February Trends

  • Feb 12, 2019

"The Noblest Art is that of Making Others Happy."
- P.T. Barnum

Two important trends for 2019

A sure-fire way to win our younger customers over is to show them we understand their world. They expect to have choices. Increasingly, they are attracted to gift rooms and pop-up shops in their post-mall neighborhoods.

Savvy event planners are bringing this vibe to their meetings. By introducing the element of choice to their gifting strategy, they are getting their guests involved. The active participation adds value and importance to their gifts. The fun of browsing and selecting the "perfect" choice helps to make the gift and its message memorable.

At Lasting Impressions, we know that a gift is a "memory hook" that impacts, influences, and inspires others, and reiterates your message long after the initial event. Allowing your attendees to select their own gifts adds another dimension that pays off in perceived value and long-term appreciation.

How can we turn a gift into an unforgettable experience?

We can invite our attendees into a "world that we design," to use a favorite concept from The Greatest Showman. It is easier than you might think to create a gift room or pop up shop as part of your event. You can design the space to create the feeling you want to evoke. Everybody loves a space with a theme. We react to colors and images organized around an idea. It helps us grasp the concept right away, and it makes it easier to remember the message.

Here's how the trend is taking shape:

In Napa Valley, guests were greeted with a wallet of "play money." They each had $800 for a spree in the gift room. Guests were not required to lug a bag of goodies around with them throughout the event: The hosts had them shipped to the guests' homes! Marketing hint: Be sure to come up with a fun name for your currency that enforces your message.

Another event planner made sure everybody had a perfect fit by ordering a full size run of two types of The North Face® jackets. Guests had fun trying on the two styles offered, admiring each other and making sure they ended up with a gift they could wear proudly for many years after the event. The jackets were then embroidered and shipped. Marketing hint: Provide a full-length mirror and write your message on it.

Another popular gift that is compact and light-weight for guests who travel from out of state or out of the country: Ray-Ban® sunglasses in branded cases. Attendees select their style and take them home in the case provided. Marketing hint: Be sure to add a little message, fortune-cookie size, to each case to add to the fun and enforce your main idea.

Here's what we have seen at the best gift rooms and pop-up shops:

Guests have a great time making their choices. They laugh, tease each other, and leave clutching their gift as if it were a grand prize. It's an amazing way to get attendees into the spirit of the occasion and introduce them to the concept you want to share. They are not inclined to forget, and they are far more likely to attach significance to the gift. Shopping is an excellent ice-breaker or stretching activity for the mid-afternoon break.

Attendees actually enjoy the message when it is presented in this way. They can be heard repeating it to one another as they make their selections, and throughout the event as the message is emphasized. They feel like they are "in on it" from the start.

Staying above the trend

Although we believe it's always smart to understand marketing and event trends in order to better understand our customers, we believe this is only the beginning. It is our own dreams, our curiosity, creativity and desire, that make our message resonate. Here's where we would like to help:

"However big, however small,
Let us be part of it all."

Keep in touch and be sure to check in with Lasting Impressions if you'd like more info about how to create a gift room or pop-up shop that will support your theme. We'll help you get your message across unforgettably.

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