Do you struggle thinking about what gifts to give your event planning business clients or potential clients?

It can be difficult figuring out the best approach: Get the perfect gift and you’ll boost your business, but get the wrong gift and you could send the wrong message. Like anything else you do to connect with clients, event planning gifts should be part of your event planning marketing budget.

Here are 3 steps to getting it right:

1: Decide on your event planning business objective for gift giving

Before you can choose the right business gift strategy, you really need to set your objective. You don’t want to spend too much money overall, and you want to thank your event planning clients appropriately while also reminding both clients and prospects about your event planning and event management services.

2: Set a realistic budget for your event planning business gifts

What’s your total budget, how much do you want to spend per client then calculate # of clients x the value of each gift for your total.

Is this within your budget? If not, be more selective about who you give a gift to

Can you get away with sending just a card to some clients? If you can, take the time to write a personal note because sending a card with “happy holidays” and your signature does little to build your event planning business relationship and will be tossed in the garbage.

To stay within your event planning budget, can you lower the dollar value per event planning business gift? From experience, I’ve found it’s better to be selective about who you send a gift to rather than include everyone and then spend too little.

3: Choose the appropriate business gifts for clients

Once you’ve decided on your budget, it’s much easier to start thinking about gift options. For many, the default will be a gift card to a coffee shop like Starbucks because they’re easy to put inside a greeting card and mail; plus most people use these services.

The problem with giving a gift card to a particular establishment is that you’re associating your brand with theirs. Gift cards also have a specific dollar amount. You’ll get clients who might be offended rather than appreciative of your generosity. Once money enters into it, you trigger all kinds of emotions.

They might think, “Wow! I spent $10,000 on her event planning services and she’s sending me a $10 gift card!” But, you were hoping for a positive reaction like, “It’s so thoughtful of her to think of me. It was great working with her to plan our event and I will have my admin assistant call her again to see if she can help with our upcoming event.”

This actually happened to me when my mortgage broker sent me a $5 Starbucks gift card after I renewed my mortgage with his bank. Instead of the gift saying “thanks for your business”, I found it insulting and no longer use his services!

On the other hand, let’s say you sent a sample pack of eCreamery Ice Cream to your event planning client’s office. Then it’s not about the dollar value but more about the time you took to think of them and to send a gift. Plus, it’s an interactive (and tasty!) item that everyone can enjoy!

What gifts have you used to boost your event planning business?

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