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By Lia Blanchard

Conferences. Trade shows. Board meetings. Employee rallies. Holiday parties. Road shows. Trainings. There are countless business reasons for employees of a company (and perhaps their colleagues and partners) to gather in a festive atmosphere in which gift-giving would be appropriate. Corporate gifting is a win-win for both giver – who, with the right gift, is perceived as generous and caring – and the recipient – getting a “bonus” of any kind is a morale booster, especially if it’s unexpected. But choosing and distributing a gift for an event is quite a complicated business.


The first question to consider is why a gift is being given at all – what is the intended message? “You are appreciated” and “thank you for attending” are common themes. Perhaps it’s a lighter message, intended more to provoke a certain mood or boost morale – something along the lines of “this is a fun place to work!”

Deciding precisely what is the message behind the gift will tremendously aide in choosing what to give, and will help prevent a “gift” from being perceived as merely “swag”.


Company merchandise is an obvious possibility, but if the event attendees don’t all work for the same place – or perhaps there is no tangible merchandise – this isn’t an option.

Even if all attendees do work for the same company, consideration must be given to whether everyone will receive the same, or very similar, gifts. Care must be taken to ensure that what is meaningful/useful for employees of one department is also be meaningful/useful for employees of another – no inside jokes or references. And should the C-suite executives receive anything at all, or are they to be perceived more as the gift givers than as gift recipients?

Where? When?

This article deals specifically with gifts given at corporate events, so the “where” and “when” of the transfer may seem obvious – but it isn’t. Thought must go into whether the gifts will be presented, handed over individually, or picked up by the recipient.

The location of the event also factors into the choice of gift; if recipients have to travel to return home after the event, anything cumbersome to pack or that won’t pass TSA guidelines is not a good idea.


Only after taking into consideration why a gift is being given at the event, who will be receiving one, and where and when the transaction will take place, it’s time to consider what to give.

Art of Appreciation has a hugely successful corporate giving program that has been utilized by CNN, McDonalds, and IHOP. Call a Corporate Account Associate at 800-747-5527 for more information, or visit www.artofappreciation.com.

Corporate gifting from Art of Appreciation