Experiential Gift Giving: A Holiday Guide

Experiential Gift Giving Jae DavisAs EXP Elite, we know how to create great experiences with a blend of elements that go into all successful Experiential Marketing campaigns – venue or location, a theme, gifts, (sometimes food), and social connection. Get all these things right and you will create a memorable brand association for consumers. Experiential Marketing creates a feeling that connects, in the consumer’s mind, a product or service with glamour, fun, excitement or being cared for.

When you create this positive association for a consumer, the reward is brand loyalty and sales. This is a great thing to be able to do for a client, but for us, designing an experience doesn’t need to be sales driven. As EXPs, we can use our career skills to gift amazing experiences to our friends and family for the holidays!

Give the gift of experience with this mix and match gift guide:

Location

Airbnb

Book a stay at an Airbnb for a long weekend or an extended stay. Even a cottage down the street from your home can be a fun getaway that doesn’t break the bank. Browse through the accommodations on https://www.airbnb.com/ and you’ll be blown away by the diversity and charm of the places you can stay.

Restful Retreat

Does your loved one need a digital detox? Get your honey away from it all to revive and rejuvenate. What’s their retreat cup of tea – yoga, meditation, martial arts, or writing? Like all of the gifts in this guide, there are nearly unlimited choices and probably many retreat options in your area. Speaking of tea, you can present the reservation for the retreat with a bag of loose leaf tea and a decorative tea ball.

A Bar Crawl

On the other hand, a little debauchery might be the ticket. Hire or recruit a designated driver (mandatory) and take a tour of your local dives, bars, and brewpubs. You might pick a theme drink (Brandy Alexanders or a Scotch tasting?) or design a fun scavenger hunt around the crawl. Go in costume as a conversation starter. Dress as Santa or your favorite literary lush. Use your imagination and watch out for pink elephants!

Themes

Season Tickets

Hey, sports fans! Give the gift of season tickets, or a luxury suite, or both. This gift is easy to add pizzazz to with caps and shirts, a “meet your sports hero” experience, a Videoboard message, or gourmet catering.

History Walk

For cultured types, a historical walk or museum tour will be a delight. Almost all cities and towns offer these. What’s more, this is an economical gift. Many of these walks are free or at least, very low cost. Have lunch at a cafe after the tour or sleepover at a bed and breakfast. Books about the history of the area make a great companion gift.

A Driving or Circus Experience

You’re not limited to Nascar or trapeze school, however, these types of courses are some of the most popular. There are experience-based schools and classes to suit every taste – glass blowing, cooking, sailing, hang gliding, ballet, or anything under the sun. In fact, experiential education is an industry akin to ours and it’s growing equally as fast.

Gifts or Food

A Fun Outfit or Memento

As EXPs, we know that gifts are part of almost every event we participate in. Why? It’s a tangible and long-lasting reminder of the experience. An article of clothing, a costume, or an outfit can be paired with almost any item on this list. Likewise, theme items can be paired with any of these gift ideas. A retreat = a yoga mat. A driving experience = a Nascar jacket. Those are a couple of examples, but you get the idea.

Personal Chef

You can’t go wrong with a chef-prepared meal. An evening with a personal chef is far more affordable then you might imagine and in-home chef services are available in most locations. Choose from different menus and specialties. How about local farm to table? Sushi? Traditional French? Or a luxurious tea (and Champaign) party?

Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes are big business. These themed boxes are designed to be mini-experiences delivered through the mail. Again, whatever hobby or interest your loved one has, there is a subscription box for them. Cratejoy https://www.cratejoy.com/ is a great website to browse through hundreds of variations of boxes. Ordering a subscription online is super easy, it will be loved, and it’s a gift that arrives every month.

Social Connection

Family Reunion or Surprise Party

Plan a party! Present the gift as an invitation. The gathering can be big or small, at home, at a restaurant, or outdoors. Make sure there is music, food, laughter, and love. Being the guest of honor at a party is a gift that will be remembered for a lifetime. Take lots of pictures!

A Membership

Membership to a club or professional organization is a thoughtful gift for the workaholic in your life. A country or golf club membership might be posh fun! In this digital age, sometimes we don’t even realize we are lonely; social fellowship can be a welcome tonic. There are clubs and organizations for almost every interest.

The era of the experience has begun, and not just for marketing. What would you rather receive, a new sweater or a custom experience thoughtfully crafted around your favorite things? Would you rather open a box or spend time with friends at an exotic location? If you are like 90% of people polled about what their idea of the perfect gift is, you chose the experience.

Happy holidays!