Experiential Event Gift Ideas We Love (And Your Attendees Will Too)

Jill Anonson

person branding a leather boot as a gift at an experiential event

The best event gifts cultivate an authentic emotional connection with your brand long after the event is over. In order to inspire that connection with your brand, event gifts need to be thoughtful, be useful, provide a unique experience and have a high perceived value.

Event gifts are a tangible reminder of your guests’ earned trip and your appreciation. For event planners looking to optimize the participant experience, they’re not something to glaze over. Incentive trip gifts create engagement and excitement within the event and can extend the brand message.

Don’t choose something that’s easily discarded; instead, give something that’s worthy of all their hard work. Here are some of our favorite experiential event gift ideas that cultivated an authentic emotional connection.

Multi-Brand Shopping Experience

Consumers love the lure of choice, and brands love the unmatched opportunity for experimentation. Giving attendees the ability to select one or several gifts from a variety of brands allows them to connect the gift with what individually motivates them most. For example, we recently did an event where attendees could select a gift from LuLuLemon, FitBit, Frye, Kendra Scott or Maui Jim.

Customization

Ink Wells offers live screen printing that allow for the customization of individual pieces with preset designs that the attendee can select.

Guests can have their choice of a variety of products within a given price range and then supply their own image from their phone to be applied to their selected product on demand. They create an interactive printing service experience at an event for customers, fans, brands and artists to explore a unique mix of apparel printing on location. 

Give Back

Social responsibility has grown to be a prominent and important part in many of your attendees' lives. As the interconnectivity between personal and work lives grows, so does the desire for supported organizations to give back.

Did you know that 87 percent of consumers keep corporate social responsibility in mind when deciding how to spend their money? Giving back doesn’t just give you karma points—it places a halo over your brand in the minds of your attendees. 

Many people might be familiar with TOMS, mainly known for their shoes but also their One for One initiative. They offer brand new, made to order shoes in a variety of styles to meet the needs of the children their Giving Partners Serve. With every product purchase, TOMS helps provide shoes, sight, water, safe birth and bullying prevention services to people in need.

Revo Sunglasses also utilizes a give back program. Revo, Bono and the Brien Holden Vision Institute have partnered for the Buy Vision, Give Sight charitable initiative. When you bring the Revo Experience to your event, $10 per pair is automatically donated on your behalf to the Brien Holden Vision Institute. You’ll be making a significant contribution toward creating permanent and sustainable eye care services throughout the world.

Find a company like Revo or TOMS that aligns with your brand values to find a generous way to say “We care.”

Local Event Gift Experiences

Participants crave one-of-a-kind cultural events and experiences. Broaden their outlook and be part of the community they’re visiting.

On a trip to Aruba, we gave attendees locally made bracelets from VADAVAS, whose proceeds go to single moms on the island. The women who actually made the bracelets were on-hand at the event to talk about the jewelry and the project. VADAVAS collections are uniquely designed by the 3 sisters who founded the company and handmade by single mothers on the island.

In British Columbia, Canada, we gave attendees the option to grab some warm and cozy gear from one of Canada's leading lifestyle brands, Roots. While it may seem on the nose to offer winter apparel in cold location—it was incorporating the uniquely Canadian outlet that added a local connection to this event. We also provided the option of a stylish throw blanket from Hudson Bay Company, one of the oldest companies in Canada. These kind of gifts can spark conversation beyond your event when your jealous friends back home ask where you got them.

Let Event Strategy Influence Gift Experiences

When you’re deciding what event gifts to offer your attendees, make sure they seamlessly tie to the destination, your brand and the message of your event. The gift and/or experience of receiving that gift will provide a connection long after they return home.

Looking for a deeper dive into strategic event ideas? Take your event program even further with insights from our strategic events ebook.

strategic events ebook

Jill Anonson

Jill Anonson

Jill Anonson has over 20 years of diverse experience in event management, incentive travel and sales strategy, and serves as the Events Strategy Advisor at ITA Group. Focused on continuous improvement and challenging standards, she consults clients and team members with impactful strategies and innovative ideas that deliver successful business outcomes. She is a Certified Engagement Practioner, and certified through Pragmatic Marketing.