There is increasingly a conversation around gifting ‘experiences’. It is, in essence, an event that leaves you with an impression. It provides a memory for years to come, and your satisfaction with this particular type of gift actually increases as recall it. You may turn up feeling uncertain, excited, even stressed, but instantly the conversation and interaction that comes from an hour spent with other people, probably doing something that you wouldn’t normally sign up for, brings a quite unexpected quota of happiness.
Gifts can also become a source for conversation - ‘What were they thinking?’ we sigh as we wheel the white elephant into the corner. Even with a gift you initially love, the satisfaction derived will decrease over time rather than increase. Why? Because it is another addition to our soup of stuff. This soup is starting to make us feel claustrophobic, and as the de-cluttering movement has shown, we feel less stressed when our lives are simpler. We long for a clear broth.
Most of the gifts we buy are for someone we really care about. We like to think we can choose a present they will love and cherish. A gift to surprise them, to increase their happiness, and show them how much we think of them. We also buy thank-you gifts, chip-in-for-office gifts, wedding gifts, anniversary gifts and a something for ‘that couple who have everything’ gifts. We are a nation of gift buyers. This is of course a nice thing, even a good thing, but we also know that we are drowning in what is generally known as ‘stuff’. A lot of the presents we buy are to conform to social norms, and not given with any great emotion, the result is ‘stuff’. It is not just that the high street shops are failing to deliver which is the cause of their demise. We, the buying public, are starting to think through the whole process of how and what we purchase. We also know from a personal standpoint that being the receiver of an actual gift can be fraught.
At Indytute we’ve spent the last six years thinking about experiences, experience gifts and activity gifts. Finding companies and individuals who are symbiotic. To this end, we cover a lot of interests from the plainly bonkers and the unexpected to supper clubs, activity gifts, cinema, walks and talks. All our experience gifts are hand picked for their attitude to their events and the connection with our customer. Our choices are not random. They have to fit our criteria to be included. Read our reviews, we do. Whether you’ve come away with a wire bird to put on a table, learnt the two-step, or just spent an afternoon thinking ‘gin’, the important thing is you abandoned the blue screens, met up with friends and intangibly and inexplicably the week improved. You remembered how to laugh and how to relax. That’s got to be a good, no - a great - thing to experience.