Here are some things to keep in mind:
DON’T play favorites
When giving gifts to all of your employees, there should be no distinction between them.
DO think twice about gifts for people of the opposite sex
Extra care should be taken that gifts are not misinterpreted as being intimate in any way.
DON’T send a group gift unless everyone knows each other
If your client is a large company and you work with multiple people at that company, sending a group gift is appropriate. However, the recipients should know and work with one another, and the gift should be sent to a neutral location.
DO check vigorously for mistakes in personalized gifts
Personalizing gifts is great, but make sure to check and double-check the spelling of everyone’s name; both when the order is being sent out and when the gifts come in. Nothing is more disappointing than a misspelled name when the employee is supposed to feel recognized.
DON’T reciprocate automatically
If a person sends you a gift, there is no need to give in return. But do make sure to acknowledge the gift and thank the giver for his or her thoughtfulness.
DON’T overlook international etiquette
If your gift is being sent overseas, make sure you learn about local customs first. It’s easier than you realize to inadvertently offend someone or send the wrong message. Also, to make sure your recipient won’t have to pay a tax or duty on the gift you send, you may want to consider ordering their gift locally.
DO be aware of dietary restrictions
If your client gift is intended for a specific person, not being aware of someone’s religious, ethical, or medical restrictions in their diets could be seen as careless.
DON’T forget the assistants
Your clients’ assistants will appreciate the fact that you remembered them; and so will their bosses.
DO send different gifts
If you have a stable set of clients, give different gifts every year so people can look forward to what you’ve come up with this year. Otherwise, you can seem stale: “Here’s the fruit basket from Acme; again.”
DON’T give gifts to former clients
Doing so will undoubtedly be seen as an attempt to win back their business. If you must send something, send a card, but not for more than one year after the termination of the relationship.