Ignite a Sp@rk of inspiration. October 3, 2012 Issue

OCTOBER 3, 2012
Ignite - a spark of inspiration

It's never too early to be thinking gifts for the holiday season. Even though Thanksgiving is this weekend, Christmas is lurking just around the corner. Here are some great ideas to get you started so you're not scrambling at the last minute to fulfill a long "to-do" list.

The Gift

Time is your Side: It's really a no-brainer, but the sooner the better is the best mantra when you're trying to source employee or client gifts. When you've got time you've got options. Robert Laughlin, manager of business development with Universal Links says plan ahead. One large client order can clear out the entire Canadian stock of an item. The luxury of time allows you to be strategic with your gift, accommodates special print runs and the ability to fix a problem if something goes wrong.

Less is Better: If your gift is going to be branded with your company name, remember that gaudy is not good. Think handsome gift box with a company name branded on the ribbon used to tie it all up.

Tell me Why: Know your own goal for gift-giving. Are you thanking a client for their business? Are you thanking your employees to recognize their contributions and hard work all year? You'll want to ensure that the recipient feels valued and appreciated.
Same but Different: Terry Krajden, senior account manager for Universal Links says technology items have been trendy all year, but you'll need a larger budget to execute. One issue is that there are a lot of different devices out there, so think universal when buying devices like connectors, chargers and plugs.
Make it Meaningful: The ability to individually personalize items with laser touch engraving was all over the TOPS show in Toronto in late September. No one is going to throw away a pen set or journal with their own name on it.
Get Creative: Joanna Wiseberg, president of Red Scarf Promotions says "If you're going to package a gift, put it in an interesting container that your recipient can use again like a patent leather pencil case, or a mini container for their desk. Something interesting.
Top Trends: Felt is making a comeback for the iPad and tablet holder, think 60s retro colours like mint green, turquoise, washed pink and lavender. Another big colour this year is white, channeling the clean signature lines of Apple Inc.

Look for more great gift ideas at ignitemag.ca. To share your own best practices with other readers, meet us on facebook or at IgniteMeetingsConnect.

CanSPEP Day And Supplier Showcase

When: October 26, 2012
Where: Delta Chelsea Hotel, Toronto
Why go:
CanSPEP members should go to attend their annual general meeting that's held in the morning.
What's in it for you: Non-CanSPEP planners can attend an educational session and browse the exhibitor showcase.

More industry events at Ignitemag.ca

good to know
Political Punch
Advocacy is on the agenda at the IMEX America show in Las Vegas. Building a Stronger Meetings Industry will feature American heavyweights in the tourism sector along with political representatives from the city of Las Vegas in its first-ever political advocacy forum. It will showcase the efforts of the broader community to raise the profile of the meetings industry and build awareness of its role in the overall economy. The panel session will feature Roger Dow, CEO of U.S. Travel, the CEO of the Las Vegas Convention Bureau, Rossi Ralenkotter and the Mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman. Moderator of the discussion, Geoff Freeman was a key player in the U.S. Travel Meetings Mean Business campaign and a supporter of the Travel Promotion Act in the States.

Africa – the New Kid on the Block
According to the Hogg Robinson Group (HRG), the growth potential for business travel in Africa is climbing rapidly, with demand frequently outstripping the supply in suitable accommodation. According to a company release, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya are rapidly emerging economies and will challenge South Africa's status as the dominant business travel destination. There are new routes and flight frequencies by South African Airways in regional hubs in Accra, Lagos, Abidjan and Brazzaville. HRG's manager for regional business and partner management says investment in infrastructure such as roads, hotels, Internet and telecommunications connectivity are improving rapidly.

Gifting with Purpose
Taking the time to develop a corporate gift strategy can lead to brand awareness and ROI, rather than a time consuming waste of cash. Juliette Sale, president of Idea Incentives Inc. of Vancouver, says searching out a supplier that you feel comfortable with can really make your vision come to life. Sale says you should decide on the key events or occasions that you would like to have gifts to give. You should also have a clear idea of the qualities that you want your brand to represent. It doesn't hurt to share your budget parameters and revisit your strategy from time to time to keep it from getting stale.

Share your event news, case studies or story ideas with us here at ignitemag.ca.

Trading Up
Be a part of the Toronto Board of Trade (BOT) as the manager of events and sponsorship. Working from First Canadian Place in the heart of Toronto, you'll lead the events team to plan cost effective and efficient execution of BOT events. You will also be working with the marketing and promotion of events and sponsorships.

The Only (hockey) Game in Town
The Baycrest Foundation needs an event coordinator for the Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimer's flagship hockey tournament. You'll be reporting to the event specialist, but you will assist with the development of event plans and budgets. You'll coordinate fundraising efforts and identify new initiatives for fundraising potential. You'll also have at least two years of experience in fundraising and event coordination. Check out further details here.
Too Cool for School
Carleton University in Ottawa is looking for an Alumni and Donor Relations Officer (Events) to provide event planning and logistics support for special events with students and alumni of the university. If you've got a minimum of five years of experience or a combination of a post-secondary degree and related work experience and have excellent time and project coordination skills, apply here.
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