Sunday, March 21, 2010

Novel ideas for organising a coworker’s going-away party

When it’s time to saw goodbye to a coworker, often nobody’s sure what to do or what to get.  They’re probably not your best buddy, but you’ve spent a lot of time with them and you want to show that you care and that you respect them in a friendly kind of way, too.  Often someone will arrange a going-away party, and everyone trundles along not knowing quite what to expect.

Here are some ideas for the person who arranges the party.  Why not get some personalised chocolates printed up with a funny photo of the coworker who is leaving?  No doubt there will be a moment that got photographed; even one of those “photos taken for the staff newsletter column” might be hilarious if paired with the right caption.  These could be handed out at the party, to get everyone to loosen up and have a giggle and a bite of chocolate to eat because let’s face it, we all feel awkward sometimes with coworkers outside of the regular work setting.

Another idea is to get personalised balloons printed and hung up, or even just get balloons and do fun things with them like play the game where you see how many balloons you can stuff under a table with the whole group standing on it.  Trust me, it sounds silly, but it can be great fun - it tends to get everyone laughing because inevitably, some of the balloons pop and the table will tip, causing everyone on it to crack up as they try to scramble off it in laughter!  you can also play the game with the balloons where you take turns drawing a face of someone in the group on a balloon, and the person who guesses who it is who’s being drawn first, gets a little prize.

Don’t forget that after the fun and games is after it is a considerate and nice gesture to give a big card to the leaver of the group, and it’s all part of the fun to have the card written up on the night while everyone’s at the party - it’s almost a game in itself to try and hide the card from the recipient while you all take turns signing it with a little message or a joke each.  It’s a good chance to let the leaving coworker know that you always liked their hairstyle, their smile, their sense of humour, their shoes, their patience, etc.  Everyone likes to know that they are appreciated and sometimes when it’s hard to say something to someone’s face, it’s easier to write it down, so encourage others to take this opportunity.  Even if you really couldn’t stand working with that person, surely there’s something nice about them that you can mention in your short farewell note.  Think what you’d like to receive yourself if you were leaving, and try not to put remarks in the card that will sting, no matter how witty they might be - a sting is a sting.

Anyway enough morals for today, because this was mostly about a few novel ideas for your coworker’s going-away party.  So - personalised chocolates and balloons - goofy but simple and time-tested - they’re my ideas for you today.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Announcing the birth of your newborn baby with personalised chocolates

When you have a baby, your world changes.  Whether it's your first baby or your fifth one, for you, the whole world has changed again into something new, and new doors open that you didn't even know existed before.  That's all very philosophical isn't it?  The point I am getting to is that when you have a new baby you generally want to tell the whole world.  Or if not the whole world, then at least your family and friends.  Especially with your first baby, this a huge new step - you are becoming a family and the mother and father are also born at the moment of the first baby's birth.  So you are celebrating, and you are most likely going to be sending out announcement cards, invitations perhaps to a baby welcoming party or a christening.

Instead of just sending out cards, which is what everyone does, why not think about getting some personalised cards made up with personalised chocolates on them?  Everyone loves a miniature chocolate, it's a nice gesture which isn't corny but still adds a touch of fun and personality to your baby announcement cards.

You could consider getting them made up with your new baby's name and birth date, and maybe his or her birthweight as this seems to be the common thing done... alternatively you could use the personalised chocolates to carry a message from one of your older children (if you have any) saying something to the effect of, "James is proud to introduce his new baby sister Lucy," and most personalised chocolate services are able to print photos as well as messages on their wrappers, making it something that will be able to be unwrapped and stuck up on fridges or soforth.  If you were holding a christening, naming or welcoming ceremony or a party, you could put the date on the chocolate with the message, "Not to be eaten until 27.08.10... [or whatever your date is] - Lucy May Greene's Christening at St Peter's Church, 10am, see you there!"  If your cards'/chocolate announcements' recipients show self-control and don't scoff the chocolate down straight away, they will be eyeing it every day sitting there on the kitchen bench until your newborn's Christening service date!  What a way to remind people, he he he.

Here is another thought.  If you prefer to have a photograph on the personalised chocolates wrappers, you could  get a professional photo set taken by a photo service and have that printed onto your chocolate baby-announcements.  This would be a nice way to show off your new family to all your friends and relatives, while making it a fun thing for their kids to receive.

All in all it would be one way to celebrate, in China they give mooncakes to each other as a celebratory gift on the occasions of newborn babies, engagements, weddings, etc... In Australia, NZ, the UK and the US we would probably choose chocolates over mooncakes, so here's a sweet way to do it, tailored specially to your baby or your family making it a unique and fun way to announce the baby's arrival!

Don't forget that mothers like chocolate too, so reserve a few for her, Dads, if it's you who's doing the ordering!  ;)

Personalised Easter chocolates

It's almost that time of year again (hey - where did Christmas go?) and I can already start to smell chocolate in the air.  OK - that might just be because there I have chocolate on the brain, but it might also be because there are Easter chocolates on the shelved in all the stores now, from the local general store to the large department stores.  And whether you celebrate a religious or cultural Easter or not, chances are that you probably will ingest at least one chocolate over this festival that comes around every year!

I'm writing this post today about personalised Easter chocolates, because I think it's a great idea, and until I started learning about personalised chocolate recently, I never would have even thought of it.  Sure, Easter chocolates made by your kid using chocolate in the microwave and poured into last year's chocolate Advent-calendar moulds (hey, I thought nobody else kept those things!) and presented to you on a plate having been popped out the moulds after sitting in the fridge overnight... these choccy's sure are personalised, but you know the kind I am talking about - the kind with a name or a message on them.

Hey, why not get some this year.  There are enough unnamed Easter bunnies and unnamed Easter eggs and even nameless Easter bilbies (if you live in Australia) out there with no... well, names... isn't it better to stop adding to the already-long list?  (Cue: "Awwwww....")

Personalised fair trade Easter chocolate, personalised egg chocolate, personalised egg nests, peronalised bunnies and rabbits, personalised Easter gift boxes, personalised anything chocolate really for Easter is going to show the recipient that you have not only just gone and grabbed gifts from the mall, you have actually put thought into the matter.

Here’s an idea.  When you live further away from someone that you can’t actually give the gift in person, sending something that has been personalised can be a sweet thing to do (especially sweet if it’s chocolate!).  Getting an item personalised really shows that you have gone the extra mile.  I suspect that women will find it even more special than men, and a little girl or boy will find it perfectly delightful - don’t all children love seeing their names written on things they own?  And even better when they can actually eat the item.  It would be entirely possible that instead of being scoffed down, the child eats that egg last because they are so chuffed by it.  So you could write “For Mary, with love from Aunty Louise” and who knows, they might even learn how to spell your name by admiring their coolest Easter egg.  :)

Personalised Easter chocolate would also make ideal personalised corporate chocolate when you use your own logo on or brand or trademark as the text.

Friday, March 19, 2010

How to use personalised chocolates to best effect at your wedding

There are as many different kinds of weddings as there are people.  Some view it as a strictly religious or legal ritual with no frills, others the opposite end of the spectrum using the wedding as an excuse to party long and hard whether with music, food, drink, dancing, holidaying or family get-togethers.  Wherever you fall between the two ends of the scale, no doubt you will want to enjoy your wedding and want to make it memorable.

It's a small gesture, but using something like personalised chocolates as part of your wedding can be a really inviting moment.  You could hand them out at the door as your guests come in, or put them in little bowls around the room.  Or, you could put one at each guest's place at the table or even in their chairs where they are going to sit during the ceremony - a cute yet official way to mark people's sitting places.  You could have them printed with a photo of both of you on the wrapping - those who wanted would be able to take it home as a memento - you'd want to get a good-quality service for this so that it had a good photo quality on the wrapping.  Or, you could print you names and maybe a favourite quote or simply part of the vows, for instance, "I do".

If you were thinking of a slightly more offbeat wedding what about putting funny photos of you and your spouse-to-be on the wrappers, or funny wedding quotes, faux vows, or even wedding jokes.  You could also put totally random things on the chocolates, or the date that you met (and a photo from that day), or a picture of the dog you got together a few months ago?!  So many ways you could use these small chocolates to insert some fun and irregularity into your wedding.

Have you seen the gorgeous full-photo wrapped personalised chocolate photo bars that some online stores sell?  Or the mini photo chocolates for weddings?  There are gorgeously elegant chocolates wrapped in silver paper and covered with finely textured off-white paper, and printed with the name of the guest.  There are beautifully boxed moulded chocolates in the shape of hearts, with you and your spouse-to-be’s names actually moulded into the chocolate.  There are also cards with specially wrapped chocolates stuck on the outside, slipped in the inside or mini gift boxes, all personalised to your own names and wedding theme.  You’ll have to check them all out for yourself, there are so many styles.

And while you’re on the subject, what about getting some chocolate roses to put into your bouquets?  Often, the Mother Of The Bride outfits the reception hall with decorations and flowers, so you my want to run the idea of chocolate roses by her before the big day. Wedding supplies with a personal touch are such a nice way to make your wedding more interesting and tailored to you and your spouse-to-be.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Corporate personalised chocolates

Many firms and corporations like to say thank you to employees and clients at Christmas time, and other festive occasions, and what better way to make an impression with personalised chocolates?
With lots of inexpensive favors and options to choose from, such as store vouchers or wines and  of course the obligatory pens, paperweights and notepads paraphernalia (that I think we all agree, can get a bit ordinary year after year), you will probably be wondering what is left.  And of course, you know what I am going to say now... personalised chocolates!

It's no surprise that you may only have just stumbled across this idea very recently, because it hasn't always been common to be able to get such "fine"gift items as chocolates in a personalised form. But now, it is gaining popularity, and it has never been a better time to purchase them and stand out as a little bit different and get a little bit of a branding edge just by this simple gift gesture.

You can get personalised chocolates which are wrapped in your logo, as in, they have a printed wrapper with your logo or company name or message or graphic on them.  You can also even get moulded chocolates - people are sure to remember the company whose trademark they could actually eat (and it was yummy too)!

Here are some suggestions.  Square chocolates, looking so professional, wrapped individually with your logo printed onto the front of a black wrapper.  A perfect corporate token gift.  You can buy personalised square chocolate that comes in neat little boxes, say with 2, 4, 8, 10, etc chocolates in each little box.  I have seen gold and silver ones.

Even more intriguing and upping the novelty factor, what about getting a run of dollar coin personalised chocs made up with your logo printed onto the back of each coin.  These can be obtained from many online personalised chocolate sellers.

Also, don’t forget the elegant rectangular chocolate bar.  The classic gift on its own, it becomes a very classy gesture when presented in a box printed specially with your brand, to your specifications.  The possibilities are quite endless here because you have a large area to play with.  You could even decide to proudly display some facts and figures about your company, the latest successes that have been accomplished, or even a little “About Our Staff” with a small pic, name and short bio of each person!

The edible factor alone is going to get everybody talking.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reasons to buy personalised chocolates

There are so many reasons to get some personalised chocolates.  If you have ever been to a wedding, a restaurant or a hotel, chances are you have encountered personalised chocolates at least once in your life.  They are a lovely touch as a gift for a special occasion, and there are so many special occasions to choose from.  The birth of a new baby (what woman doesn't like chocolate? Mums usually get given baby gifts, like baby clothes, etc, but all new mothers appreciate a gift just for them; at a time when they are feeling tired and celebratory at the same time), Valentines chocolate, a 21st birthday, a wedding (of course - wedding favours), an anniversary, a loved one's birthday or even just to say "I love you" as a special surprise right out of the blue.  Sometimes there's nothing like a totally unexpected gift of a totally unexpected and indulgent nature, and personalised chocolates can really fit the bill, because as everyone loves to receive things made just for them, personal chocs can be really inspirational gifts.  Just imagine receiving choccys printed with a sweet message from a loved one.

Corporate gifts can get a bit boring year after year, and I have written about corporate personalised chocolates to give company directors and administrators some new ideas for professional chocolate gifts.

If you are a parent who likes to make their children's birthday parties extra special, you could consider getting fun personalised chocolates made up for the occasion or the going-home party favours bag - you can use those handy reclosable bags to put a few other bits and pieces in that are sure to please the little ones.  You might even like to make them up for your child's guests' parents - maybe with your name and phone number, and email address or other contact so that the parent will be sure to get your contact details if their child ever says to them, "Mum, can I go and play with Joe?"  Because don't we all know that feeling of Oh dear, I don't have Joe's house, who else do we know who knows Joe? and the ringaround that ensues!  If your child's guests' parents get given a special party gift just for them on their way home, they will have more reason to notice what's on the wrapper!  The same goes for a party you host for adults, say a dinner party.  In fact, since you can get chocolates made up in batches with different prints or names or messages on each one, couldn't this make a fun getting-to-know-you game at the beginning of a party?  You could hide the chocolates in the garden (make sure to write down where you put them!), pull them out of a hat, or use them in conjunction with another party game, thus ensuring everyone gets introduced informally without being embarrassed!

They're just some of the ways you can use these fantastic little chocolate gifts to make your life a little easier.  Keep reading for more ideas.   :)