Presence Over Presents: The necessity of gifts at company events

by epi on August 30, 2012

Q: We were recently invited to a 25th anniversary celebration for a company.  We are new friends of the owner and are not employed by the company.  Is a gift expected or required and, if so, what would be appropriate?

A: Since this event focuses on celebrating a milestone for an organization rather than an individual, a gift really isn’t necessary and is certainly not expected.  In fact, I can’t think of what would be an appropriate gift in these circumstances.  The company is celebrating its anniversary, and the fact that you are there is what’s important.  In general, business-related anniversaries do not call for personal gifts.  If you’re invited to a celebration marking an employees 25 years of service, your role as an invitee is simply to be present, not to bring a present.  Any official recognition of the anniversary will be made by the company.  So go to the event and enjoy yourself.

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