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How the Pandemic is Affecting Corporate Gift Giving

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Are your gifts sending the right message? Corporate client gifts during COVID and staff appreciation gifts during COVID should be thoughtful, not overpriced.


The impact of COVID-19 on businesses has been damaging. Most small businesses have taken a hit in some way or another; from increased demand for goods/services to hardships in supply chains, lack of staffing, longer delivery times, and delays on shipments. Unfortunately, many have even had to close their doors for good. 


How to Help Businesses During the Pandemic

If you are looking to help other small businesses this year and want to make sure your purchases make a difference, there are many ways you can do that through your holiday gift giving and who you choose to purchase from. Buying personalized gifts and marketing swag from small businesses is a great way to give meaningful gifts to your clients while offering your support to smaller, local businesses. 


You’ve probably heard the buzz about shopping local and shopping small. By supporting the small business owners in your life or community, you are most likely helping them stay afloat during this difficult time. 


Many small businesses that have suffered due to the pandemic rely on our support to help get them get by. Businesses are a central part of our economy, so they sell products and services that you may need, but also give back to our communities. It's a win-win to diversify goods and purchase from different vendors since your recipient will also appreciate that this gift is helping other businesses.


Even with vaccines and booster shots as protection, the pandemic has affected our daily lives in many stressful ways. Now, more than ever people are prioritizing their family, friends, health, and well-being over other things. So when it comes to holiday client gifts during covid as well as gifts for employees, giving a thoughtful gift that also gives back in some way will still make a lasting, positive impression even if your swag budget has been impacted again this year. 


Employee and client gifts during COVID that also give back don’t necessarily have to cost more. Ask your Gemnote rep how you can find personalized gifts that also give back. They’ll be able to help you create a curated collection of items from reputable brands that are mission-driven, sustainable or eco-friendly. The best part is that we'll work within your budget!

Cool Client Gifts during COVID

Great holiday client gifts during COVID that your recipient will love are customizable reusable tumblers. Not only will your customers love receiving a quality, travel-friendly, sustainable tumbler, but they’ll also love knowing that their MiiR gift is giving back to local and global communities too. That’s because every product MiiR sells helps fund their trackable giving projects.     


Shown: Customized MiiR Tumbler


Other client gifts during COVID could include things to spruce up their home. From candles to high quality towels, these items are perfect on their own or as part of a pandemic gift box that also includes essentials.    


The best client gifts during COVID are also practical, which makes these Cloud Loom™ organic towels from Coyuchi an unforgettable gift. Featuring a lush softness and superior absorbency since they dry faster than most luxury styles, these towels are also GOTS certified. 


Shown: Coyuchi Organic Towels  


How to Show Staff Appreciation during COVID

If you’re like most employers, you’ll want to shower your hardworking teams with fun and creative pandemic Christmas gifts. While many teams have transitioned to work from home, some may be still traveling or making the commute to the office.  Regardless of where your employees physically do their work, they all deserve to feel appreciated. Furthermore, gift ideas for employees on a budget can and should be just as thoughtful even at lower prices. 


For Your Employees Commuting to the Office

Pandemic themed Christmas gifts are fun, but focusing on a theme isn’t a must. 

For employees who are making the trek to and from the office every day, they will appreciate appreciate some items like hand sanitizers or disposable masks to help make their commute easier. These also make great gift ideas for employees on a budget. Just be sure to add in some sustainable items they can use after the holidays as well, like a customized travel tumbler, duffel bag, or commuter backpack with a built-in laptop sleeve.


Shown: Touchland Hand Sanitizer 


For Your Employees Who Are Working Remotely

By now, many understand that working from home is not always easy or as ideal as they originally imagined. While not having a commute saves most employees a lot of travel time, they may feel guilty or have a hard time turning everything off when their work day ends. Trying to schedule time off or establish boundaries has also proven to be difficult.  


The best Christmas gifts during pandemic for employees and clients should reflect how your recipient spends their time. For your work-from-home crew, you may want to spoil them with gifts to help them relax and unwind when their work day is done, and yet their office is still in plain sight.  


Gifts like soft robes, custom slippers and sleep masks are perfect for helping diligent remote groups, like customer service teams who have been hit with an uptick in difficult calls. 


Shown: Morihata Room Shoes

Shown: Bucky Sleep Masks


Pandemic Anniversary Gifts

Companies do not have to spend more on pandemic anniversary gifts to recognize their employees each year. This is especially true during a pandemic since online gifting growth has declined and most budgets have been reduced.  


That said, it is important to recognize your employees on their anniversary for their hard work, dedication, and loyal service to your company. Whether it is a small gathering with cake and balloons, a heartfelt card from the manager or president of the company, or even inexpensive pandemic anniversary gifts, recognizing your employees on their anniversary will strengthen not just their morale but can also have a positive impact on their health



Furthermore, high employee morale can also affect your company’s bottom line since employees who are happy perform better, are more positive, and work hard to exceed expectations. When it’s time to celebrate an associate, sustainable gifts that they can use now and for years to come will make a great impact. 




Shown: Homedics Diffuser


Pandemic Christmas Gifts

When it comes to creating memorable gifts that your recipients will love, make sure you are gifting with care. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when sending corporate gifts. 

  1. Keep it memorable. Even if you have a limited budget for gifts, make sure you aren’t gifting cheaper items that people might end up throwing in the trash. These gifts easy to forget and the goal is to reduce waste of customized products in landfills. You want to make sure the gift is memorable and a good representation of your brand/company.
  2. Customize it! When it comes to the best and most unforgettable gifts, make sure your recipient remembers it’s from your company. The best way to ensure you get the most out of your marketing efforts is to have your logo customized on your product. This doesn’t have to break your budget. Items such as pens, PopSockets, notepads, enamel pins are affordable and a good way to showcase your brand.  
  3. Make sure it's functional. A great way to surprise your clients and employees this holiday season is by gifting the things they can use. Better yet, give them something that’s seasonal and usable, like a great gaiter to keep them warm now and in the coldest months that are still to come. 


One of the best pandemic gift ideas is neck gaiters since they'll be useful as we continue staying safe outside. Plus, when you purchase one that’s known for quality and good materials, you have a better chance of your recipient keeping and wearing it, even when the pandemic ends. This North Face neck gaiter is perfect for snow skiing, hiking, and more cold winter activities. This is useful during the winter months as people gear up to travel to ski and snowboard vacations with their friends and family.

Shown: The North Face Gaiter


Funny Pandemic Christmas Gifts 

This may seem like a strange title, but sending gifts and online purchases have been a great way to bring holiday cheer during the hardest of times. As a corporation, it's important not to come off as insensitive if you are sending an item related to current events. Again, keep in mind that functionality and practicality are key here.


The consumer space was filled with Christmas ornaments and toilet paper gifts online--you've most likely seen your fair share of these types of pandemic Christmas gifts. To integrate these types of themes with your corporate giveaways during the pandemic, make sure you are doing it with class and thoughtfulness. One approach to careful yet funny pandemic Christmas gifts is to gift a group of products that are also useful to create a pandemic gift box. 


As face masks have become more and more common, this could make for fun and practical pandemic inspired Christmas gifts. Since masks bring their own set of hardships like “maskne” (aka those pesky break-outs due to masks), the feeling of suffocating in your after-lunch breath, you could include masks sprays, breath mints, and reusable masks for pandemic themed Christmas gifts. Ask your Gemnote rep what they recommend as options on personalizing these types of items with your company’s logo. 


Shown: Enfusia Cloth Mask Refresher & Deodorizer Spray with Essential Oils


Other Pandemic Gift Ideas


Pandemic Survival Kit Gift

For good pandemic Christmas gifts that also make good pandemic giveaways at your events, why not create a pandemic survival kit? Fill a basket or box with essentials like gifts cards to their local grocery store. Then keep it fun with extras like high-end candy and chocolate. For extra swag points, add sustainable items like customized caps. 


Creative Client Gifts during COVID

Make your clients’ day, as well as a fresh start to their new year with a “clean” gift basket. With everything they need to fight germs and get on with their day, they’ll appreciate the soap, wet wipes, and surface cleaner. Just be sure to add in something fun and practical too like a Homedics UV Clean Phone Sanitizer.  

Shown: Public Goods Hand Soap +  Jusu Multi-Surface Cleaner + Public Goods Bamboo Wet Wipes


Shown:  Homedics UV-CLEAN Phone Sanitizer  


Event Gifts and Virtual Client Gifts during COVID

For upcoming events, you can also find pandemic giveaways they can use that are sustainable. From stainless steel customized cups and tumblers that keep unnecessary water bottles from ending up in landfills to reusable utensils and washable straws, these will be greatly appreciated. Plus, they’ll make great free virtual client gifts during COVID. 


When it comes to giving out free pandemic giveaways, look for reusable straws that have their own container, like these from Go Sili. Not only is the straw 100% European-grade silicone and free of BPA, BPS, phthalates, PVC, and lead, but it also comes with an aluminum travel case for easy carrying on-the-go. 


Shown: Reusable Silicone Straws 


Looking for something to add to your swag kit? This reusable cutlery set from Zefiro includes everything they need for meals on the go. Plus with stainless steel and bamboo utensils, chopsticks, and a straw cleaner to make cleaning up a breeze, it also rolls up nice and neat in a reusable cloth carrier. 


Shown: Zifiro Reusable Cutlery


Back to the Basics 

From health and wellness to simple indulgences, it’s all about staying safe whether your recipients are continuing to work from home or start heading back to the office. If you’re looking for additional ideas for client gifts during COVID or ways to shower your employees with appreciation, talk to a Gemnote rep. Not only will we work with you to reach your marketing goals, but we'll also show you a curated collection of gifts in your budget. Plus, we'll help you find ways to get the most value of our your dollar spent, recommend tasteful customization options, and more. On top of all that, we'll handle the fulfillment and warehousing so you can send gifts easily with the click of a button using our online store.

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