The temptation when planning incentive gifts is often to immediately reach for the hottest trends or the most high-tech gadget to wow your attendees. After all, you want your trip to be unique, memorable, and high-end. But rather than going for something you could get in any store, why not look for something tied intimately to the experience – gifts with a decidedly local flair.
For a recent incentive, we were excited to take our attendees to the unique destination of the island of Fiji. The goal of the trip was to create completely unforgettable moments, right down to the gifts and gift experiences. Rather than focus on gifts anyone could get in the United States, we paid homage to the culture of Fiji through the entertainment choices and integrated gifts creating an experience as unique and memorable as the island itself. The trip was all about making sure the guests felt like they were having a truly Fijian experience. To help achieve this we set up a local artisan gift “market” on the property and arranged for guests to create their own Fijian pearl jewelry. We also wanted to include a trip to a local village where they could be presented with a traditional gift and enjoy a meal with the village chief. Attendees also took part in the Fijian tradition of giving, and presented gifts to the village children. After the trip, attendees raved that it was the most memorable they had ever had, and many still answer their phone with “Bula!,” a traditional Fijian greeting.
Gifts with local flair certainly aren’t limited to trips to tropical islands. In a recent incentive, attendees didn’t have to travel far to a unique resort in Georgia filled with southern charm and Georgian refinement. To elevate the experience of a normal beach trip, guests received high-end twists on classic southern gifts. To give attendees a long-lasting leave behind, we found a vendor that created gold-plated versions of Georgia’s state shell. In honor of the long-standing southern tradition of good spirits and sweet tea, attendees had their choice of local single barrel bourbon whiskey or high-end sweet tea concentrate, Finally, attendees received marble coasters with a map of the location they stayed at. As a reminder of the impact of their brand, endangered sea turtle nests were also adopted in each attendee’s name. These local gifts were interspersed with more traditional gifts that reflected the location and activities they chose such as Tory Burch sandals, a Nambe platter, and athletic gear for golfing, fishing, and horseback riding. Each gift was planned so that it would remind attendees of their trip and leave a positive brand impression. At the end of the incentive, guests felt they had lived a truly Georgian experience rather than simply visiting a luxury resort.
Whether your next incentive is on an exotic island or somewhere closer to home, incorporating local gifts is a sure way to win with your attendees. They get unique memories of their trip, while you can remain within your budget by keeping things local.