August 20, 2019
By Cvent Guest

Designing a gift program that leaves attendees feeling appreciated, empowered, inspired, and doesn’t stop once the event is over can be a significant investment in your overall event spend. It’s important to understand that thoughtful gifts spark meaningful conversations about your event and continue long after the on-site experience fades. But what exactly does “meaningful conversations” mean? These conversations start when friends/family ask guests where they received their new gift. Being asked about a new gift gives guests a reason to talk about themselves and their success.

We’ve Narrowed Down Three Factors

There are three factors to consider when planning your next gift program to spark meaningful conversations afterward. The more conversations that happen after your event, the more your attendees feel appreciated and inspired - driving home the outcome you want with your incentive program.

1. Choice

You might remember the days when planners would gift their entire group the same pair of sunglasses, as there were no other real options. But today, there’s a better way to gift sunglasses where guests try on and select their favorite from a variety of options. Choice is the simplest, most effective way to ensure every guest finds a gift they love. Choice is so important it should be incorporated into every gift program, no matter what the category. Why take the chance that a percentage of your guests might not love their gift?

The Right Amount of Choice

Any amount of choice is better than no choice at all, but over the years we’ve found that finding the right balance is a huge factor for your gift program’s success. Too many options can feel overwhelming while not enough can end up making your gift program fall a little flat.

Sunglass gifts

2. Aspirational Brands

Selecting aspirational brands can make all the difference in the world. So, what’s an “aspirational brand”?

  • A product or brand that people aspire to own, but might not be willing to purchase for themselves. It’s something you want, but don’t necessarily need.
  • Product that is demonstrably superior and pleasingly different, one made with premium materials and immediately stands out as special.
  • The discoverability of a new brand is equally important. When your guests are high achievers with discretionary income, they are often looking for the next cool brand. They want to be the first to discover it and share it with their peers.

3. Frequency of Use

Handbags, small luggage and accessories, watches, apparel, and footwear all have relatively high scores when it comes to frequency. Ask yourself how important it is to have your guests continually use their gift. When people frequently use a gift, they continue to feel appreciated long after the occasion. With continued use, the gift-giving experience and the people involved in it become more memorable.

Bringing it all Together

The key to designing a successful gift program that will continue to spark meaningful conversations long after the on-site experience fades can be measured using three factors: choice, aspirational brands, and frequency of use. Remember it all starts with a question:

“I love your new handbag, where did you get it?”

Questions like these set the stage for people to talk about their success. The gift is proof that they own the bragging rights. The goal is to make people feel valued as individuals rather than mere numbers in a large company. They’ll appreciate your efforts to make their gifts more personal.  

Cultivate creates on-site gift experiences at corporate events and incentive trips. To learn more, visit Cultivate. 

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