of brands at many price points to help meeting planners select from many different gifting options.

On sourcing high-quality gifts on a limited budget…

Hoffman: Planners should ask about gift box packaging, and gift bag options. They may be free or very low cost, but make the gift look higher-end.

Krichman: If you understand your recipients and know what motivates them, your rewards will be met with appreciation. It’s always important to find items from brands that recipients know and trust. Headphones from Skullcandy, waterproof speakers from 808, Cheers Glasses from Mikasa and entertaining pieces from Nambe, all have great brand power. It’s also important to align yourselves with the brands that have a strong pricing strategy and global market appeal. High price does not necessarily mean high quality. However, strategically chosen options will always mean thoughtfulness, gratitude and value. Interactive gifting events can elevate a traditional room drop or pillow gift to a memorable one-of-a-kind experience that resonates with attendees for weeks, months or even years to come.

“Giving the power of choice in any program shows that you thought about your employees and that you understand what appeals to them.”

On sourcing value discounts, securing contract pricing and being able to track and report on the gifts they send…

Krichman: Conversations prior to, during and following an on-site gifting experience can be just as important as the redemption trends from an event. As a part of our R-SITE event services, our clients receive a detailed post-event report which includes the budget breakdown, redemption analysis, guest feedback and suggestions for the following year, based off our reporting and trends. Feedback for all aspects of an event is key to success and future planning.

On the most important “must-haves” they need from you when creating a corporate gifting strategy…

Hoffman: We need to know every detail planners have about the event to help them to the best of our ability, e.g., the theme of the event, ratio of male-to-female attendees, why attendees are receiving the award and types of award categories the planner is seeking. Some clients forget to provide important things, including budget, in-hands date, and quantity needed so we can work with brands to give them the best assortment.

Krichman: When we work with our clients, we’re always sure to gain a strong understanding of their employees and the format of the rest of the trip. We remind our clients to put themselves in their attendees’ shoes. Most of the time, they can barely zip their suitcase or fit one more item in their carry on. For that reason, we always encourage our clients to offer a drop-ship option to guests to expand the breadth of options, and so attendees aren’t forced to choose a small item that’s easy to pack. There’s no need to worry about shipping unnecessary items to the event or running out of an item because it will also be shipped from our warehouse. It’s a stress-free experience for both the client and their attendees. This is something that comes up a lot.

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