Message in a Bottle
The Alex bottle unscrews in the middle, allowing you to put a small gift or note inside. It also makes the bottle easier to clean. The 20-ounce bottle costs $25.95 here, or $14.38 for a minimum order of 50; the bottles can be logoed for a set-up fee of $71.50. (877) 674-8628 x305; alexbottle.com
Raise a Glass
Plastic water bottles are sturdy, but some types have been implicated in releasing toxins into the water, while others leave a funny taste. Lifefactory's glass bottles steer clear of those problems, and the silicone sleeves make them easier to grip and harder to break. The bottles cost $19.99 to $21.99; planners can get the wholesale price of $10 to $11 per bottle with a minimum order of four. (888) 900-5520; lifefactory.com
The Bobble, designed by Karim Rashid and made of recycled, BPA-free plastic, contains a charcoal filter in the neck, making everyday tap water as clean and fresh-tasting as bottled H2O. Buy one here (waterbobble.com) for $8.95; Trims Unlimited (877-481-8864; trimsunlimited.com) offers logoed orders for groups, starting at $9.95 for the minimum order of 100.
Bring the Kids
If your association members can't make the annual meeting because they don't have anyone to take care of their kids, consider offering on-site child care. It won't be difficult to break even on the cost: Corporate Kids Events offers child care in any city worldwide for $6 to $18 per hour, depending on time of year, location and number of children. (800) 757-3580; conferencechildcare.com
Let Them Eat Pie
This year, pie is making a big comeback. It has an almost limitless range of possibilities, both savory and sweet, and can easily be tailored to accommodate special diets (vegan, sugar-free, etc.). For dessert, consider serving a trio of mini-pies in exotic flavors, or put a whole pie at each table and allow guests to serve themselves.
This stainless-steel wine stopper has a calendar dial, letting users record when a bottle was opened. Its usefulness and quality make it an ideal client or employee gift. A Date With Wine costs $45 and can be purchased here. For minimum orders of 200 pieces, the company offers a wholesale price of $25 each. Engraving is available for an additional fee. (212) 713-1558; lemoutonnoirandco.com
Out of the (Boom) Box
Upload a photo or logo here to create a custom-designed portable speaker, perfect for MP3 players or laptops. The Doodle costs $39.99 each, with discounts on multiple orders. (847) 852-3353; origaudio.com/doodle
Let Them Eat Cake
Cupcake Cuties is a kit that allows participants to make cupcakes with 32 different themes, including various holidays and sports. Decorate some of the cupcakes in advance, and give crafty attendees the opportunity to embellish the rest themselves. A package of 24 Cupcake Cuties costs between $16.95 and $23.99, depending on the theme; discounts are available on bulk orders. (877) 622-8843; cupcakecuties.com
Fun and Games
Many people work better as a team after playing games together. That's why the new Ideation Room at the Crowne Plaza Tyson's Corner (703-738-3106; cptysonscorner.com/ideation-room) in Virginia has an "Ideas Store," a cupboard full of games, books and gadgets, such as the Rubik's Cube and the House of Cards (slotted cards that make it easy to build structures). Wherever you're meeting, consider devoting the first few minutes of a meeting to a game or other brain-stimulating activity.
Wash and Go
For attendees heading off the golf course and into a meeting, or enduring an overnight flight, offer the Paper Shower, a moisturizing wet towelette combined with a dry one, allowing users to get clean and then dry off. Available in several sizes from six to 54 towelettes per pack. Cost, $7.50 to $49.50; papershower.com
It's not practical to carry around a bike lock just to keep a purse or other bag safe, yet many travelers want to secure their valuables when in an unfamiliar and crowded place. Take along the Grab Guard, a lightweight retractable cable lock with an easy-to-remember, two-digit code. (888) 910-4722; grabguard.com
To change up the meeting room experience, try bringing in these dry-erase boards that look like bamboo. Three By Three makes the boards in a number of sizes, from 1' x 2' ($40) to 4' x 8' ($575). Buy the small ones here, or call the company for larger boards: They will custom-cut even a single board to match your specs. (206) 784-5839; threebythree.com