The business gifts that bomb

MICHAEL FOREMAN
Last updated 13:34 20/12/2013

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The tradition of giving business gifts is alive and well, although some of the items given to clients and employees are more likely to bewilder than bedazzle.

International office space provider Regus says business gifting is on the rise, with 77 per cent of respondents to a survey by Corporate Gift IQ saying business gifts are part of their incentive programmes this year, compared to less than 64 per cent last year.

Items from the survey range from the ordinary and obvious to the slightly peculiar and the outright odd, and the research reveals that across the globe, some of the presents business people are receiving are off the wall.

Weird-or-wonderful gifts presented to New Zealand businesspeople include an empty tool kit, McDonalds vouchers, an interpretative dance, and a donation of a pig to a tribe in Papua New Guinea.

The most common but perhaps more useful gifts range from first aid kits to key chains.

Regus New Zealand country manager Nick Bradshaw said: "Gifts to business people can be a great way to help build a relationship, especially at this time of year. But your choice of gift can have a strong reflection on you and you wouldn't want to risk putting that person off.

"But . . . thinking outside the box might just help make you stand out."

Top 5 strangest gifts in New Zealand

- A pair of salvage overalls

- Cleaning goods

- Live mud crabs

- An oil painting by a company chief executive

- Maracas

Top 5 strangest gifts globally

- A shrunken head

- A dead cat

- Food-shaped ear-plugs

- Antacid medicine

- A set of nail clippers

Source: Regus. Based on a survey of 26,000 respondents from 90 countries.

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