The event industry globally has suffered considerably due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdowns and social distancing measures in place, hosting or attending live events is a distant dream. Thus, virtual events such as webinars and e-conferences have become the way-to-go for brands and event marketers alike.
Events have always been one of the most effective tools to introduce and market your brand to audiences while establishing new alliances. But how do you create personal connections virtually? While online interactions aren't likely to have the same impact as in-person meetings, organizers can use personalized corporate gifting as a tool to dazzle attendees and speakers, making the event more memorable for everyone.
Online rewards and incentive platforms like Xoxoday Plum make it super convenient for you to get started with digital gifting. Xoxoday Plum gives you access to a global catalog of over 20,000 gift cards, experiences, perks, and exclusive benefits to choose from! Offering seamless integration with popular existing HRMS, CRMs, helpdesks, and survey tools, Plum supports omnichannel delivery of rewards allowing you to send gifts via email, WhatsApp, SMS, QR codes, and more!
Personalized Corporate Gifting for Clients, Employees, and Colleagues at Digital Events
Check out the 5 most innovative and next-level corporate personalized gift ideas for your employees, colleagues, and clients that you can give at digital events.
Pre-Event Gifting- Sets the Bar High
As an organizer, you could leverage pre-event gifts to promote your event and build hype. Personal gifting is an excellent way to drive registrations and attendance. It can also help in establishing a one-on-one personal connection with your audience before the event. Gifts go a long way in making digital interactions seem all the more real and help you deliver a more personalized (and enjoyable) event. Below are some simple yet innovative pre-event gifting ideas:
Early Bird Discounts
Incentives such as early-bird discounts or running a promotional offer wherein the first 100 or 200 registrations stand a chance to win a prize, could be highly effective in boosting awareness and interest in the event. Such strategies tend to attract customers and could potentially lead to a higher number of conversions for your event. Moreover, it is human nature to register at the last minute or show up as per convenience at online events. Early bird incentives encourage people to plan ahead and register early, giving you the much-needed insight into the amount of interest and participation you are likely to have at your event. If you have a high number of registrations in the initial stages, the bandwagon effect also comes into place. People are likely to see it as a positive sign and perceive your event as one that could provide value to them. This could encourage more people to sign up.
Online Courses and eBooks
Present gifts that offer value to your attendees - such as eBooks, audiobooks, and subscriptions to online courses that are relevant to the topic or theme of your event. If your conference or webinar caters to digital marketers, you could offer attendees a subscription to an advanced digital marketing course from popular e-learning portals like Udemy or Coursera. After all, there is no better gift than the gift of knowledge!
Subscription to Relevant Online Tools
You can also gift your attendees a subscription to popular paid tools or platforms that could help them professionally. Let's say you are hosting a webinar on "How HR Professionals Should Use LinkedIn." Apart from giving your attendees access to new knowledge, you could send out a one month LinkedIn Premium membership as a gift to each participant. In addition to being a valuable tool for your attendees, the gift could also result in significantly more registrations and turnouts. If you are organizing a creative design workshop, gifting your attendees a two or three-month Canva or Adobe Creative Cloud subscription is an excellent option. It would allow your attendees to apply the knowledge they have gained from your workshop in the real world.
Tech Enabling Goodies
Another excellent gifting option is to offer your attendees products that could assist them during the event itself, such as headphones, notebooks, or a free subscription to a paid note-taking app. When it comes to making an impression, small albeit thoughtful gestures do go a long way!
This one is for all the coffee lovers out there, and there are many! You could send out assorted coffee hampers to the first 50 or 100 attendees (depending on your budget). If you’re looking for that wow factor, you could consider sending personalized ground coffee bags, where you can have the attendee's name or your company logo on the bag. This could then be followed up with networking sessions which you can organize post-event, and label them something quirky like ‘coffee pe charcha’. The options are limitless!
During the Event- Ensures That You Follow Through
With the pre-event hype out of the way, it is vital not to lose the momentum that you have successfully built up. Expectations from the event itself are bound to be running high. Just remember the two factors that will determine how successful your event is:
- The level of participation and engagement during the actual event.
- Networking and interaction opportunities for participants and speakers before and during the event
So, how can gifts help achieve these objectives during a virtual event?
Well, there are several ways to do this. You could, for example, reward the most active participants during a Q&A session or attendees who answer an in-event contest question correctly. You could also host ice-breaker and warm-up games in smaller break out rooms during the event and offer gift cards to the winners. Not only would this incentivize and increase attendee interaction and engagement during the event, but it also makes the event more enjoyable and gives your brand a higher recall value.
Post-Event Gifts- Leaves a Lasting Impression
Thanking your attendees, guests, and speakers for their active participation goes a long way and earns goodwill for your brand. It shows that you care about your audience and builds brand loyalty and trust. Here are some virtual gift ideas to consider at this stage:
A Digital Vote of Thanks
Personalized Thank You cards are such a rarity these days. They show that you have put in the time and effort to draft a personalized message. Moreover, the recipient will surely appreciate and remember the gesture. For a lot of people, this could be a lot more meaningful than material gifts. You could use Appreci, a personal appreciation & customer loyalty platform for this purpose. Appreci is an extremely user-friendly tool that allows users to send, receive, and redeem gifts easily!
Seeking and Incentivizing Feedback
Feedback, whether positive or negative, is crucial as it helps in identifying strengths, as well as areas of improvement for the future. Most e-conferencing and webinar platforms have built-in poll & survey tools, allowing for the convenient collection of feedback for analysis and improvements. Alternatively, you could use popular online feedback tools such as Hotjar and Typeform to collect attendee feedback. The results provide invaluable insights into what went well at the event and what did not. Ask your audience pertinent questions like :
- How much did you enjoy the individual segments of the webinar?
- How would you rate the clarity of the presenter(s)?
- Is there anything we could have done to make your event experience better?
- How likely are you to recommend this webinar/conference to your friends and colleagues?
Just remember to keep it short and sweet! Do consider offering an incentive to your attendees for filling out the feedback form. It could surely fetch you more insights that could help you make important decisions for your next event!
Online events sometimes come with an underlying objective of sales and conversions. If that is the case for your event, do make sure you insert a call-to-action invitation at the end of the Thank you note or feedback form. Here, incentivizing the participant with a flat discount on your product or service can certainly help seal the deal.
Lately, interactions (both personal or professional) have become less and less frequent. Organizing a post-event networking session for the attendees on a platform such as Zoom could be an excellent gift in itself. You could facilitate discussions regarding the topics related to the event or hold a getting-to-know-you session where your guests can talk about their common interests. At the end of the day, it is all about creating a community.
Suitability of the Gift
When picking out a gift for your participants or guests, make sure that the gift fits the overall theme of your event. For example, going for custom corporate gifts like gifting traditional diaries at an entrepreneurship conference would not be the best idea. Instead, offer a subscription to a motivational or entrepreneurial podcast. The whole idea behind gifting is to leave a positive and long-lasting impression on your attendees. The choice and relevance of the gift, therefore, is of utmost importance.
Stay within the Budget
When organizing an event, it becomes tempting to overlook the budget and go all out. It is crucial to keep an eye on expenses when picking out gifts for your attendees. Consider multiple gifting ideas but choose the most appropriate ones that fit within the budget.
Attending events in a virtual world is now the new normal, and digital gifts are a fantastic way of establishing a personal connection with your audience in this new normal. Be it a seminar, a workshop, or a corporate team-building event, thanking your guests for their time and presence via thoughtful and appropriate gifts will surely make them feel special and strengthen your relationship with them.