Executive Group Travel Blog

Incentive Gifts - Life After Maui Jim

[fa icon="clock-o"] Oct 31, 2016 9:21:00 AM [fa icon="user"] Marci McCormack [fa icon="folder-open'] Incentive Travel

Gifting Experience:

An important aspect of every incentive trip is the gift process.  Many companies provide a thank you gift for each attendee and others only for the internal corporate qualifier who attends the trip.  It's an additional way to show your appreciation for your employees' hard work and leave them with a memento from the trip.  

Maui Jim has become the leader in this category and provides a top notch on site experience.  The product is around $200 in budget per attendee, it's easy to transport, has low minimums (~24 pairs of sunglasses) and usually fits within the beach and/or tourism theme.   Their display and experience is simple and quick to setup but leaves a lasting impression on each attendee.  They have the ability to custom the cases and cleaning cloths to provide a branded look.  And the best part is they handle all of the customs, taxes, and shipping proocess!

Unfortunately its usually not a product you can offer each year to the same group of attendees.  Some clients choose to work with Maui Jim every other year, some every three years.  Fact is people lose sunglasses so its easy to keep Maui Jim in rotation for your President's Club.  Maui Jim does run into a few competitors in the sunglasses market with on site experience but we have found Maui Jim is a step above the competition.  Most of the rest of the competitiors on site experience is performed by a third party, not the brand itself.

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The Rest:

Other than Maui Jim there isn't an alternate on site experience that leaves the same impression.  Bose has recently updated their on site experience to have less overseas limitations but their minimums are still high.  There are a few bike companies, Trek specifically that provide on site experiences but their products are expensive and bikes are a more niche product.  A recent addition to the market is Blank Label who provides custom dress shirts but their product is currently only for men.  They do partner with a few women's shoe companies but it still isn't the perfect solution yet, good but not perfect.  Omaha Steaks is an option for some looking to provide a culinary gift but that is limited to US market only.  There are a few third parties who have created on site experiences with Nike sneakers, Tommy Bahamas, sandals and watches but there are still some logistics that need to be ironed out with this programs. 

The market is in search of the next Maui Jim, anything from a Wine Experience, Custom Shoes, to Personalized Watches.  The key is to provide a unique on site experience versus a generic non-branded gift in which every attendees receives the same off the shelf product.  Also the custom event and experience needs to be able to offer minimums starting at ~50 attendees.   

Third Party Vendor:

At IMEX this year it appeared there are plenty of companies chasing this next event experience success.  It is important to differentiate between a third party vendor who is purchasing at the supplier pricing versus a direct distributor who can sell to third party meeting planners at that supplier pricing.   When using a third party vendor you will be paying a slight premium versus going direct (ie Maui Jim or Bose's NE group distributor, Incentive Concepts).   The positive of a third party vendor is that they can provide multiple brands for one on site experience. 

Stay tuned for constant updates to the market with new event gifting experiences.