Chapter 2

The Foundation of Great Event Gifting

Before choosing that *chef’s kiss* gift, spend time setting the foundation. A successful event gifting strategy hinges on three core pillars – a clear audience and purpose, quality over quantity, and personalization.

1. Define Your Who and Why

Get to know your audience.

“First, you need to understand the demographic of who you’re targeting,” shares Sabrina. Dive into the details to understand event attendees so you can choose a thoughtful gift that says, “I picked this out just for you!”

Here are some questions to help you figure out the ins and outs of your audience.

Consider your event location.

“There are different barriers to entry for virtual and in-person events,” shares Corrina. If you’re planning a virtual event, you need to consider the logistics of shipping gifts to folks’ homes. For example, will the item you’re sending require a signature to be delivered?

Getting people to attend virtual events can be challenging. It’s easier for folks to flake on a virtual event than an in-person event. That’s where event gifting can help. “For virtual events specifically, you want to think about how you can make someone excited about the experience and that they have to be there to get the full experience,” shares Corrina. Giving the perfect gift will create excitement for the event and give folks major FOMO if they don’t attend.

If you’re hosting an in-person event, don’t give anything big or clunky. Make it easy for attendees to take the gift home with them, whether they live near or far. And don’t be afraid to stand out, especially at major conferences or tradeshows. “Give something unique that’s going to break through the noise,” says Corrina.

Keep it on brand.

Your gift should be a reflection of your event.

Zendesk hosted a women’s leadership event with Mel Robbins as the keynote speaker and gifted all attendees a signed copy of her book. We love this approach because the book was a thoughtful and relevant gift that will make attendees remember the event long after it ends! 

Here are some questions to ensure your gift pairs perfectly with your event.

2. Think Quality Over Quantity

The best gifts aren’t the flashiest or the most expensive (though we wouldn’t complain about a nice bottle of Champagne). Basic, high-quality gifts are often the perfect choice for events.

“Quality over quantity. If you can come up with things that go the extra mile, people are going to love that.”

For example, branded notebooks sometimes get a bad rap. But if they’re high-quality and tastefully designed, they can be an incredibly impactful gift, especially when you’re hosting an event where attendees are traveling. After all, who doesn’t love a practical, functional, and easy-to-carry gift?

Nick and his team recently gave out branded Moleskine notebooks that generated a lot of buzz. Folks saw the notebooks at an event and wanted to know how to get their hands on them. Something seemingly simple had a significant impact and led to major FOMO. Now, the TACK team plans on giving out their custom Moleskine notebooks at an upcoming mini-golf networking event. “Keep it simple because simple is always timeless,” shares Nick.

Looking for a high-quality notebook vendor? Lisa Cox, Director of Marketing at Teak & Twine, recommends an Appointed Notebook. “They’re a product people will actually keep,” she shares.

3. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

The third pillar of a successful event gifting strategy is personalization. Tasteful customization creates a connection with your employees, prospects, and customers. The proof is in the pudding – 80% of folks are more likely to do business with a company that delivers tailored experiences.

Here are a few ways to make your gift pop:

Add customization. While this probably isn’t possible for every event, it’s a great way to build a connection with attendees. For example, if you’re hosting a whiskey-tasting event, you could personalize the glasses with your logo and the attendee’s name. For an employee event, Sabrina suggests giving a gift that shows you know your team — something for their pet, family, or themselves! “You can engrave things, you could put their name on it, or you can offer employees something for someone dear to them,” shares Sabrina.

Go all out on the packaging. First impressions count! Don’t skimp on the packaging. You can add personalized branding, custom colors, and fun designs to your gift box or wrapping. “The presentation of the box is going to make an impact,” shares Sabrina.

Incorporate video. “Video automatically breaks the thought pattern,” shares Corrina. You can include a QR code in your gift box that directs folks to a personalized video, made just for them. This unique approach is sure to stand out and build an instant connection.

With the right foundation in place, you’ll be set up for event gifting success!