Cultivate Blog

Posted by Madeleine Denebeim on 6/4/24 9:30 AM

Now that we’re halfway through 2024, our Gifting Experts are breaking down which trends from the last six months are setting a new standard in the events industry. Keep reading for our essential takeaways.

Trend: Experimenting with AI

We’re starting it off with the buzzword heard around the world: Artificial Intelligence. AI is dominating headlines for a reason; its innovations create shortcuts to automate time-consuming tasks and focus on more creative and strategic endeavors. While new iterations offer innovative or time-saving solutions for event planners, the ever-changing landscape of AI means the different use cases will fluctuate. 


New standard: Sustainability

As consumers eagerly pursue sustainable options, it’s clear that event organizers must follow suit. Collaborating with vendors who champion eco-friendly alternatives enables you to greatly diminish your event's carbon footprint, cut down on waste, and emphasize locally sourced resources. 

By prioritizing sustainability in event planning, you help preserve the environment and ensure the longevity of your event for years to come. Want to learn more about how we make sustainable gifting easier? Check out our Practical Guide to Sustainable Corporate Gifting here!

May MOW Story 3

Trend: Make It Experiential

Make no mistake, elevating your event to an ✨experience ✨ is necessary now more than ever. Corporate influencing, through LinkedIn posts or Instagram tags, can do wonders to bring in leads in the weeks following the meeting, and incorporating photo-worthy experiences is a shoo-in to making your event more memorable. 

At Cultivate, we’ve found that embracing trends is key to keeping events feeling fresh and unique. When building On-site Gifting programs this year, we’ve curated gift collections with the hottest, trendiest brands and products from our thematic collections to customized Gifting Suites and beyond. All done so that guests at our clients’ events get the latest and greatest in corporate gifting trends!


New Standard: Prioritizing Networking Over Event Content

All that to say, no matter what flashy experience you organize for your event, the new standard is set by the people who are part of that experience. With many industries working remotely, connecting with each other in “real life” is a clear priority for in-person events. To help attendees make the most out of these experiences, our experts recommend setting up different persona-based networking lounge areas to make it easier for attendees to find like-minded people to chat with.

Other takeaways include incorporating health and wellness programs to break up the day’s schedule or trying out matchmaking solutions like Braindate, which enables event attendees to have more intentional conversations with folks who share similar interests or work in similar industries.

Trend: Overcoming Budget Constraints

This may not be the nicest trend on the list, but budgets can feel a bit tighter this year as travel expenses, material costs, labor costs, and venue prices have increased in recent years. At the same time, sponsor dollars are shrinking as organizations scramble to determine how they can get the biggest bang for their buck. 

“Maybe we’ve got 50% of the budgets we had in 2019, and we’re only going to spend it on targeted types of sponsorships that we think will drive a return on investment. And that’s a game-changer in this industry.” 

Insights like this from Bob Johnston, Cofounder and CEO of Executive Council, help us solve this by giving your target market something rather than making an ask to create a Return On Appreciation.™ With studies proving the long-term benefits meaningful appreciation can have on your professional network, we’ve taken this into account to make investing in appreciation worthwhile.

Disrupt HR Emails

New Standard: Gifting with Choice

The way we ensure a Return On Appreciation is by gifting with choice. We’ve found that letting people select the gift most meaningful to them creates longer-lasting returns compared to gifting faux-pas like one-gift-fits-all or giving consumable gifts without knowing dietary restrictions. Inviting guests to browse a gift collection with just the right amount of choice ensures your investment into corporate gifting pays off down the line because they are sure to find a gift that they’ll love, use, and remember who gave it to them.


Not to sound biased, but if there’s any new standard you should adopt this year, we think it should be gifting with Cultivate. After 14+ years of perfecting corporate and event gifting, our team of experts takes the stress out of planning your program and ensures your gift experience wows attendees. Interested in learning more? Browse the On-site Gifting Lookbook to learn everything about our event gifting options.   

Browse the Lookbook

Topics: Event Planning

Leave a Comment