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What are gifting experiences in an incentive travel program?

Incentive travel gifting is much more of an art than a science. There is no one-size-fits-all option that will please every traveler, but it turns out that you can get pretty close! “Gifting experiences”, rather than “room drops” or “pillow gifts”, allow for your winners to choose their gift during the incentive trip at a prepared event. Granting the comfort of choice and customization means their gift is unique to them and stands out that much more in their mind when they fondly recall that awesome trip they went on for going above and beyond!

Top 3 Incentive Trip Gifting Experiences

We recently sat down in a round table to discuss recent trends and historical data on these gifting experiences. Here are the top 3 that we believe are sure to excite and delight your participants:

1. Sunglasses

At the top of our list were sunglass experiences. Year over year, sunglasses are the most requested gifting item asked for by clients and attendees alike. With so many brands on the market, clients can mix and match to fit their attendee demographics and budget best. Maui Jim was one of the first companies to offer corporate gifting and still provide world-class service and product offerings – in both classic styles and ever-evolving new fashion styles. Revo brand sunglasses not only provide high quality and stylish products but also can include a corporate giveback. Ray-Ban, Oakley, and Costa are great cost-effective options that still hold brand recognition. Corporate or program branding opportunities for sunglass experiences include custom packaging options, such as cases, pouches, or screen cleaners. Photo by Maui Jim

Maui Jim Sunglass Gifting Experience for an Incentive Trip2. Wearables

The next most popular gifting experience option is wearables. While this is a broad category, it can be narrowed down and customized for your specific destination, demographic, or budget. Trends in this gifting category include – bathing suit or boardshort fittings, jean jacket, and denim try-on or offering a selection of sarongs to choose from. Clothing unique to the destination is also a right choice – such as Tommy Bahama or Tori Richard for that trip to Hawaii, or perhaps Southern Tide while in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Customizable footwear is also hot – including custom cowboy boots and Nike ID – which allows attendees to customize their own pair of Nike shoes that will be sent to them after the program concludes. Other trends in this category include fashion handbags, leather accessories, and backpacks.

3. Electronics

Electronics are our third most popular gifting trend – and truly a one size fits all type of gift that appeals to almost everyone. Bose speakers still top the list of most desirable electronic items, followed closely by JBL headphones and other name brand ear pod products. Many companies now include a charity partner giveback, including LSTN Sound Co., who partner with a foundation to provide hearing aids to people in need.


Bonus: Shopping Experiences

What better way to combine all of the items mentioned above than into a Shopping Experience? Shopping Experiences are a great way to allow attendees to select from a mixture of products to customize their gifting experience. Shopping vouchers for a certain dollar amount or a certain number of items can be given, so the experience is smooth and seamless for both client and attendee alike.

To help get the creative juices flowing, below are just a few examples of shopping experiences that could be offered during your next incentive trip.

”Local Artisan Market Experience” – an experience local to the program’s destination. By partnering with vendors and artists for gifting options, attendees are given the unique experience of taking home items that may not be available to them outside of the destination – whether that be handmade pottery from Spain, hand-woven palm hats from Mexico or locally grown and roasted coffee from Costa Rica.

”A Day at the Beach” Market – The name says it all – why not provide attendees the option to pick from a few of the necessities they may need while they are having ”fun in the sun”? Suggestions include – choice of colorful sarong, beach towels, beach bags or sun hats, wet bags for wet clothing and swimsuits, Olukai footwear, or Corkcicle tumblers.

”Winter Wonderland” Market – Before attendees curl up next to a warm fire or hit the slopes, offer them a gifting experience where they can choose from a few items to bundle up with, such as NorthFace or Arc’teryx’teryx jacket, Ugg footwear, Love Your Melon headwear, or custom branded scarves.

”Western Wear” Market – An emerging trend we’ve also recently seen is Western Wear. Whether the program is in Houston or on a dude ranch in Montana, this fun experience could include a Tecovas boot fitting, Jean jacket and denim bar, or custom cowboy hats.


Header photo by Maui Jim


We’re here to help!

Whether you’re revamping your current incentive trip or starting a brand new program, Brightspot is here for you! Drop us a line and let us know what hurdles you need help getting over in your incentive travel program, and we’ll offer our expert advice, no strings attached.

You can also download our free eBook, click the link below so we can provide you a roadmap to getting your trip on the right track:

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Hailey Jump

Author Hailey Jump

Hailey’s meetings and incentives experience, coupled with her background in marketing, help her deliver creative solutions with the client’s bottom line in mind. Her solid relationships with her clients allow her to create unforgettable experiences for all attendees. Beyond the base program logistics, Hailey brings creative gifting and technology solutions to programs. Hailey holds a Master of Business Administration degree and maintains two industry certifications, Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS).

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