In Korea, a business opening is considered a big event, and most businesses have a little “Opening Party” for their businesses. Some businesses hire clowns walking on stilts, attractive looking promoters, and loud music to make it clear to everyone in the area that their store is opening. Depending on the business, the event can be a really loud event or it can be a smaller gathering of close friends and family.
But, there is one thing in common with small, medium, large, and extra large business opening ceremonies. It’s always a good idea to bring a present with you. Korea is big on presents, so giving and receiving presents plays a huge role in relationships, especially business relationships. I (Tony Choi, host of Marketing in Korea) have first hand experience of how big of an impact gifts can have on a business relationship.
As the owner of a small hagwon, I have received gifts from parents. I have received all types of baked goods, bottles of dutch coffee, souvenirs from exotic countries, bath and body products, and a whole bunch of other things. And to be 100% honest, they did have an effect on the amount of attention their child received. I know, I know, teachers should not have favorites, and I try my best not to, but it’s sometimes easier to remember someone who has given you a gift rather than someone who hasn’t.
This is probably the reason why gifts are so important in Korea and is another reason why people I hadn’t seen for a long time came to my hagwon business opening with gifts. One person I worked with in the past, who I hadn’t spoken to in years, found out about the opening date of my hagwon on Facebook and showed up with his son and daughter. He brought a gift, which surprised me, but then I later found out that he was trying to obtain a new client in our building. I guess he figured that he might as well drop by while he was trying to build relationships with a new client, or maybe leverage the relationship he had with us.
Anyhow, back to a business opening in Korea. It is always a good idea to hold a business opening for your new business because it’s a way to market your business in your area. And it’s also a good idea to bring a gift with you if you are going to someone else’s opening event.
For us, we had a smaller gathering of family and friends. Since we weren’t selling cellphone contracts or opening up a restaurant, it was a quiet opening ceremony. Nonetheless, people brought lots of gifts with them. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting people to bring gifts, but most people came with gifts, well, most of my Korean guests. Also, my mother -in-law and sister-in-law prepared a bunch of food, we prepared some snacks as well, and we ordered pizza and chicken for all.
Here is a list of things that people brought:
-Various types of flowers (Baskets, Pots, and Wreaths)
-Toilet Paper and Cleaning Tools
Here is one of the clocks we received:
But, let’s take a look a the flowers that I received. If you look in the photo below (the feature image of this post), you can clearly see that I received 3 types of flower gifts, but there are actually 4. Let’s further explore what 4 types I received.
The flower gift that stands out the most is the large 3 level wreath. This gift is quite typical for business openings, weddings, and other celebratory events. However, not all of the flowers are real. We have them available for $110, which includes the cost of the ribbon and delivery to Seoul, Gyeongido, and Incheon. So if you are interested in this type of wreath, we can help you. They are typically given as gifts, but I believe a small tree or a large plant would be better for a business opening gift. Especially since these types of wreaths don’t last very long and are a pain to get rid of.
Though the person who receives this type of gift is definitely grateful for the thought, it’s really difficult to dispose of once the event is over. Most people in Korea get these types of gift so that they can display their name on the ribbon. But we at Flower Gift Korea think it is more thoughtful to give an actual living flower to the person you are visiting or a plant. But if you would like a wreath like this, we can help you deliver one to anywhere in Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeongido. Our current cost is $110, which includes the cost of delivery and ribbon.
The next type of flower product are the flower pots. These are actual flowers and they actually make good opening presents. The flower gift on the bottom left are orchids (Big Thanks to Sandra Yoon – Family Friend) and they are really popular for business openings. You may not realize it, but the yellow orchids on the bottom left are actually much more expensive than the large 3 level wreath. The higher cost is due to the cost of the pot, the actual flowers used, and the fact that it can even be heavier than the standing wreath. And shipping heavy items is not cheap.
The two boxed flower products are actually different because they are artificial potted flowers, meaning they are fake. The good thing with fake flowers is that they last forever and they are easy to manage. But, they aren’t real flowers. Unfortunately, we do not have any fake flowers on sale, except for the fake flowers that are mixed in with the wreathes and the ones included in some of the gift boxes.
The fourth type of flower gift you can bring with you is a flower basket, which we specialize in. This flower basket we received for our opening had some roses and some pink and red spray carnations. It definitely smelled the best and my wife really liked it.
In the end, you can bring any kind of gift with you to a business opening. Also, depending on the business, you can purchase large plants that stores keep in front of their business. If you look in the photo below, you can see about 5 plants in front of this store. Two of them are actually trees (on the left) and the ones on the right are plants.
The bulk of the cost for the large type flower gifts is from the delivery cost. It’s not cheap to deliver heavy goods from one place to another. Also, it’s not cheap to make sure that flowers get to the recipients in one piece. So sending a gift box is also an option. But, the best thing to do is to go to the opening ceremony in person with a gift in hand and a smile on your face. Honestly, it really doesn’t matter what the gift is. For me, the most important thing was that the person actually came to my opening event and let me know that they were there to support me. So if you don’t want to bring flowers and you rather bring a bag of toilet paper; I’m sure anyone will be more than happy that you did.
Take it from someone who has opened up his own business, people who you show some encouragement to at the start of their business will forever remember you and will be more than willing to lend you help once you need it.