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Give your speakers a little something extra with some of these thoughtful gift ideas to show your appreciation.
Don’t just give your speakers another paperweight, consider offering them something more meaningful that doesn’t have to cost a lot. Excellent speakers can be a big motivator to attracting attendees and those that work hard on delivering inspiring content are very deserving of a little token afterward. We have thought of everything from small budgets to those who have more to spend. Make your event and brand memorable, thoughtful and rewarding to your speaker by giving them one of these gifts.
Low-Cost Speaker Gift Ideas
Everyone likes to relax after a long day and an aromatherapy candle can be travel size and perfect for staying calm before their next big keynote. Scented candles are also quite emotive and have a tendency to stir memories which could link the scent to your brand and make you more memorable to them (plus you could add your logo for a cheeky branding opportunity.)
Special plugs that have different outlet heads mean that whatever country they are in, the speaker can charge their phone and devices. You can also get specific adapters for the laptop or certain devices if you know they have something special but travel adapters can be an essential for the international speaker, always come in handy and event within a nice travel set are not too costly if you are working with a tight budget allocation.
Reusable Travel Mug
On the go caffeine can be a staple diet for event speakers, particularly those who take their role seriously and like to spend most of the day at the event. Gift them with one of those travel mugs that look like the traditional disposable coffee cups but can be reused over again for an easy and stylish way to keep your speakers caffeinated.
For speakers who work with larger screens or digital aids, a pointer can be an essential tool. Spruce this up by getting it engraved with the speaker's name or choosing something quirky and different so it sets the pointer apart from others they might have. Simple, practical and cost-effective.
Everyone is always searching for a pen, so you could purchase a particularly smart or interesting pen, maybe one with cool features or a fountain pen. Get it engraved with a personalized message to make it speaker-specific and extra special.
Pocket Business Card Holder
Event networking is essential for eventprofs and speakers alike and any speaker without a business card in their pocket or purse is not worth their salt. Give them a handy, thoughtful gift that will allow them to keep their business cards pristine and readily available.
Caricatures or Illustrations
Have a caricaturist or artist attend the event and create sketches and colorful drawings from the day to capture the speaker in a new and interesting way. These create fun mementos and if you are hiring an artist for your event anyway it can be very low cost or incorporated into the event itself, saving a copy for you and sharing on social media.
Pay it Forward
If budget or gifting rules means that you can’t offer a tangible gift then run a feature on the speaker on your website, social media or your event blog to showcase what they can do and how it went. You could also post a video of the speech or keynote to gain traction and help with their marketing. They will appreciate you passing it forward.
Many speakers get new jobs and clients by word of mouth and referrals and this can be more valuable to them than any gift because it brings a lot of potential for the future. If they were a great speaker then tell others about them and refer them for their next event.
Notebooks and stationary are always a welcome gift for any professional, even tech-savvy ones. Make these extra special by writing a handwritten thank you note in the front of them or getting an initialed or leather-bound option.
Sometimes the best gifts are the most thoughtful ones, for example, research great sources of inspiration, influences or industry experts in your speaker’s niche and buy them the latest book release. Alternatively, you could buy them a course, audiobook or podcast as an ongoing gift that is specifically relevant to them.
Free Event Tickets
Save them event tickets or put them on the guest list for your next event that they would be interested in and give them a plus one or VIP pass so they get special treatment. This way they get to experience the event without having to work it next time around, to get the full attendee experience.
Coffee cards and vouchers mean the speaker can redeem them when it suits them, whether this is the late-night gas station stop off on the drive home or the early morning wake up for their next event, they know they will have coffee on tap.
From whiskey to wine a personalized bottle can be a huge hit and a fabulous memento from the event. However, always consider how the speaker traveled to you because a bottle will be too big for carry-on luggage and will be seized at the airport.
Mid Range Gift Ideas for Event Speakers
Hiring videographers can be difficult and costly for a speaker but might be something you have already budgeted for. Have their keynote recorded and collated into a DVD or edited video. This could then be used as part of their marketing materials going forward and will be a powerful thank you gift.
Travelling light with just a carry-on or hand luggage is usually the norm for event speakers so you could gift them with some lightweight luggage or a multi-purpose backpack with plenty of compartments for all of their essentials.
This idea is particularly useful for fundraising events and can get the speakers involved in the efforts and the cause without costing them anything (useful if they aren’t being paid either.) Making a donation on their behalf can usually earn some sort of recognition as well so make it a generous one and it’s a win-win for all involved.
Gift baskets come in all shapes, sizes and types; from wine, chocolate, fruit and cheese to candles, stationery and bath soaps. Find out what the speaker enjoys as well as their preferences and have a gift basket sent to them to show your appreciation.
Waterproof Tablet/Laptop Bag
Tablets and laptops are used for slideshows and general business, often being the primary point of communication for many speakers via email or online so they need to be protected. Find out what type of device your speaker has and get a waterproof wallet, bag or cover to suit it.
Perfect if you aren’t sure on what to get your speaker or they appear to have everything because you know they will be able to get something they know they want! Plus, gift vouchers could be bought for virtually any shop whether it is industry specific or something broader like Amazon.
Go for unique or one of a kind ideas by commissioning a local artist to create a piece of art for the speaker to commemorate their participation, even better if it can encompass event themes as well as the speaker themselves. Again, be wary of the speaker’s travel arrangements because bulky or heavy pieces may be difficult for them to transport home.
If they are visiting your area for the first time, offer a memento or “tourist gift” that traditionally represents the area. For example, you could get them a city keychain, a map of the city, a book about local folklore, or a local delicacy. Choose something personal that the city or region is famous for.
High Budget Speaker Gift Items
Everyone is more health conscious these days and a wearable health tracker is a particularly good idea as speakers tend to roam the stage and do a lot of walking at an event which means they are going to be building up the steps. Let them track it and add it to their health and fitness goals with a new device.
A classic gift that you can have engraved on the back or just offered as a timeless piece to your speaker. The prices are pretty flexible to suit your budget too but a watch can be a very elegant gift for anyone.
This could be speakers or headphones as well as other Bluetooth or wireless devices that mean less bulky plugs to pack in their luggage. Wireless headphones are a comfortable travel accessory while Bluetooth speakers can be used to listen to music in their hotel room.
Get your speaker a digital recorder and they can record their speeches and play them back to get an idea of how it is coming across or to record interviews and research to prepare for future events. These small devices are also particularly useful for capturing notes and ideas if they don’t have their notebook to hand.
Can we think of a business reason for a VR headset for a speaker? No. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t cool and are a fun gadget for them to play with so the latest tech or gadget would be a hit.
Opting for fun gadgets, such as a drone, can be an exciting and unusual gift to choose for a speaker. Choosing something that they would never have expected can make a lasting impression, just like you hope their speech will resonate with your audience.
When thinking about gifts for your speaker, there are options available for every price range. Remember, however, to consider transport arrangements for your speaker so that they aren’t caught short and have to dispose of or pay to transport your gift home (not the memory you want to be leaving them with.) Also, this doesn’t necessarily have to stop you from giving them what you want, it might just mean that you may have to have it mailed to them rather than give it to them on the day. Regardless, just make sure your gift has a ton of personality and suits your event and brand.