Corporate gifting practices

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Before buying gifts for your corporate clients, consider the following tips shared by Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo for corporate gift-giving etiquettes for all occasions

For most corporates or business owners, the festival season is mostly a time for purchasing gifts for clients, employees, partners – gifts for everybody who is part of your business throughout the year. However, it is vital to give gifts in a manner that would not offend or create awkward situations among those who are vital to your business.

Plan your budget carefully

Selecting an amount to spend on every gift is one of the challenging parts of corporate gift-giving etiquette. When it comes to buying gifts for your employees, it boils down to what you can afford. However, purchasing gifts for vendors, service providers, or partners outside of your business premises can be a bit sensitive. Some entities have restrictions on what they are allowed to accept. So, ensure you do not bypass these restrictions with excessive gifts. If you work inside a business or an organisation, obey the guidelines set by your leadership team for any gift exchange policies and spending.

Never leave anyone out

If you intend to give corporate gifts to your team, ensure you buy a gift for every team member. You must also try to purchase gifts of the same value as far as possible. However, it might be acceptable to spend a bit more on your senior leadership team. You could also spend more on team members who have been around for a long tenure. You must also apply this theory to partners or service providers outside of your business premises. Within an organisation, coworkers must also make sure to include everyone unless there is a secret Santa theme or some type of arrangement where you only have to buy a gift for one person. Keep it rational for vendors, clients and other parties Although it might be fun to give team members gifts that remind them of jokes or funny things that have occurred in the office around the year, it is not as easy to gauge how those outside of your business may perceive these types of gifts. Unless you have a very close-knitted relationship with someone, it is normally wiser to choose things that are useful, like gift cards or office goods.

Personalise if possible

Every time it is not possible for business or corporate owners to buy different gifts for every partner or client. But if you have quite a short gift list, try to buy gifts that are relevant for every recipient. For instance, if you know that a specific client loves their morning tea or coffee, gifting them a coffee outlet’s gift card instead of a generic one could mean a lot to them. Do research on international customs If you have business internationally, your clients or partners could have different expectations when it comes to the etiquette of corporate gifting. You must research the holiday or festival customs in their part of the world before buying a gift.

If possible, avoid promotional gifting

It is quite common for several corporates and businesses to print their logos on products like bags, cups or pens that they give out as corporate gifts. While this is not mandatorily a no-go, you must try not to rely on gifts as a mere source of promotion. Do ensure they are useful for the recipient, which means they should be of fairly high quality and the logos must be small.

Express your appreciation

This is the most important aspect to keep in mind. Have you received corporate gifts from team members, partners, or clients throughout the festival season? If yes, it is important to acknowledge them as early as possible. Try to send a handwritten thank you or appreciation note to the sender whenever possible. An email could be acceptable in some cases.