The corporate gifts that don’t keep on giving

Survey highlights Australia’s strangest business gifts

The practice of giving business gifts is alive and well, though some of the items given to clients are more weird than welcome, according to research from Regus, the global workspace provider.


Respondents revealed the strangest business gift they have ever received in the Regus survey of more than 26,000 respondents from over 90 countries.


A 2011 report found that Australian businesses spend $491 million a year on Christmas gifts and parties[1], showing that corporate gifting is a big business during the holiday season.  However, not all businesses go the safe route.


Items from the Regus survey range from the ordinary and obvious to the slightly peculiar and the outright odd. The research reveals that across the globe, business people are actually receiving an off-the-wall cornucopia of gifts.


Strangest Gifts Globally

Strangest Gifts in Australia

A shrunken head

A dried and stuffed piranha fish

A dead cat


Food-shaped ear-plugs

A ship’s propeller

Antacid medicine

Antler horns

A set of nail clippers

Tyre jack

A coffin

Bronze handshake sculpture

                                                                                                                                           Source: Regus


Weird-or-wonderful gifts presented to Australian businesspeople range from a jerry can, a remote control helicopter and a chocolate foot, to a bead necklace whose beads can be used as currency in the Solomon Islands and ceramic masks of Chinese mythological characters. The most common but perhaps more useful gifts range from umbrellas to pocketknives and wine.


With Australians renowned for their quality of livestock, animal related gifts are understandably common: tropical fish, a snake, a camel and a crocodile featured among business responses. Spirits and chocolate are popular but pedestrian options by comparison.


Regus’ CEO, Australia and New Zealand, Paul Migliorini commented: “While gifts can be a great way of networking and building relationships with business people, and for making them feel appreciated, the choice of gift can strongly affect people’s view of you and your business.


“Giving an unusual gift can be walking a tightrope in any circumstances, and even with cultural differences in mind there are clearly some gifts that many would not find appropriate in a professional environment.


“However, this said, Australian businesses are certainly showing some great imagination when it comes to corporate gifting!”


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About Regus:


Regus is the global workplace provider.


Its network of more than 1,700 business centres in 100 countries provides convenient, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for people to work, whether for a few minutes or a few years. Companies like Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline choose Regus so that they can work flexibly and make their businesses more successful.


The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is opening wherever its 1.5million members want support - city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations, motorway service stations and even community centres.


Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. In Australia, Regus has a network of over 40 locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast and Wollongong.


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