5 Remote Gifting Companies That Add a Personal Touch to Virtual Meetings
The first use of the phrase “care package” to refer to parcels of food or supplies sent to people located far away came during World War II. These days, event organizers are utilizing the same concept to bring a bit of the flavor of live gatherings to virtual attendees. From branded boxes filled with locally sourced goods to gifts carrying corporate social responsibility components, these five corporate gifting companies offer an array of options.
According to co-founder Sam Davidson, Nashville-based Batch seeks out the best gifts made by small businesses across the United States. They then “batch” those gifts together to provide an authentic taste or experience of a given city for organizers whose events have transitioned to virtual. “What they’re saving on meals, lodging and other costs they can apply toward keeping attendees engaging virtually,” says Davidson.
For a recent conference originally scheduled to be held in Nashville with more than 3,300 attendees, Batch curated a virtual happy hour kit for what would have been the opening night reception. “We mailed old fashioned [cocktail] kits to each attendee,” says Davidson. “We also worked with a third-party vendor to send a bottle of bourbon so on the first night of the virtual event they could make themselves a cocktail while watching the opening session.”
For Boston-based Conference Care Package, the emphasis is on the word “care,” according to owner and creator Nicole Burkart, who says she designs her packages to address comfort and wellness needs. “People will not forget companies that provided the tools they need to stay mentally, emotionally and physically well, and help them navigate the challenges we all face to stay safe,” says Burkart.
The company’s latest offering is Seeds of Community, which provides garden seeds in branded kits for attendees while also donating seeds and plants through food rescue, urban agriculture and food insecurity partner programs. Burkart says the company can also create kits with themes that include wellness, self-care, spa and sustainability, in addition to offering snack, coffee, tea and cocktail packages.
Put simply, SnackMagic lets people build their own personalized snack stash. “It allows company managers, meeting planners and sales reps to treat remote colleagues, clients, virtual conference attendees and friends to boxes filled with unique snacks and beverages,” says Shaunak Amin, CEO of SnackMagic, based in New York City. SnackMagic can also include the company’s custom swag in each box and offers custom branding options.
Jessica Faust, events and marketing assistant for International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, recently used SnackMagic for its virtual convention.
They sent attendees an email through which they could select $45 worth of snacks to be sent to their home. “Rather than give them a mix of snacks you don't know if they'll like or want, they get to have a fun time choosing what they want in their box,” says Faust. She also liked that there were many options for people with food allergies and that the organization only paid for the boxes that attendees chose to order (about half of the 350 attendees did).
“We take great care sourcing just-right items that best communicate your brand and your appreciation for the gift recipient,” says Lori Katz, owner of Swoonfull, based in San Francisco. “Whether a virtual happy hour, coffee break or fireside chat, gifting — when executed correctly — can become an activity that brings attendees together even when physically apart.” Katz gives as an example providing a mug for an Atlanta-themed event that includes both a logo and Atlanta icons or, for a Nashville conference that needed to pivot to virtual, adding the phrase “I’d Rather Be in Nashville” along with the company logo.
Swoonfull has provided gift boxes for clients that include Lippman Connects, which worked with the company twice this year for its virtual Attendee Acquisition Roundtables, sending curated boxes containing conference materials, treats and a surprise gift. “Welcome boxes by Swoonfull engaged the sense of touch and taste and even a bit of fun,” says Sam Lippman, president of Lippman Connects.
When this new sustainably minded, Toronto-based company officially launches in 2021, Unwrapit will offer gifts that fall within the categories of experiences, donations, memberships/subscriptions, sponsor discounts or promotions, eBook/audiobook downloads and e-Gift cards. Instead of sending a physical box, gifting might include a hands-on learning or crafting experience; virtually facilitated game or performance; donations in alignment with the theme of the event (or one of the recipient’s choosing); having trees planted; or providing subscriptions to streaming services, news outlets or learning platforms.