Business Etiquette NewsletterHoliday Etiquette

The Etiquette Rules for Corporate Gifts

Chapter 4Choosing a gift for your colleagues and clients during the holiday season can be a challenging task. It is not easy to come up with the perfect present while following business protocol for corporate gifts.  Whether you head for the mall, haul out those holiday catalogs or go online, the following tips should guide you to a gift that will be appropriate, appreciated and remembered for all the right reasons.

Follow the corporate guidelines.  Some companies have strict policies about what kinds of gifts their employees may receive.  If you have any doubt, ask your clients or check with their Human Resources department.

Consider your client’s interests.  Find out what sports, hobbies or pastimes your clients enjoy.  If you can’t determine this on your own, contact an assistant or associate. Make your gift stand out just as you want your company to stand out.

Consider the cost.  An inexpensive gift can make you look cheap. .A lavish one could be embarrassing or alienating. Giving or receiving expensive items may be against company policy. Do your homework. What could be more embarrassing than to have your corporate gift returned or refused?

Rethink putting the company logo on your gift.  Make sure the item meets a certain quality standard and that your logo is understated enough so as not to look like a blatant advertisement.

Be appropriate.  Sometimes a gift given in innocence can be taken the wrong way, Avoid anything that is even slightly intimate when giving to members of the opposite sex.

Think twice about a humorous gift.  What seems funny to one person could be insulting to another.  Know your client’s sense of humor first.

Consider a charitable donation. Find out what charities your client supports and choose one of those.  Everyone wins. A charity is served, and no one has another unwanted gift to deal with.

Presentation is important.  Have your gift wrapped and presented in a festive way.  The packaging is part of the present.

Be generous with group gifts. If you decide to send food to your client’s office, make sure there is enough for everybody.  The holiday season is not the time to cause a food fight.

Keep the goal in mind.  The purpose of gift giving is to show appreciation and have people think of you when it’s time to do business.  It’s also a means of expressing gratitude to those who support you.

May all your clients be impressed with your gift,

professional speaker
Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website,

Lydia Ramsey

Lydia Ramsey is a leading business etiquette and modern manners expert who offers seminars, keynote speeches, webinars and individual coaching. She works with corporations, associations, colleges and universities as well as individuals.

2 thoughts on “The Etiquette Rules for Corporate Gifts

  • Very helpful thank you for sharing such an informative article

  • Good blog posts, I always visit your website atleast once in a week to read out the newly updated blogs. Ad always find something unique. Thank you guys.

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