Four tips for giving promotional gifts at holiday events

Hard to believe another year is almost over! And that also means it’s holiday party time… again. Whether you’re hosting an event for clients, vendors and strategic partners, or employees, giving them a promotional gift of some sort is usually a nice touch. But that adds to your already busy year-end hassle.
Tips for giving promotional gifts at holiday events
So here are a few tips for making it easier for you and your gift recipients:

  • The exit strategy. There’s nothing more awkward than trying to juggle a plate full of hors d’oeuvres (especially the ones with sauces) and a holiday gift at the same time. Plan to distribute your gifts as guests exit your event, not when they arrive. Plan to have some friendly staffers manning the exit to hand a gift to each guest as they head out the door. It’s not only more practical for both you and them, but makes a lasting impression as they are heading home. As well, it helps you control the distribution, avoiding the situation where guests swipe extra gifts. It’s tempting and it happens.
  • Bag it! I’ve been to events where the host organization is literally distributing the gifts from the shipping cartons they came in. Tacky! While I certainly am one to dispense with unnecessary packaging and wrappings, putting your holiday gift in a handled bag is a convenience that both you and your gift recipients will appreciate. It also shows that you put some effort into the presentation. Although it’s nice, a bag imprinted with your logo is not necessary. Plain, but colorful, non-logo bags with your business cards attached can do the job. Plus, there’s nothing more appealing than seeing a display of lovely bagged gifts awaiting guests as they begin to head home.
  • Tipsy tips. As much as I hate to address this, if your party is one where alcohol will not only be served, but consumed with gusto, consider ditching the gift altogether. They probably won’t even remember you gave them something or might even leave it behind. Consider spending on cab or limo rides home instead! Discuss any event that serves alcohol with your event management and insurance professionals for advice on liability issues.
  • The after party. Around the holidays, surprise gifts are always welcome. Imagine coming home or to the office and getting a delivery of an unexpected “thank you for attending our party” gift. Plus, with promotional holiday gift orders sometimes getting delayed (trust me, I know way too much about this), it’s a good rebound strategy. At the event, DO NOT tell your guests that their gifts were delayed. Act as if that was the plan all along. You’ll look like a gift giving genius instead of a perturbed party planner.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

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