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The ideal corporate gift is one that is going to be kept, used and treasured over the years. But what does this mean? The Planner asked around to get ideas on which corporate gifts have been a hit and why. Read on for some inspiration.

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Carol Weaving

Managing Director of Reed Exhibitions

“The gifts I prefer are the ones that are either practical that I can use e.g. a cool USB, or something funky and different e.g. a Groot or Superhero mobile phone holder, USB mini fan for your phone etc. Do not give diaries/conference folders/books/bags. They are so out of date and never get used.”

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Rudi van der Vyver

Managing Director of EPH Events

“I have two to boast about here. One was a co-branded Springboks Rugby Jacket. Why I like this so much is I think this is brilliant in terms of marketing exposure, as I wear this jacket every time the Boks play and there’s any indication of a wind chill at the stadium, which is basically always. Then secondly I would say a large capacity solar power bank. In today’s day and age of sustainable energy and with us always looking for a charger for something, this is just an item I use extensively. In my mind that’s what a good promotional item should be aimed at (along with the brand identification of course).”

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Lindiwe Rakharebe

Chief Executive Officer of Durban ICC

“A shoe holder, which holds 3 pairs of shoes at a time. I find this gift quite convenient especially when I am attending international conferences abroad where there is a lot of walking between the conference/exhibition venue and the hotel. I can dress formal if I am meeting prospective clients and then change into comfortable shoes afterwards for walking around while I carry the other pair in the shoe holder.”

Nick Sarnadas

Portfolio Director at Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery

“I’ve received many corporate gifts throughout my career, but the bamboo e-coffee cup given out at the launch of the Promo Product Expo sits at the top of my list. It’s re-usable, machine-washable, provides me with a discount at many retail coffee outlets, is really good-looking, and, most importantly, delivers me coffee all day every day!”

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Justin Hawes

Managing Director of Scan Display Solutions

“My best corporate gift is my bag from Sealand Gear. [Pictured here] They make a range of upcycled bags, and Scan Display gives them old graphics panels which they use as lining in their bags. I am passionate about sustainability so I love using my bag, knowing that a part of it is being recycled.”

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Neo Mohlatlole

Director of 7Colors Communications

“I have received a few gifts over the years, but my favourite was the Poken. It was attached to a beaded lanyard, and I loved the contrast from the African beads that were done by local women and the groundbreaking technology that was meant to make trade shows easier through Poken.”.

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Lorin Bowen

Managing Director of Lorin Bowen Business Events

“I have received some awesome gifts over the years, but by far the best and most useful is the pink toolbox that I received from Upstage Promotions many moons ago. I still have it today, it does get used by me fairly often and I even take it on site with me now as an organiser.”

Brad Montgomery-Buys

Creative Director at Ultimate Data Sciences

“The best corporate gift I have ever received was a hamper of Tabasco Sauce. It sounds random, but that’s what I loved about it. Also, I love Tabasco sauce. It was a gift I could use and enjoy instead of shoving it in a cupboard 2 weeks later. Creative and sustainable gifting!”