Brand Impressions Aug '18
It can be challenging to select gifts for clients or employees over and over. It's exciting to have a gift that receives rave reviews, but it only raises the bar for the next gift!
We recently worked with Heather Mintz, Program Manager of Marketing and Events with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to select gifts for a large, annual event. Because many of the guests are repeat attendees, there is added pressure to keep the event fresh and exciting. "Planning this event can be challenging because the attendees go to so many functions. Anytime I can wow them, I am thrilled," she said.
Heather focuses on the venue when selecting gifts for many of the events she plans. The 2018 Producer Summit was held in July in South Carolina at the Montage Palmetto Bluff, so it was overflowing in southern, Lowcountry charm. "Matching the event and venue are far more important than current trends," Heather said. If your event is not in a special location, then focusing on the season may help narrow down the options. If you are gifting in the summer, a beach towel or folding chair would make perfect gifts. If you are gifting in the winter, then a car safety kit or luxurious blanket are great ideas.
The welcome bag itself was a cotton tote with burlap trim and rope handles. We also included a pair of oyster knives and can huggers. Heather then added some locally-made, Lowcountry snack foods. The tote we found for Heather was the perfect style for the venue, but it was a little larger than what she needed for the contents she was planning. We agreed that it would be better to give a functional, stylish tote that may be a little big than to find a tote that may be better sized for the specific needs but not as likely to be used later by the attendees. Heather's solution was to package the items inside of the bag to take up as much space as possible so that the contents would still look substantial. We always go for function and style over other qualities. If the gift you select for your recipients is function and/or has a style that makes them feel like a million bucks, then your gift will be used for years to come.
Heather often uses can huggers at events. It's a functional product that remains extremely popular. They have become a collectible for many people! She put one in each welcome bag and also placed baskets of them for use at the various event functions. Think can huggers are over-done? Give them another try! They are an inexpensive giveaway, and with an interesting design, recipients will hang on to them for years to come!
Finally, Heather asked us to find branded, oyster knives. They were serving oysters at one of the event dinners, and while they wouldn't use them at the dinner, they would be dropped in the room that evening during turn-down service. The oyster knives received "rave reviews"! "How often do you receive an oyster knife at an event like that? The guests thought it was so creative and were excited to use them at home," said Heather. This is a prime example of finding an item based around the event venue. No, oyster knives will not work for everyone, but let us help you think beyond the basics to find something that would enhance what is special about your event.
We had a ball working with Heather on this event. It's so exciting to be a part of the process and hear that recipients loved the welcome bags and gifts. If you want to learn more about working with us on events large or small, shoot us an email. We can help you "wow" your audience too!