Corporate gifts can help maintain and build a business relationship, but the choice of the wrong gift, or even wrapping your gift in the wrong way can work in reverse. Giving gifts in our own country is not so complicated, but international gift giving can be a minefield, in which the wrong gift becomes a gaffe. There are five key considerations when choosing an appropriate gift:
Is it appropriate to give a gift at all?
In some countries your corporate gifts may be perceived as bribes, when this is far from your intention. In other countries business gifts are virtually mandatory, and it would be rude not to give a gift. You need to do some research on the customs and practices of your destination country. Likewise many companies or corporations may have policies which prevent individuals receiving a gift at all, or perhaps receiving one above a certain value.
Take a gift from your own country.
This may seem obvious, but if for example you are travelling from
One size does not fit all
In many countries, company hierarchy is extremely significant, and you will be expected to reflect this hierarchy in the perceived value of the corporate gifts you are giving. This may mean taking a range of gifts of different values, and one or two spare gifts can be useful too. It may be important that the gift is given “from your company” to “their company” and not to an individual.
This is truly a minefield, where a well intentioned gift can easily cause embarrassment or offence. For example in
Make yourself aware of customs regulations (for example those bringing food or honey based items as potential