Speakers are at the heart of business events and fundraisers. A solid lineup can mean the difference between “wow” and “meh” for your attendees. After all, they come for a great experience, quality networking, and actionable advice — all things speakers contribute to.
And chances are, your speakers put a lot of work into preparing for your event. If they have a good experience themselves and feel appreciated, they’re more likely to tell colleagues, fans, and other influencers how much they love your event.
For all of these reasons, it’s important to properly thank your speakers once your event wraps up. A handwritten thank-you note — delivered by hand or snail mail — is a great starting point. But you can do better than that.
Even with a modest event budget, there are thoughtful and creative ways to say “thank you” with charm and class. Here are our top ten speaker gift suggestions.
Speaker gifts that help them be more productive
- Handy device accessories. Notice what kind of tablet or laptop your speaker uses for the presentation, and gift them with a spare external battery or waterproof cover. These types of accessories are typically ones we humans really appreciate and don’t always get around to purchasing for ourselves.
- Wireless headphones. Another great gift for technology lovers, Bluetooth travel headphones come in a range of sizes and price ranges. When your speaker puts them on, they’ll be able to instantly get in their productivity zone.
- Beautiful notebooks. Go old school with a high-quality leather or suede-covered notebook, perfect for jotting down notes and brilliant witticisms for next time.
Speaker gifts that make them laugh
- Bobbleheads. Who doesn’t love a Bobblehead? Did you know you can get them custom-made? This is one gift guaranteed to make your speaker smile, and it’s probably one they don’t have already.
- Custom caricature. Invite a caricaturist to your event to sketch the masses, and have the artist draw your speakers, too. Once your event is over, you can give them the artwork to take home, for a truly original gift.
Speaker gifts they’ll just plain old enjoy
- Superior coffee. Who doesn’t love great java? Local and national coffeemakers from Starbucks to Blue Bottle have a range of bean options for every palate. You can also play it safe and go with a gift certificate or even a coffee subscription.
- Personalized bottles of liquor. Makers of fine spirits often offer the option of ordering personalized or even engraved bottles. If your event is in the South, for instance, Kentucky bourbon is a nice way to say “Cheers!,”while New Yorkers apparently prefer Hennessey. (Check out the most popular liquor in every state according to Business Insider.)
- Goodies for everyone at home. Often, the coworkers a speaker leaves behind have to pick up the slack while he or she is gone. Acknowledge their sacrifice with a special order of local baked goods, doughnuts, or a basket of fresh fruit.
Speaker gifts that aren’t items
- A charity donation. Sometimes, the nicest thing you can gift someone is a donation to someone else. Perhaps you happen to know of a cause that’s close to the speaker’s heart, or is relevant subject matter. You can also opt for a more general business-minded charity like Kiva, a crowd-funding organization that lends money to entrepreneurs in developing countries.
- Experience vouchers. Give the gift of a memorable experience, and your speaker will be the first to volunteer to come back next year. Go with something specific, like a gift certificate to the hottest new restaurant in town or an elegant spa. Or use a company like Experience Days that lets the recipient choose their own fun from events like culinary tasting tours and racecar driving experiences.
Now that you have speaker gifts covered, it’s time to think about what you’re getting the rest of your attendees. Check out this infographic to find out the most popular swag bag giveaways for events.