Author: Nancy Davidson

Over 20 Gifting Ideas for Right Now

Over 20 Gifting Ideas for Right Now | Wellington

We know the experience of gifting can do wonders: helping someone feel seen and heard, creating a sense of calm, and reminding someone they’re supported and valued. Knowing the powers of gifting is one thing, but finding the right gifts for the right people might feel overwhelming right now. That’s why we’ve put together some ideas that will resonate with a variety of recipients.

Cabin Fever Relief Gifts

If your employees, members, or clients are struggling with remaining indoors – especially if they have children who need to be entertained – focus on gifts that can take people’s minds off of their current physical space and focus it on something else:

  • Trivia games, puzzles, and board games (as an added special touch, these can be customized and branded)

  • Virtual art and music lessons

  • Subscriptions to digital libraries and museums

Looking for something even more transportive? Virtual reality headsets offer a break from the norm and can help people feel like they’ve left their home without actually going anywhere.

Working from Home Gifts

Turning a routine office item into a gift helps people feel like their everyday routine is special. While you’re making sure someone has what they need to work from home, why not elevate that need into a gift? Consider things like:

  • Well-made journals with high-quality paper

  • Elegant pens and pencils

  • Earbuds and headphones

  • A tablet and stylus

  • A designer task lamp

Video conferencing is rapidly becoming the new norm for meetings, but it can cause some people to worry about the video-readiness of their space. Help them feel less anxious by creating a custom pop-up backdrop that they can put in place during calls and store easily when not in use.

Peace of Mind Gifts

What people might need the most right now is the gift of calm. Think about things that help shift mindsets from rumination and worry to calm and hope:

  • Daily inspiration cards.

  • Succulents or an easy home-growing plant kit.

  • An essential oil diffuser with a variety of calming and uplifting oils.

  • A door hang tag or coffee mug with clever text.

  • An object whose primary function is beauty: a unique valet tray, a small vase, or a pretty photograph in a small frame.

Items that help people deal with anxiety and plan for the future can also be valued gifts. Journals, daily planners, decks of brainstorming cards, and even books can be instrumental in keeping people you care about focused on the future instead of scared by the present.

Postponed Trip Gifts

If you’ve rescheduled an event for your employees, or members, or clients, gifting can help alleviate some of the disappointment and give everyone something to look forward to. Imagine what the scheduled event would look like or feel like if you distilled it down to its essence, and use that to guide your gift selections.

If you’ve postponed a meeting or conference, create a branded box that contains on-theme items, like branded mind puzzles for entrepreneurial conference attendees. Couple this with a well-designed booklet that features profiles of each of the speakers and the “elevator pitch” of their presentation. For added delight, include a bag of gourmet coffee or special snacks.

For guests who’ve had an incentive trip postponed, create a branded package that brings the trip to them. Depending on your audience, you can be more literal (destination-themed food items, drink mixes, or crafts from local artisans), or more tongue-in-cheek, with items like inflatable pools, sun lamps, or beachwear.

Gifting doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you’d like to brighten someone’s day but don’t know where to start, we can help.

Gifting Peace of Mind

In difficult times it’s even more important to create and nurture relationships with employees, members, and other audiences. People are looking for comfort and hope, and gifting is a good way to say, “I’m thinking about you.” Whether given out at an event or sent to someone’s home or office, companies can still engage with their audiences through thoughtful gifting:

Help Them Take Their Mind Off Right Now.

Gifts can serve as the positive equivalent of shaking a can of pennies. Twenty-four hour news cycles and uncertainty can cause people to fall into a routine of worry, and the surprise and delight of a gift breaks that cycle. Boxes from Amazon and other delivery services have become common sights, so for extra joy, send your gift in a special, fully-branded box that doesn’t look like a “normal” delivery.

Help Them Feel More Connected.

Going from in-person interaction to primarily virtual interaction overnight can make people feel anxious, scared, and lonely. Creative ways of digitally connecting people can make a big difference. Low-stakes photo contests, online scavenger hunts, or instructions for sharing ____-On-The-Shelf (using objects readily available at home) are all ways to help your employees, members, or audiences feel less alone.

Focus Them on the Future.

If you’ve had to postpone an event or meeting, give your guests a taste of what they can look forward to when the event does happen. As an example, a client had to postpone their golf outing, so the custom golf balls we had created for the event were repurposed as gifts sent to guests’ homes in a custom box with a note that read, “Keep practicing until we do this again!” For another client whose postponed meeting was to be held in Indiana, we created a customized “Taste of Indiana” basket to send to each guest. This sneak peek of what’s to come can remind people that the current situation is temporary and wonderful things are still to come.

Keep Them Motivated.

If your employees or members depend on face-to-face interactions and a convivial environment for motivation, social distancing and working from home can take an emotional toll as well as a financial one. Send them a small reminder not only of your appreciation, but of your belief in them. “I know you can do this” is a message that no one ever gets tired of hearing.

Build Company Spirit.

Most people’s work-from-home spaces aren’t going to have the same company presence that their offices do. Help your employees feel like they’re a part of something bigger with gifts that boost company spirit. Notepads and journals, phone cases, laptop sleeves, apparel, and even whimsical items like snowglobes can remind people that they work for a company that cares about them.

Make It Personal.

Our business is rooted in creating personal connections, so this is a message we deliver frequently. Especially now, though, when in-person interactions are restricted, the gift you send can – and should – feel highly personal. We recommend including a note, handwritten if possible, simply stating the intention of the gift (“We’re thinking about you,” “We wanted to bring a little joy to your day”).

Create Alternatives.

With opportunities for in-person meetings not as plentiful right now, gifts can help bridge the gap. Used to meeting with business prospects over coffee? Consider sending them a coffee mug with a bag of your favorite coffee blend and a handwritten note inviting them to “virtual” coffee over video.

Ultimately, gifting can be a small way to have a big impact on relationships now and in the future.

New Hire Onboarding Gifts: How to Make Your Company Stand Out

onboarding

There’s no denying that giving someone a gift—especially an unexpected one—is an effective way to make them feel valued and appreciated. And creating a company culture that delivers those sentiments is a key part of attracting and retaining employees. One way to meet this goal is by offering thoughtful welcome gifts to new employees as part of the onboarding process. As a result, you deliver a strong, lasting message right off the bat: “We’re so glad you’re here and we value you as part of the team.”

But before you go on an onboarding gift-buying spree, take a look at your planned purchases. This is the perfect time to forego typical branded gift items like pens, stationary or glassware in favor of thoughtful, unexpected and personalized gifts that leave a lingering impact on the recipient. Consider these 6 ways to ensure your welcome gifts stand out from the crowd.

6 Tips to Make Your Employee Onboarding Gifts Stand Out

Start the Story

Corporate meetings and events are generally more memorable, engaging and interesting when they’re driven by strategic narratives—in other words, you want to tell attendees a story. The same goes for your new employees. Your company (in fact, every company) has a story. And now that your new employee is here, they’re part of the plot. Think about your company’s story and message and how you can reflect that in an onboarding gift. You’ll not only welcome the new employee, but also make that person feel as if they’re an immediate stakeholder in the company—and, as a result, motivate them to perform and contribute at optimal levels.

Involve Your Company’s Strategic Priorities

What’s important to your company? What do you, as a business, want to accomplish? Answering these questions can help prompt ideas for onboarding gifts that help new employees feel like they can have an immediate impact.

Let’s say, for example, that one of your company’s priorities is to increase community service and philanthropic giving. You could present a new employee with an onboarding gift basket that includes a certificate for a paid day off to participate in a volunteer opportunity. Or maybe you’re trying to increase business in a certain industry. Include a gift or two from that industry with some brief accompanying information about why that vertical matters and how the new employee can play a part in building that success.

Set the Stage for a Great First Day

There’s nothing quite like the night before starting a new job. Emotions can run the gamut from a few butterflies in the stomach to full-fledged anxiety. Why not take the edge off and deliver a pre-first day gift package that’s filled with essentials to help a new employee navigate their first day? Here’s where you could incorporate some more traditional items like a branded coffee mug and a package of coffee or tea with some unexpected additions. Poll your colleagues to see what items or quirks they associate with the company, then find gifts that match that input. Buy a gift certificate for a nearby restaurant or coffee shop where employees like to gather. If there’s a certain book or publication that’s been especially inspiring to the company, include a copy or a subscription. This is also a great opportunity to indulge your creative side and involve existing employees in the new hire onboarding process. If you have a graphic designer on staff, for example, you could create an eye-catching map of the area around the office to highlight places to eat, grab a snack, take a midday break or unwind at the end of the day.

Personalize When Possible

Depending on how many new employees your company hires, it can sometimes be difficult to offer truly personalized welcome gifts—especially when you factor in things like dietary and other preferences. Yet when at all possible, it helps to personalize gifts to make employees feel even more welcome and valued. If your company equips employees with work phones, consider a gift to a site where an employee can create a custom phone case with their own photos or other art. Another idea? Offer a picture frame (an engraved silver frame is a timeless choice, no matter the office décor) so that the employee can add a favorite photo as desk décor. Other meaningful ideas include a handwritten note from the employee’s new boss or the company’s CEO; a monogrammed messenger bag or backpack; or business cards with a carrying case. You could also add an item that’s specific to the new employee’s position. If they’ll be traveling a lot, consider a monogrammed luggage tag or passport holder. You don’t need to present employees with an entirely personalized onboarding gift assortment, but including one or two customized items makes an employee feel like they’re an appreciated and important member of the team.

Ignite the Spark of Your New Brand Ambassadors

Employees are some of your most effective and powerful brand ambassadors, so why not start them early? If your company sells a product or service, can you involve that in the onboarding gift? According to an article on Inc.com, Dropbox gives new employees free unlimited storage, while Airbnb offers new employees a $2,000 annual travel stipend. Or perhaps your company works with clients whose products or services could be part of an onboarding gift package? Of course, no new employee is complete without company swag like apparel. Consider making a T-shirt or hoodie a part of the gift—the quirkier the design, the better. Or if your company has a branded store, include a gift certificate so the new employee can make their own selection.

Packaging: A Powerful First Impression

Packaging is a critical influence on purchasing, and it can also leave a lasting impression when giving gifts. Take some time to create thoughtful packaging that wows the recipient and makes the moment feel more special. Use your company’s brand colors for inspiration. And that said, don’t feel like you need to spend more money on packaging than the gifts themselves. Something as simple as a delicious treat like a locally made and iced cookie is made more memorable by nestling the item in gift basket filler and a box that coordinate with your company’s colors. If you do opt for a more traditional array of branded swag like a coffee mug, pen, notebook and USB drive, arranging those items in a sleek keepsake box elevates the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Remember that the goal of a successful first day is to make an employee feel welcome, engaged and enthusiastic about what’s ahead. Think about your own experience at your company and what sort of onboarding gifts you can offer that convey those feelings. And as we mentioned earlier, don’t hesitate to do some informal polling among your colleagues to see what suggestions they have.

One other tip? Don’t stop the gift-giving once the onboarding process is over. Occasionally surprising employees with thoughtful, purposeful gifts (and not just during the holiday season) goes a long way in making them feel like an integral part of the team. Sure, a pay raise is nice. But you can’t always put a price on what it means to make an employee feel like a truly valued part of a company’s success. That’s where a strategic gift-giving program can add an important dimension to your company’s culture, giving you a chance to surprise and delight employees just as you would your clients and event attendees. If you haven’t already, now’s the time to explore your company’s gift-giving strategy. As a result, you’ll unwrap the key to increased employee engagement that fuels your company’s long-term success and growth (see what we did there?). And if you need help identifying effective, unforgettable onboarding gifts, we’re happy to join you in a brainstorming session. Reach out to us anytime.

Hot Gift Trends from the Atlanta Gifts Show

Atlanta Gifts Market

To get ahead of the trend in gifts, sometimes it pays to travel. We made our way to Atlanta for the Atlanta International Gifts and Home Furnishing Market, one of the largest wholesale markets for products and gifts in the world. It’s here that buyers and retailers meet, connect, and choose merchandise for the upcoming months. So naturally, it’s where we go to find the highest-quality, unique vendors for our gifting experiences. Check out some of the best ideas from the Atlanta Market below.

1: Location-based gifts

mapglass

When your attendees travel memorable places, they’ll appreciate a memorable gift that reminds them of their trip of a lifetime. Consider custom-made jewelry, cork stoppers, cufflinks, or boxes made with a map of their destination. And when they’re headed back home, consider the popular, comfortable, and cute “home” tee, with the word “home” overlaid over a graphic of their home state.

2: Gourmet snacks and drinks

tipplemans

Anyone can go to the store and grab some popcorn and chocolate – but these crowd-pleasers take a high-end turn when they’re hand-crafted with the finest ingredients and customized to your attendees’ liking. From unique cocktail mixes to small-batch popcorn in every flavor you can think of, don’t underestimate the power of a well-chosen snack.

3: Personalized fragrances

mix

One of the best ways to make a gift stand out is to personalize it. And one of the most memorable ways to personalize something is to have your attendees do it themselves. Several companies now offer fragrances designed to be mixed – and even include recipe cards so your attendees can remember their favorite scent blend.

4: High-quality essentials

rustico

There’s not always a need for the trendiest gadget on the market – sometimes, simple and necessary are best. When choosing bags, notebooks, passport holders and the like, consider high-quality leather goods proven to last. To add some pizazz, find a vendor that can customize these goods for you – or even work the event to give your attendees a full gifting experience.

5: Travel kits

cocktail

Whether you’re sending an attendee home or preparing for their arrival, a unique travel kit is a fun, personal, cost-effective gift. To spice things up, consider a pocket cocktail kit. While on the plane – just add spirits!

The gift landscape changes and evolves continuously. But attending the latest gift show made it clear that customized, hand-crafted, and unique are the biggest trends going right now. There are lots of ways to approach this to make any receiver feel appreciated but it all starts with focusing on spending a little time thinking about them – and that is a trend that will always remain consistent.

Making Promotional Products Work for You

promotional products

When you work with incentive trips and elaborate gifting campaigns, it’s easy to forget the tried-and-true, perennially popular promotional products. You know what we mean – the branded mug that you have your coffee in every morning, the canvas tote you got at that expo last year, your company quarter-zip sweatshirt. The fact that these items can be found on virtually every desk and in every closet is a testament to the fact that promotional products work. And these aren’t just your grandma’s pens anymore – there are promotional products in every shape, size, and price point. Our internal gifts team is no stranger to these products, so we’ve picked their brains to find out the very best information for selecting the right promotional items for your company.

Know when to spend, know when to save.

There are instances when you should consider higher-priced promotional products to get your message – or your brand – across. Internally, a high-quality Swell water bottle or an external charger shows appreciation for employees, and a commitment to keeping employees happy. You might also consider spending a little more on promotional products when going on sales trips. A nice notebook, pen, and insulated thermos can go far in the sales process, because these are items that people truly use. And if they’re high-quality – they’ll want to show them off. For trade shows and expos, consider keeping it simple with products you know people will use in the moment, like pens, notepads, and even branded USBs.

It pays to be on-trend.

Yes, water bottles and coffee thermoses are useful, but no one wants to have last year’s design on their desk. Keep abreast of the hot products by regularly communicating with your vendors and, if you can, going to trade shows like PPAI that specialize in promotional items. Keep in mind that just because you want to stay on trend doesn’t mean you have to spend the money for a brand name. If you do your research, you’ll find that there are plenty of “generic” products that actually allow more branding and customization and are more cost-effective for your company.

Ask for feedback.

You won’t know if you don’t ask! While you don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen, you also don’t want one person’s taste dominating the selection of promotional products. Having a team of go-to curators in the office can be a great way to make sure that many ideas are represented. If you are at a trade show, consider asking a handful of people what products they value most. Do they need pens and notepads? Or is it sunglasses and ball caps? Gathering feedback from attendees, staff, and industry experts will bring you peace of mind and keep your product selections from going stale.

It’s no secret that promotional products work – in a study by promotional product research giant PPAI, they found that 52% of respondents did business with the advertiser after receiving a promotional product. The key lies in knowing what to get and when to use them. And above all else – know that whatever you put out there is representative of your company and your brand.