Do you typically get gifts for speakers at your events? If so, what sort of thing do you think is most appreciated? Bottle of wine, chocolates, flowers, something unusual?
Having been the occasional recipient of gifts for speaking, I can say that I've always appreciated a bottle of wine (or bubbly)...
For my last event I had 20 speakers and they were a very diverse bunch. Some were flying back home that night so I didn't think bubbly was the best option. Instead I gave each of them a poem I'd written to say thank you and to explain I was donating, on their behalf, to a children's charity. I had positive feedback but goodness knows what they really thought!
Wow, I actually think a handwritten poem is a really nice touch - takes a lot more thought and effort then just buying something. Out of interest did you write each speaker their own poem, or just one poem for all of them?
Thanks Nick I just did the one - that took me about 4 hours to get right! I did do a brief personal note with each of them too.
Lol 20 x 4 hours would probably have been a bit much.
I have a small budget so event gifts are often in lieu of payment for my speakers! Bottle of bubbly has been done, as have cupcakes delivered to their office the next day...and a Cadbury's hamper. I like to write a handwritten personalised message just to show that genuine thanks and thought have gone into the gift. Always goes down well! I also get a little something for sponsors too.
One of my speakers joked about always asking for blue M&Ms when he spoke at a conference. I didn't tell him but the week after the event he spoke at I shipped him a 1kg bag of them. He now displays them in his company office along with other 'awards'
Agree with @LouiseTriance that alcohol can be problematic, particularly for those flying with only hand-luggage. We've used Amazon vouchers or vouchers from a different supplier local to the event in the past - something that can be used remotely from the event. In one example we even bought a case of Fentiman's Ginger Beer for a speaker who couldn't get it in his country but loved it when he visited the UK. He'd driven to our event as part of a family holiday so transport back wasn't an issue for him
The blue ones are the best!
We rarely have the budget to pay speakers so I do like to send a gift afterwards, ours have always been UK based and we use https://www.microbarbox.com/ it's a really fun way to send alcohol. Particularly when you do or don't know their favourite tipple!
We have a "personal artist" for an annual CME course that provide us a different theme each year. He is a pop-art painter and he makes small paintings for speakers and little themed notebooks for participants. They are really appreciated!
I always provide gifts if the speakers are speaking for free!
As well as the usual bottles of wine (which are generally well liked if you know it will be suitable for the person concerned) I also like to explore products or services that I can purchase from the speakers themselves - so I bought ten iPad plinths from one speaker to give out as gifts to the others: myplinth.co.uk - I like the poem idea as well but I'd have too buy that in as well!
As a speaker anything is a great gift. I speak for payment and also sometimes for free and if its for free any gift is nice it just shows that you care rather than take people for granted. Amongst others I have received wine, a bottle of whisky and a voucher for a meal out. None of which were that expensive but all showed some consideration as the person had found these out in advance as personal preferences.
I just sent a small token of thanks out to our sponsors following our conference. I used a service called boomf and had pictures of them at the conference pasted onto marshmallows! Bit of an unusual gift but fun to receive and also got shared on social
This is great, like a more elaborate version of Touchnote