I’ve been meaning to post an article about the “experience gift” for over a year, since I love the idea of giving an activity as a gift. Some of you may remember the sky gliding gift or the Photo session gift, since I blogged about them. However, today I want to talk about the “experience gifts” I didn’t write about, the ones that striked out.
I had a great gift idea for some of my more creative friends, a certificate for a craft class of some sort or another. I thought I had it all planned out: I arranged for a certificate with the art studio, made sure it was geographically close to the receiver, paid in advance for the class and gave the certificate as a gift. What I failed to understand is human nature to postponed unpleasant tasks such as calling to scheduled an appointment (Which always feels kind of awkward). This is what happened to the friends who received a gift certificate for a class or a dinner from me. They were really excited about the gift, but never fully redeemed it. Thinking about it, I myself, received a dinner certificate more than six months ago, and I still haven’t used it. I was trying to understand why this came to be and I think I got it figured out. I would like to share with you some tips that would help you to successfully give an “experience gift”. I believe these tips would make the difference between a certificate sitting in a drawer and an unforgettable experience.
Tip number 1: Know your friend
Who is your friend? What kind of person is s/he? well organized? Has a lot of time? Social or independent? Bottom line, If you give this person a certificate would it sit in a drawer with all the other piles of things to do or will that person put it to use. Let me tell you that most people, including myself, would probably forget about it until it’s to late, even if it’s the most amazing experience on the face of the earth. This is just the way people are. Don’t give a certificate unless you are absolutely positive that this person would use it.
Tip number 2: Set a time and place
Setting a time and place is very important. Once a person is invited to a specific time and place, he is more likely to arrive, as apposed to an open invitation that he may or may not choose to take.
Tip number 3: Make an event out of it
Planning the gift as an event is the best way to make sure the gift is fulfilled. You can invite a few friends, or have a privet birthday “date”. By planning an event or meeting you are making it very hard for the person not to come. This is the reason why the sky gliding and photo session worked, they planed as events, and sharing the experience with my friends was just an added bonus.