When you’re planning a corporate event, you want every last detail to be perfect. You don’t want microphones giving off obnoxious reverb as your executives begin to speak. You don’t want a lunch that’s served hot when it should be cold, or cold when it should be hot. And, you don’t want corporate gifts that are forgettable, or worse, laughable.
Finding the right giveaway or promotional items for a corporate event can be tricky. You’re probably working within a set budget and, at the same time, you’re trying to accommodate attendees from all different genders, backgrounds and walks of life.
We’ve put together some ideas on how you can choose a corporate gift that’s fun, interesting or memorable – maybe all three!
1. Give Something Usable.
It can be especially nice to see event attendees using their gift items right away. For example, if you’re doing strategic planning, it could make sense to give guests sticky notes they can use during brainstorming.
Depending on the setup in your meeting space, or the meeting’s size, it can also make sense to offer a useful gift that makes being away from a traditional desk a little easier.
For example, if you’re hosting a large event, you may still want people to be able to use their devices for in-event voting (or just to be able to take notes, etc.), but may also know that you don’t have the outlets you need to keep everyone happy and out of the dreaded low power mode.
In this case, you’ll receive rave reviews for an item like a juice pack to keep their electronics charged up and in working order. Items like these have been extraordinarily popular in large meeting spaces like the conference and meeting rooms at 500 Pearl, where dozens of team members can gather in one place.
2. Use Logos and Imprints Tastefully.
A corporate event can be a great opportunity to get more logoed materials in employees’ or colleagues’ hands. However, that doesn’t mean you have to go overboard and emblazon the logo on your item in 214-point font.
You can still include your logo without making it the center of attention. Some popular gift items that have featured a discreet logo include suede or vegan leather-covered notebooks with an embossed logo, or business card holders that are labeled with a similar approach.
These options can give your employees or colleagues an item they are proud to carry/use, and that simultaneously promotes your business.
If you’re hosting a brainstorming session, you may want an item that encourages creative thinking or that gets the conversation flowing between participants.
As an example, at one event focusing on technology and innovation, guests received a Hoberman switch pitch ball (fans of the HBO show Silicon Valley may know it better as the “Always blue!” game). The gift was quirky and unusual, but it broke the ice, referenced an intersection of pop culture and technology, and got people talking, moving and sharing ideas.
4. Presentation Matters.
Even if you have a great gift available for your corporate event, if it’s tucked away on a table in the background, your guests probably won’t feel comfortable taking one and using it.
Instead, if you want your gift to be utilized at the event, work with your on-site event coordinator to make sure that the gift is given a place of prominence.
At our corporate hotels, for example, our event team frequently helps to place gift items at each individual seat. If the event is a retreat with guests staying on-site, it can also be fun and exciting to have a gift or token waiting for guests as they arrive and check in to the hotel.
5. Give Something that Makes Life a Little Easier for Them.
Participating in a corporate leadership workshop or training event can be fun and invigorating. However, no matter how exciting it is to take part, being away from home for an event can be a sacrifice, especially if your attendees are missing family events, enlisting grandparents or babysitters for support, or paying for pet sitters or boarding facilities in order to be away.
In these situations, aim for a gift that show them you value their time and input. A branded pen or umbrella probably isn’t going to cut it in those situations, but something like a decadent treat they can enjoy in their room or a unique item with local flair can be a big hit.
One encourages self-care, while the other means they can have something Buffalo-themed to brandish when they walk in their front door and the kids demand to see the treats they’ve brought with them. Your event coordinator should be able to recommend options that will fit the bill and appropriately express your appreciation for their time and participation.
A corporate event is more than just a luncheon, or a training day, or a retreat. It’s a reflection of you, your business, your values and your culture. Each little item and each individual interaction are saying something about how you work and what you believe in. Make sure you’re not just satisfied, but delighted, with the way you’re presenting your company and yourself.
If you’re trying to put together the perfect event, we can help. We have 10 Ellicott hotels in the area, all of which have meeting and conference space available to create an event that suits your event topic, mood and audience.