Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Sterling Roberts
Observer Staff Writer 

Can a Southern Girl Find Peace and Contentment, at a SoCal Awards Show Gifting Suite?

"What is a Gifting Suite?" Black Entertainment Television (BET) Gifting Suite Coverage

 

Sterling Roberts

"What is a Gifting Suite?" guests mingle at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Gifting Suite

I, a nineteen year old North Carolinian, attended a gifting suite for the BET awards this past Saturday morning in downtown Los Angeles. "What is a gifting suite?", you might ask. Well, prior to this venture, I didn't know either. Because I feel that many people are unaware of what a gifting suite would entail, I'm breaking down its ins and outs.

Let's start with a definition: a gifting suite is an event which is connected to a particular awards ceremony to entice celebrities into promoting products and services by giving them out for free. This benefits all sides of the event as it brings in press and clients for the businesses that are advertising and gives the celebrities free items while also allowing the host, in this case BET, to have another event.

I went as media coverage to the Marriott in Downtown LA. While I was giddy for the possibility to see some of my favorite stars, I was also entranced with the set-up of the event. The gifting lounge was set up in the Gold Room, a ballroom in the Marriott, and guests needed a wristband for entry.

Upon entering the Gold Room, I saw businesses had set up tables boarding the room on all sides. Each table had a different business set up, all having promoters dressed to the 10s. There was also a DJ blasting high-energy music and some drinks and pastries set out for enjoyment.

While the gifting suite was open from 10am-4pm, I only stayed the first two hours or so. There were mainly just the business promoters and other media coverage floating around, but I did spot actress Yvette Nicole Brown, known for many roles including CBS's "Mom".

The event is meant to be about the celebrities which attend, but I would instead like to highlight some of the businesses. This is meant to shed light on what sorts of products/services are actually presented at a gifting suite.

There were promotions for items meant to promote wellness and as well as accessories, such as jewelry by Julie Gibbs which promotes empowering jewelry and stylish ascots by ADAMS Apple Ascots. Adding on to the list, there were clothing lines such as Grindstone and MORPH, selling t-shirts/hats and multi-way dresses, respectfully. The gifting suite also included jewelry by Rafi Anteby, including a domino necklace which gives proceeds to charity, showing the power of the domino affect, a fitness outfit meant to help achieve gains quicker by NUZUNA, and a vape company called Mi-one which allows you to wear your vape as a necklace.

Yvette Nicole Brown, known for many roles including CBS's "Mom".

While I was there, I chatted up many of the company representatives and I was surprised to learn that many of the companies at the event are actually based in other states. As an event in Downtown LA, I assumed they would be local businesses but that was not the case, which I actually think is more interesting. For the companies, they are able to get more coverage and broaden the locations where they sell and the consumers are also able to find new and different products/services.

The vibe of the lounge was a bit different than I had anticipated as well. While I did get there in the morning, there were less people at the event, but it got more crowded as time went on. For me, there was no shortage of entertainment as I was able to chat with the vendors and watch people dance and have fun.

 

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