Securing top-notch speakers for your event can help you attract attendees and create a great experience for them. Ensuring your speakers are graciously welcomed and respected throughout their time with your organization, whether you’re an event coordinator or part of a nonprofit, is the biggest gift you can give. Many events gift their guest speakers with tokens of thanks as well.
Make sure your organizations thank you gifts are as thoughtful as your speakers’ presentations with these ideas.
Treat Speakers with Respect
Gifts, especially generic knickknacks, do not repair the damage done when an event organizer doesn’t respect its speakers’ time and energy. To impress your VIP guests, make sure your conference runs on-schedule. This way, presenters will have the full presentation time they prepared for and won’t be running to catch a flight unexpectedly.
Event attendees should be just as respectful as your team. Ensuring the audience is aware of each speaker’s background and how their work is relevant to the event is your job as the organizer. After your conference comes to a close, refer other organizations to the speakers you used.
Personalize the Experience
Give your presenter’s personalized treatment from the moment they arrive in your event’s city. Provide them with a driver at the airport and welcome them to their hotel room with snacks, water and a book you picked out specifically for them.
Regardless of what, if any, gifts you give your guest speakers, you should handwrite a thank you note. You can place it in their hotel room, deliver it by hand after their presentation or send it by mail.
Give a Local Thank You Gift
Treat guest speakers with experiences or items you can only come by in your event’s city. Take VIP guests sightseeing and share a meal at an acclaimed restaurant. Physical tokens of thanks may include a custom piece by a local artist, locally roasted coffee or liquor distilled in your city. No matter what you give, make sure it can easily be packed in carry-on luggage.
Donations to charity in the speaker’s name are a popular gift for presenters. Choose a local charity to make an impact in the community hosting your event.
Practical Speaker Gift Ideas
If your event prefers to gift guest speakers with universal items, choose practical gifts over doodads that will likely be left behind in hotel rooms. High-quality notebooks and gift cards are small and easily transported. You can ship larger items, such as a shredder or clothing steamer, to a speaker’s office or home.