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 skyÂ glidingÂ gift or theÂ PhotoÂ sessionÂ 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.Â I thought I had it all planned out: I arranged for a certificate with the art studio, made sure it was geographically close to theÂ receiver, paid in advance for the class and gave the certificate as a gift. What I failed to understand is human nature toÂ postponedÂ unpleasantÂ tasks such as calling toÂ scheduledÂ anÂ appointmentÂ (Which always feels kind ofÂ awkward). This is what happened to the friends whoÂ receivedÂ 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 Â myself,Â receivedÂ a dinner certificate more than six months ago, and I still haven’tÂ usedÂ it. I was trying toÂ understandÂ 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 “experienceÂ gift”. I believe these tips would make the difference between a certificate sitting in aÂ drawerÂ and anÂ unforgettableÂ experience.
Tip number 1: Know your friend
Who is your friend? What kind of person is s/he? wellÂ organized? Has a lot of time? Social orÂ independent?Â 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 itÂ untilÂ it’s to late, even if it’s the most amazingÂ experience on the face of the earth. This is just the way people are. Don’t give a certificate unless you areÂ absolutelyÂ 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 isÂ 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.Â This is the reasonÂ why the sky gliding and photo session worked, they planedÂ as events, and sharing the experience with my friends was just an added bonus.