From the Shire to the Oscars, Great Event Gifts have 5 Things in Common

If we’re going to brainstorm iconic events that inspire epic gift giving, two spectacular shindigs are going to make the list:

– Bilbo Baggin’s long-expected, eleventy- first birthday celebration, and

– the Oscars.

It’s because the gifts at these parties strategically contribute to the mystique of the evenings. They help create, in Bilbo’s words, “a night to remember.”

I’m willing to bet that most of your events don’t fall into the ‘epic’ category. (I hope they do!) But the right gift can make it more memorable.

And epic gifts have 5 traits in common. If these traits are true of your swag, you could pull off a spectacular shindig at your next milestone event.

1. The gifts are a part of a celebration.

“Hobbits give presents to other people on their own birthdays… it was not a bad system.”

What’s not to love about that tradition? Hobbits were in the habit of honoring their friends on their birthdays. It’s lovely. It’s one of the many reasons why I love the Shire. On his 111th birthday, Bilbo ordered magical toys all the way from Dale.

Special gifts, to mark an especially special celebration.

The Academy Awards ceremony is one of the biggest nights of the year for the American film industry. Celebrities are arguably the closest thing America has to royalty. This is one of America’s most talked about annual celebrations. And the swag perpetuates the party.

Celebrations are where we strengthen our relationships and build camaraderie. A healthy business is going to find ways to celebrate. And the gifts honor the relationships.

2. The gift serves a practical/strategic purpose for the giver.

The hobbits were comfortable regifting. Birthday gifts were an excuse to clear out the clutter in their hobbit holes. Marie Kondo would be proud.

It’s no secret: the gifts in the Oscars’ swag bags are used for product placement and celebrity exposure. Businesses pay for the privilege of donating. And it’s not a bad marketing strategy.

Your gift can align others to your corporate vision and values. For example, when you give Fair Trade coffee beans, you’re modeling a commitment to sustainability and ethical treatment of all workers. It’s why the quality of your gift matters. It’s wise to be aware of these opportunities.

3. The gifts are specifically chosen for the recipients.

Bilbo gave gifts that would be appreciated. Old Rory Brandybuck received a dozen bottles of his favorite wine, in honor of his generous hospitality. The Gaffer, Bilbo’s gardener, was given a bottle of ointment for his creaking joints. The gifts were appropriately personal.

The Oscar swag is wildly opulent, and that’s appropriate for the giftees. I am well loved, and I feel professionally appreciated, but no one has ever given me a luxury cruise to Antarctica as a token of their appreciation. It doesn’t bother me. I would LOVE to see Antarctica, but my personal endorsement isn’t nearly as valuable as Spike Lee’s. And I don’t want to pay the $80,000 tax bill for my nifty free stuff. So, I’m good.

For a corporate event, the pressure is off: a gift isn’t as personal as a hobbit’s birthday, or as lavish as the Oscar swag. But it’s your chance to be thoughtful and give with the purpose of being inclusive. That’s very appropriate.

4. The gifts create a buzz.

Bilbo gave the Hobbits of the Shire something to talk about for years to come. Samwise kept the conversation going at the local tavern, The Ivy Bush, (until he was sworn to secrecy by Gandalf.) And news of the party had reached the town of Bree by the time Frodo set out on his adventure.

The whole point of the Oscar swag is to generate buzz. Through celebrity Instagram accounts, I’m alerted to items I didn’t even know existed, and I definitely wasn’t aware that I needed. I might not be in the market for many of their products (liposuction comes to mind,) but I’m confident that the talk successfully reaches the ears of its target audience.

A strategic gift speaks for itself. And that encourages a conversation where people have good things to say. Within your company, it builds trust and loyalty. Outside of your company, it generates good will.

5. The gift givers had help.

Poor Frodo was left with the draining task of distributing Bilbo’s parting birthday gifts. Bilbo got all the glory (and notoriety.)

The infamous Lash Fary of Distinctive Assets is responsible for the Oscar swag bags- even though he’s not associated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It’s a complicated, messy undertaking.

This frees the recipients to fully enjoy the moment, and it takes the stress out of the experience for the givers. This is exactly what a gift exchange is meant to be. The focus is on the relationships, not the logistics of a transaction.

The gifts are epic. The relationships are legendary. That’s what a milepost is all about.

Here’s to Epic Celebrations!

Are you ready to give an epic gift for your next occasion?
Let us help you create a Milepost Moment!

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