Choosing a Gifting Experience Partner
In today’s meeting and incentive world, there appears to be a wealth of choice when it comes to gift experience suppliers. Now while that is fantastic news for buyers, does more choice equate to better quality, professionalism, performance and an ease of doing business?
Use this list of criteria as you set about choosing your next gifting experience partner:
• Are you working directly with the manufacturer or a company on behalf of that brand?
The latter may hinder communications and add unnecessary layers of margin.
• Are there hidden costs?
Ensure you have accurate product costs: what does freight and tax look like? Are there onsite staffing fees?
• Are you giving your guests the best?
Look for high perceived value in a gift that attendees will be proud and excited to receive.
• Is the pricing model easy to understand?
Make sure costs for the product, shipping, and any taxes are clear – are there any additional costs for staff air, accommodations, transfers, and F&B?
• Can your supplier handle all the logistics?
Shipping internationally, re-stocking fees, sufficient inventory, do they have you covered?
• Can you add a custom and/or personalized item?
Any takeaway that reflects the program logo will continue to remind attendees of the sponsoring company and create loyalty to win again.
• Are you likely to run out of inventory during the event?
A good rule of thumb is to ensure twice as many items are shipped than the group size representative of the item or items selected.
• Does the brand appeal to a wide demographic for your specific audience?
If you have a 50-50 male/female guest ratio, doesn’t it make sense to offer a gift that also matches this?
• Is the gift choice a true “brand experience”?
Guests deserve an experience delivered by full-time brand employees, who can talk knowledgeably about the product and offer selection advice.
• Is the merchandise current and popular, or liquidation of older models?
You want to know if the styles available are current, as many brands use this channel of business to get rid of overstock or discontinued product. Consider a vendor that gives real-time access to their current retail offering so attendees walk away with the latest and greatest.
Keep these questions handy as not all experiences are created equally, and even though a smaller part of the overall program, the gift is still a very important onsite “touch point” that guests will remember and associate with the sponsoring company long after the program ends.
Thank you to the author of this guest post:
Jonathan E. Richards CIS, CITP
Maui Jim Sunglasses
SITE International Board of Directors 2018
Brightspot frequently partners with Maui Jim for their gifting experience on a number of incentive travel programs and corporate meetings. Their team delivers over 1,000 corporate meeting and event sunglass experiences worldwide each year and has done so for nearly 20 years.
For more on how Brightspot brings something extra to your incentive trip gifting experience, head over to our incentive travel page.