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Giving a gift is not only about thanking your guest speaker; it’s also a chance to build a relationship.
Speaker gifts got to be more than a token gesture as:
But to achieve all of this, you need to go beyond the traditional cookie-cutter approach and put more thought into gifts.
Wondering where to start? Right here. We have compiled 19 gift ideas and 7 best practices. And it doesn’t end there. You also get a list of gifts to avoid. Let’s go!
Everybody tries to think of out-of-box gift ideas. But the reality is: perfect gifts are the most practical ones which can be used day in and out. With this thought, here are 13 useful + 6 interesting add-on gift ideas for guest speakers.
Every time you want to enjoy your hot cup of coffee slowly, a mail, a skype call, or a tweet distracts your attention. It’s a disease. And a coffee mug warmer is the cure. It is a tiny hot plate sitting on a desk, keeping the beverage hot and saving you from coffee emergencies. Any coffee lover(clearly many) will absolutely love this gift.
Tip: You can easily tie up with a gifting company and get the city’s symbol(where the event is conducted) imprinted. It will be a good souvenir of the event.
Mug? It’s a waste. They would have 10s of it already. Is that ringing in your head?
We hear you!
There is a reason behind it being such a common gift. It’s highly usable. And you can fight off the genericness by personalizing the cup.
Tip#1: With a mug and coaster set, you get ample space to design it fancy and add quotes that reflect your speaker’s personality.
Tip#2: From a branding perspective, you can get the cup designed in the company logo colors or add the tagline of your company.
A bottle might not sound like an exciting gift, but think about it, your guest will use it almost every day of the year. You can give insulated bottles so they can enjoy their drinks hot in the winter and super chilled in summer.
Tip: You can also personalize the bottle by laser engraving. A cool motivational message to keep water intake in check is not a bad idea. Also, a small logo of your company will never hurt.
Want to give a not-so-boring coupon? Starbucks gives an option to give customized gift cards. You can create your own design and be assured that you gifted your guests something which will come into use. Bonus: Starbucks allows custom gift messages too.
Who is traveling without a laptop these days? It makes the laptop bag another essential item. You can think of the person while deciding on a bag. For example, is the guest more of a traveler? Then a laptop backpack would be more helpful.
Tip: Adding the recipient’s initials on the bag to show the personal touch.
The beauty of speakers is there are numerous options to experiment with. Many multi-functional speakers are available. Like you can have an Amazon echo dot with a clock. You can get speakers with a lamp. You can get decorative speakers too. There are a lot of options to personalize, and you can choose the one your guest will like the most.
Tip: JBL offers an option to personalize speakers with custom images, design, and text. You can play around with messaging and brand colors.
Padfolio is meant for executives handling external events and meetings. It’s a simple way to organize papers and office supplies. Speakers carry notes, stationery, identity cards, invites, and phones to events, which makes a padfolio a useful gift for them.
Tip#1: You can put your speaker’s name or monogram on the padfolio.
Tip#2: Adding a company logo will help brand awareness.
Wireless chargers are a hot item in the electronic gifting space at the moment. It also offers an easy customization option. For example, you can get a nice thank you or any note printed on the wireless charging pad.
Tip: Buy a wireless charger compatible with your guest’s electronic devices.
Speakers travel often. So a travel kit makes up for a perfect gift. You can get a nice combo of neck pillow, sleep mask, blanket, and earplugs. Subtle branding can also be done on the products.
Tip: Avoid skincare as it’s problematic. Individuals prefer skincare based on their skin type, and you never know who is allergic to what product.
Did anyone say ‘thoughtful gift’? You can’t put oil diffusers out of the list, then. It pleasantly calms one down and helps in getting good sleep. Research shows aromatherapy can also improve work performance. Oil diffusers are both pleasing and useful.
A portable coffee maker is a savior for anyone who is very particular about their coffee or can’t wake up without coffee(Relatable much!?). It also gives the comfort of preparing your coffee anywhere — in a hotel or a camp.
Tip: You can check the preferred taste, brewing options, and budget before buying a coffee maker.
Speakers look at the events as a chance to meet people. You can organize dinners post event as it gives an opportunity to network. Create a plan to avoid the dinner going on auto-pilot and ensure attendants interact with each other.
A sample plan:
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM – Networking/Interaction with guests and welcome speech
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Dinner
8:00 PM – 8:30 PM – Dessert on the go and Awards
8:30 – 8:45 PM – Closing Remarks
Bonus: Such dinners also make for good LinkedIn or Twitter pictures.
Tip: Plan a seating arrangement. Ensure speakers are placed at the right table with decision makers/attendants who are most relevant to them.
Many speakers are always happy to get connected to a cause. You can give a donation in their name as a gift. Decide on the charity fund to support based on the event. For instance, money could go to a medical cause if it’s a medical event. If it’s a tech event, money can go to any non-profit organization using it for tech-for-good purposes like cheaper medical instruments, etc.
Tip: If you like to personalize this gift, you can choose a donation towards any cause that speakers promote or are connected to. It will leave a huge impression.
Mark Dalgarno, Co-Founder at Create Change and Freelance Agile Coach, conducted an informal survey on 100 speakers and asked about their motivation behind speaking at events. 20% responded with the reason – building a personal brand.
Speakers have their own businesses too, and when you promote them on social media, feature them in an article and refer them to other events. Firstly, they share it, which is getting some eyes on your work. Secondly, they will remember your contribution to their business and personal brand. How you treat them matters a lot.
As a continuing relationship, you can also give them a free membership to your product. If it’s a physical product, you can give free gift hampers. Your sponsors might also be interested in giving trial packs to get more eyeballs. It’s a great add-on as anyone will like two gifts more than one gift. Also, the second gift hits right on the branding game.
Guests are used to the standard gift box, which reeks of self-promotion. No one expects you to put in so much effort and create a custom illustration or caricature. It will definitely come off as a surprise. Even better if you can make a funny one. You can subtly introduce your brand if you like by choosing the right colors or adding a small logo to the background.
If you want to build a long-term relationship with a speaker, you can give them a free pass for future events. Every event means more knowledge and networking opportunities for speakers. It will definitely be a value add.
Tip: Gift coupons for events that are relevant to the speaker.
A mousepad is another handy desktop essential and low-budget gift item. The best part? It can be made super stylish and branded. So choose a creative, fun, or sleek design based on your guest speaker’s liking and get going.
Yes, yes, journals may seem like a boring or common gift! But everyone loves that freshness of a new snazzy journal. It’s a nice-to-have gift for some brainstorming and planning.
Tip: You can make it special by embossing a saying your guest speaker uses all the time on the cover. Alternatively, you can add a quote that reflects their personality.
1. Give something which does not lie in a cupboard or store room waiting for an occasion to come into use. Something which gets practically used more becomes memorable.
2. Presentation matters. Keep the entire unboxing experience in mind.
3. Personalized speaker gifts are hit. So don’t keep personalization optional.
4. Check your company’s gifting policy before making any purchase. You don’t want to break the rules.
5. You can select gifts according to the event as it adds up to the overall experience.
6. Do not compromise on the quality of the gifts.
7. Keep branding as subtle as possible. A gift should look like a gift and not a promotional product.
While a snack box brings a smile to people’s faces, you can’t ignore the fact that it is easily forgettable. It can be given as a gesture to attendees but doesn’t make up for a meaningful gift. Of course, there are exceptions: If the event is sponsored by a food company or about food, then obviously, food makes a great gift.
Any product which is not easy to travel with may cause unnecessary inconvenience to your guests. You want to give handy gifts for speakers at events that they can easily take back home.
Don’t choose any gift which gives the wrong message about your company and beliefs. Be careful about the brand you are choosing a gift from, as indirectly, you are associating yourself with it.
‘It was a nice event. They gave me good flowers.‘ Said no one ever. Flowers aren’t a bad gift choice, but they can be optional or add-on. Welcoming guests with flowers will start the event on a good note. But unfortunately, it’s perishable and easily forgettable.
Gifts are a wonderful way to end the event on a nice note and also attract a good lineup of speakers in the future.
Finally, a reminder: Speakers don’t take time out from their busy routines for presents. The actual gift is being there, meeting people, contributing to the event, and getting recognized. So whatever the gift may be, a thank you note will add the much-needed human touch and let them know you recognized their efforts. Ultimately, it’s not the gift but the thoughtfulness that counts.
All the best for the event! We’re rooting for you.
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