Do’s and Don’ts When Giving Speakers Gifts

Many planners feel that they want to reward exceptional speakers by giving them a gift in addition to their normal compensation, but what type of gifts are appropriate?

Considering that most speakers probably don’t expect anything more than the agreed-upon payment for their services, gifts don’t need to be extremely lavish, but should be meaningful to them. did an informal survey of successful speakers from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada to find out what speakers do and don’t want. Among the desired gifts were:

Technological devices, including Amazon Echo, Jambox and quality headphones
Travel aids, including a gel sleep mask and earplugs
Donations to a nonprofit organization of their choice
Gift cards
Digital photos

Those surveyed also described their most memorable gifts, which included the following:

A 3-D action picture of the speaker
Pillows with personalized and embroidered content from the speaker’s book
Custom cowboy boots
A road-bike experience that included a guide

The speakers also were asked to list presents that they were likely to regift. They included:

Coffee table books, which are heavy to pack
Food, which often will go to waste unless it matches the speaker’s personal preference
Alcohol, which some speakers feel is impersonal
Branded tchotchkes, which speakers rarely take home


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