In our experience, an important detail that is often missed until the last minute are the gifts for speakers, attendees, volunteers and partners. It's crucial to show your gratitude, but what should you get? How can you show appreciation on a shoestring budget?
To help our fellow planners, we want to share our top 5 tips and tricks for conference gifts.
1. Keep it simple.
It doesn't need to be huge or expensive. Last year, we built small gifts featuring 125 g bag of Coava Coffee Roasters whole beans and the Stanley photo display by Plywerk. Tied together with a charming bow, you have the perfect gift for professional and personal use.
2. Ask for help.
Gift-building can be a lonely journey, so don't do it without friends. Leverage the power of your volunteers to pick up products and assemble each gift. With a great playlist and delicious snacks, it can be a great bonding experience.
3. Use locally-made products.
Visitors who attend conferences love bringing home a piece of the host city. Make it easy for them by purchasing products from local artisans. Not only are you showering the recipient with a dash of local gifting love, but your supporting the hard work of small businesses in your community.
4. Give something that travels well in luggage or as a carry-on.
Assume that the gift recipients only have carry-on luggage and ask yourself, "Could they use or carry everything on an airplane?" Remember, TSA states that liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes must be in containers that are 3.4 ounces or less.
The WORST is when you've spent money on a really nice gift (think a bottle of wine), but the recipient doesn't have time to use it and is forced to dispose of it prior to boarding their flight. Madness! Stick to items that can travel well.
5. Avoid the box!
Try challenging yourself to think about alternative packaging options that are sustainable and can be used after the conference. We love tote bags because they easily fold into luggage and can be regifted if the recipient doesn't like them.