GREAT PRICES, RISK FREE - ONE SUPPLIER
GREAT PRICES, RISK FREE - ONE SUPPLIER
For 25 years, KDM have been proudly delivering corporate away-days and conferences to a broad range of clients – from large-scale conferences for multinationals, to themed awards evenings for 100 people, to tailored team-building away days for small groups.
As a supplier to the industry, we own all of our own equipment and KDM’s Event Managers will deliver your event. This gives great control over the quality, delivery and price of the end product – ensuring that we always deliver a great service to meet your brief. Our clients even agree! Go on, take a look at what they say and then give us a call.
KDM transformed a Grade II conference centre in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside into the setting for a Fourth of July corporate party, ensuring the perfect balance between business networking and having fun.
About our client: Point S is well on its way to becoming one of the automotive sector’s go-to brands for tyres – favoured by consumers and fleet operators alike. Over its forty-year history the company has become established as one of Europe’s leading suppliers of tyres, wheels and car service with an ever-increasing global footprint. In just five years, over 200 independently-owned centres have joined its UK network, benefitting from the brand’s values and commitment to customer service.
The Brief: With a network of independent service centres that spans the country, opportunities for relationship-building are taken seriously and Point S places great value on the annual summer party organised for the company’s staff and partners.
Raising the star-spangled banner
The party date was set for July 4th, making the theme of Independence Day an easy choice, and the chosen venue was dedicated conference centre Ashorne Hill in Warwickshire. But when it came to making the Stars and Stripes event really come to life, the venue’s manager suggested that Point S should consult a professional event organiser. Enter KDM.
Delighting the guests
We overlayed the Fourth of July theming through of all the venue’s event areas – Bar, Restaurant and Foyer – with customised table dressings, painted backdrops and giant props such as Stars and Stripes flags. KDM provided indoor and outdoor themed games and entertainers, including a caricaturist who delighted the guests with his impromptu sketches.
To help the 130 guests recognise staff, both from Point S HQ and the event’s sponsor, Apollo, KDM’s graphics department designed bespoke ‘Wanted’ posters showing photos of key individuals. These were displayed around the venue. To maintain the American theming throughout the event, we sourced contemporary country music and created a play list. With the partying in full flow, a country band and disco provided live entertainment until 1.00am.
Sam Simpson from Point S, who was responsible for the event said: “Right from the start KDM were great to work with, Garry was great and had everything organised and all the guys with him were so lovely and helpful and did a great job. Also, Clive the Caricaturist was fantastic and he mingled round with people early on which went down really well. It was excellent and the props etc. were great. I can’t wait now for our next one and I will definitely be contacting you again.”
Meeting visitors attending this year’s Office show, has been a rewarding and informative experience for KDM. PAs, EAs and administrative executives find the show a useful source of contacts and tools that will enhance their working lives, and the Show provided us with a chance to engage with visitors in a seminar environment, where we discussed how they can assist in measuring the positive impact of the events they organise .
Our opening message was that with a little advance planning, conferences, teambuilding days and other corporate communication activities can be measured and evaluated with the same rigour that is applied to other business initiatives.
It has long been known that there’s a huge need to find a way to effectively measure the success of business events. And from our perspective, the starting point is to be clear on what really constitutes Event Success. Our own research has revealed that in many cases people at the sharp end of event management have only a general idea of their events’ objectives. Or, during the hectic planning process, organisers lose sight of the event’s original purpose – because their focus is directed on the logistical arrangements and delegate communications.
While speaker quality, venue arrangements, and even financial management are critical elements of the event planner’s checklist, they don’t provide the reason to hold an event. So we encouraged our seminar attendees to identify the leadership team strategy that would have prompted the decision to stage their events in the first place – and to focus on that event’s purpose throughout the planning stage to ensure that its agenda and content would deliver the most effective communication.
Then we introduced the discipline of applying metrics to the planning process. Having identified the objective of, say, reducing employee turnover, the second key step is to attribute numerical targets to that objective. A prime parallel exists in the emotive area of dieting. Nothing much is achieved all the time we are merely saying we’d like to be able to get back into our skinny jeans. But as soon as we step on the scales, make a note of our starting figure and then set the target of losing so many kilos in so many weeks, we have a plan that enables us to track progress and provide measurable outcomes.
Similarly in the business world, it’s not possible to say how successful an event was in achieving its objectives without having the same kind of metrics in place. This, we believe, is where so many event organisers trip up. Very often it’s after the event that people say – “We need to demonstrate ROI” – but without the benchmark figures against which a post-event comparison can be made, it’s too late to conduct any meaningful measurement.
Using tablets with a customised app, our delegates told us how confident they were in measuring the success of the events they organise. We put this question to them at the start of the seminar and then again at the end. From an unpromising start, we were delighted to see how enthusiastically they had absorbed the seminar content and how confident they were to put their newly-acquired knowledge into practice.
Delegates confirmed to us that measurement had never entered their event evaluation process. Naturally it’s the ‘owner’ of the event – the director or senior leadership team that conceived it in the first place – who would be responsible for evaluating its business performance. But we know that the concept of ‘before-and-after’ numerical comparison is still largely untried amongst corporate event organisers. The PAs and EAs who attended our seminar will be in the vanguard of championing and executing this discipline.
For KDM it was really gratifying to welcome such an interested and engaged audience (especially as our seminar session had strong competition from the other theatres!). It was clear that PAs are not only keen to be proactive and make an assertive contribution in their jobs, but also delighted to support their bosses in demonstrating ROO – the return on objectives for their events.
To be able to demonstrate to the CEO or the Board that the event provided a real return on its objectives, will link the event organiser directly to the overall performance improvement of the business, earning considerable kudos – for the PA and of course their boss – in the process.
We are so proud that four members of KDM’s Events Crew – Garry Holford, Toby Jennings, Graeme Seaton and Craig Winsper – have cycled 179 miles over the Pennines to raise funds for Cancer Research.
Their three-day coast-to-coast ride, Hadrian’s Cycleway, took them from Ravenglass in the North West to Tynemouth in the North East, taking in landmarks such as Lanercost Priory, Birdoswald Roman Fort and Haltwistle – the geographical Centre of Britain.
And this from a team that modestly describes itself as The Four Numb Bums: “unfit and unhealthy – with no experience of distance riding”.
Speaking after the ride Garry said: “The first day was blighted by the fact that it rained from the minute we set off to the minute we completed our scheduled 75-mile leg. Day Two was literally an uphill slog – a 50 mile climb over the Pennines – hard work on the legs. But all in all it was a great success: we sustained no punctures, mechanical mishaps or injuries, and are hugely indebted to our support crew for keeping us fed and cheering us on.”
The guys raised an impressive £3,000 through cash and online donations, and in recognition of their herculean effort, KDM is chipping-in funds to make a grand total of £5,000.
Inspired by their first victory, the Numb Bums are already envisaging their next fundraising challenge!
To the casual observer, booking a conference venue must simply be a matter of browsing online or leafing through a directory – and then picking up the phone. And sometimes it can be that easy. But quite often it’s a real challenge to match the desired location with a suitable facility that is available at the required time. Especially when flexibility is not an option. There are times when even the professionals admit defeat, and the client is left with the uncomfortable prospect of accepting second best or going back to the drawing board to come up with an entirely new plan.
These were the unhappy circumstances that prompted keyword technology provider Grapeshot to contact KDM earlier this year.
Grapeshot is proud of a corporate philosophy that’s based on working hard, loving the work you do and loving the people you are working with. The company provides an innovative environment where staff are given big problems that they are encouraged to explore and solve. To further enhance these collaborative working relationships, team-building events are staged throughout the year and the company’s Summer Meeting brings together as many members of its international team as possible.
Reflecting this ideology, Grapeshot’s summer event incorporates a morning meeting and an afternoon of fun. The company is building an internal reputation for putting on unique summer parties, so the event co-ordinator’s brief was to find a venue that offered both indoor conference facilities for a morning’s team meeting, together with outside space suitable for fun and frolics in the afternoon.
With the company headquartered in Cambridge, the city was the obvious hub for the national and international teams to convene.
At first glance this seemed a simple enough requirement. Cambridge offers a wealth of colleges all with extensive grounds. However, the chosen date happened to be the last day of term and the universities were still populated by students. Other event companies drew a blank in pinpointing a suitable venue in the city centre. Beginning to despair, Grapeshot found KDM Events online.
At times like this, a vast venue database compiled over a period of years, coupled with local knowledge and excellent contacts can make all the difference. We were confident that we could not only secure an appropriate venue but also devise an afternoon of appropriately-themed activities to delight the Grapeshot team.
Our research identified the prestigious Churchill College, part of the University of Cambridge and one of the most forward-thinking academic institutions in the world. Not only can the College offer a comprehensive events and conferencing service within a truly collegiate atmosphere, it also boasts more than 40 acres of parkland featuring a huge range of on-site sporting and recreational facilities.
So with an end-of-term feeling in the air and a whole campus to play in, how could we resist a School Sports Day theme for Grapeshot’s afternoon fun? Liaising with College staff and outside suppliers we managed and delivered all elements of the day’s agenda, including arranging and co-ordinating old fashioned sports day races, a barbecue, liquid refreshments, first aid provision and prizes. Not surprisingly the whole day had the effect of stimulating and motivating Grapeshot’s 50-strong employees – converting our sports teams from reluctant competitors to triumphant participants.
Grapeshot was delighted with its Summer Meeting from beginning to end. Gael Norris, Grapeshot HR Business Partner based in the company’s London office was tasked with organising the event and said:
“Our experience of working with KDM Events was outstanding. Not only did they find us a suitable venue where other event companies had failed, the whole process was simple, seamless and delivered within a very reasonable budget. Lyndsey was so accommodating, friendly, flexible and nothing was too much trouble. She handled changes to the plans like the addition of a BBQ professionally and her communication was exemplary. Despite the Grapeshot team’s apprehension about the Sports Day theme, once they got involved in the games they really enjoyed themselves. We will most certainly be using KDM Events for any requirements we have in the future.
KDM specialise in all forms of corporate events including conferences and meetings, activity days, team building events, themed parties, corporate entertainment, corporate hospitality, conference management and venue finding for conferences, meetings and corporate accomodation.
Using KDM's fully trained event staff and with our own equipment prepared and maintained in our workshops we are able to maintain the highest of standards to ensure that your corporate event runs professionally and smoothly from your initial enquiry through to delivery.
We have developed an extensive range of corporate event ideas and activities to complement your conferences and meetings and encourage team communication and bonding through a range of specialist corporate activity events. We are also able to entertain your clients with our wide spectrum of corporate parties, entertainment and special events.
For more than 20 years from our Staffordshire office, KDM have been providing solutions to our Midlands and North West clients' corporate event needs.
Our London clients are served from our office in Richmond, Surrey and we provide tailor-made, cost effective solutions to your event ideas and needs together with a full service for all meeting and conference requirements.
If you would know more about how we can help you achieve your objectives please call us for an informal discussion.
Everyone at KDM has a strong belief in the value of our events and we are determined to give our clients the best possible service to ensure that their corporate events always achieve their objectives. We are tirelessly creative in our event solutions, we cut no corners, we use only the best equipment - which we create and maintain in our workshops – and we ensure that our staff deliver the best service from your initial enquiry through to your post event feedback.
We care about the community in which we live and work and every year we nominate and support one of our local charities. In previous years we have bought children Christmas presents in support of the Salvation Army ‘Christmas for Kids’ Appeal, bought mobility equipment for a delightful little girl through the BDF New Life Trust and helped raise funds for Arthritis Research and the Douglas Macmillan Hospice. For the last three years we are a lead sponsor for the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice Trust Summer Ball.
In these challenging times employee motivation, optimising opportunities and working cost effectively are the three key issues every business faces. Whilst spending on team motivation and rewards has not been at the forefront of corporate minds, a well motivated team which understands the corporate objectives will undoubtedly deliver the best results.
Events form KDM will help you reinforce the message or communicate a change of strategy or focus, and KDM's proven event solutions will add value to the communication process. We can help you develop communication within your team through team building and by using KDM’s cost effective solutions and with our conference management experience, knowledge and commitment we will ensure that you successfully deliver your message.
Many companies are looking to hold their corporate events in the UK rather than abroad and with our unsurpassed experience of UK venues, meetings and conferences and our range of team building events, corporate hospitality packages and corporate entertainment can be delivered throughout the UK at conference venues, hotels, training centres or even at your offices.
For further information about Corporate Events from KDM and some of the event options available from KDM please don't hesitate to call.
Maximising sales opportunities from clients and differentiating yourselves from your competitors requires developing the personal relationship to support the product or service that you supply. Whilst the corporate event and corporate hospitality budget may be reduced, if it is used in a focused way with clearly defined objectives and a key guest list the results achieved will support your business objectives and leave you well positioned to weather the challenges ahead as the long-awaited awaited recovery takes hold.
KDM's corporate events deliver powerful results, giving you the best combination of verbal, visual and interactive elements, to successfully deliver your corporate message and achieve your business objectives through effective communication.
Our well designed, superbly delivered corporate events will ensure that your message is clearly understood whether you wish to introduce new initiatives to your sales force, manage change in your organisation, let your best customers know how valued they are, promote your business to new markets or say 'thank-you' for a job well done.
When you are organising any sort of event to find the ideal venue for your corporate event at the best price your venue finder needs to know as much as possible about your aims, objectives and budget. At this stage we know that the detail of the event will not have been finalised but an outline of the proposed itinerary – with the following detail - is essential to ensure that you are able to find the right venue, in the right location – and at the right price.
It’s an obvious question but an essential one – how many delegates are you expecting at your corporate event? At the initial planning stage of a conference or meeting it is difficult to be accurate but you should be within a variance of, say, ten per cent. This needs to be closely monitored and updated as your planning proceeds you will be expected to contract for a number of rooms with final numbers confirmed two weeks before the event date. At that time numbers can be increased subject to rooms being available and - importantly - the room capacity of your function room.
Conference and meeting venues seek to work as close to maximum capacity as possible - empty rooms are lost revenue - and they will not keep spare capacity available for your event 'just in case'. Likewise they will decline a booking which might compromise their ability to sell their remaining event space. For example a hotel with 70 bedrooms may offer availability to a group of 50 but not to a group of 20 who need their main conference suite and a number of syndicate rooms as the venue will then be restricted in filling their remaining bed and meeting rooms.
If you can guarantee a minimum number of delegates or revenue, some meeting venues might offer exclusive use. Beware though – a long lead time is essential as you need to guarantee almost full occupancy and invariably some small bookings will already have been taken for your date. Exclusive use is normally much easier for non-residential meetings, conferences and events as Stately Homes and Unusual Venues are invariably taken on an exclusive use basis.
Pre-event planning needs to consider who the event delegates will be, how many should be invited, and how many are expected to attend. Knowledge of these elements are essential for budgeting for your event. You also need to consider whether there will be special guests or media representatives who need special facilities, overseas delegates who need interpreters or VIP's who may need additional security or have specific requirements.
It is important to book the conference venue as early as possible as otherwise arranging other factors will be difficult, if not impossible. Make sure you book your venue as soon as you have your meeting date confirmed and then work backwards to establish a timetable of events. Whilst some clients like to source their own venue, others use a professional venue finding agency to help identify and book a venue. A venue finding company can offer their experience and expertise plus a speedy and often free service, as their commission is paid by the venue and not by the client.
Obviously an exact date with possible alternative dates for your corporate event is ideal, as flexibility will give you more options and a better likelihood of obtaining the ideal venue. Whenever possible we’ll put forward the ideal venue for your conference or meeting on the ideal date, but on odd occasions you may have to choose between the ideal venue on a suitable date or a suitable venue on the ideal date! If you are specific about the date you will have less flexibility … particularly in the prime months of June, July, September and October or when you have a short lead-in time.
The format and duration of your meeting or conference are important factors and will have an effect on availability. A conference, meeting or corporate event requiring several syndicate rooms, a main auditorium, exhibition space and separate dining facilities will have a much more restricted range of options than an event for thirty delegates needing a single room with theatre-style seating. In the case of the former early booking is essential!
Timing is a key consideration, both to allow adequate time to plan the event and also to make sure delegates are able to attend. Holding an event during a busy work period or during the holiday season could have an effect on attendee numbers and the availability of key personnel is always the first thing to check.
Where is the Meeting being held?
Who’s coming and where are they coming from? Will people be travelling by plane, trains or car? These will dictate whether the meeting venue needs to be easily accessible from the tube, a main-line station, an airport, or a motorway? These are all important issues, which will help you decide on the location for your event.
Why is the Event taking place?
What is the purpose of the meeting or event – an incentive, a top-level management retreat, a training course or a sales conference? - all will require a different style of venue to suit your objectives.
You need to consider whether delegates will be listening and passive, or if a high degree of participation will be involved - perhaps team building or an ice-breaker activity - as this will impact upon the type of venue you require.
What Space Do You Need?
Do you just need a single room for the meeting or do you need breakout rooms in addition? Do you need different rooms for different sessions as they need different layouts? Do you need private dining - as opposed to the restaurant - on one or more nights? It's important to consider these at an early stage as it is important that the conference venue chosen has the facilities and the availability that you are likely to want.
The Meeting Room Layout
It may seem straightforward but there’s a lot to consider as different layouts require differing amounts of space and this will dictate the size of conference room you need. The layout is essential to set the style of the meeting and getting this right will ensure that the event runs smoothly on the day.
Not all conference rooms have natural daylight. It is a selling point of most venues but needs to be clarified at the booking stage of your event planning and your needs will vary according to your particular corporate event - a one hour presentation works fine in a room with no natural light but a day's conference with a mix of presentations and open sessions will send your conference delegates to sleep.
If the event or conference features speakers and presentations, check what facilities speakers will need such as a laptop, internet connection, data projector or assistance with preparing their presentation. Always send out in advance a running order for your conference so that everyone involved knows what is happening.
An issue about which a lot of people are coy in the mistaken belief thinking that revealing it will put the price up. It is important to consider this at an early stage remembering that in addition to the headline accommodation rate you might also need a budget for room hire, wines, speakers, staging, audio visual equipment and entertainment.
At KDM we will always try to work within your event budget and we will always make sure that you get the best value out of every penny.
Some events can involve quite physical activities, others are mental challenges and some are a mix of both. Your event planning will fail if any activities are not realistic and achievable with guests positively encouraged. It is important to remember that nobody will benefit if an individual is be forced to do an activity which embarrasses them or with which they feel uncomfortable However with careful consideration at the event planning stage as to who is coming and their different abilities then usually the hard work is done.
Some indoor and outdoor events use amplified music or authentic African drums and most result in the exuberant participation of your guests! Make sure that the venue understands what you are doing to ensure that you and they do not receive complaints from neighbours or companies in nearby conference rooms.
The dreaded word! This is the time clients come over all coy. Nobody goes out to buy something without knowing how much they are able to spend. There is nothing different with the planning of a corporate event. At KDM the reason we ask is not so that we can sell you the same event for more money, it is so that we can propose the right event for you. After all why have a look-a-like if you can afford Daniel Craig himself!
Have you told your Event Organiser Everything?
A client who recently held a James Bond evening asked us at KDM if we could slow their sales teams drinking speed down … no easy task! However, as the bar was paid on account we introduced time slots when drinks could only be bought with casino chips for part of the evening.
Organising the Event
If you have the time or if organising corporate conferences and events is your job then researching, creating and delivering your event can be very rewarding. If however like most organisers, organising the event or conference is a task given to them in addition to their other roles then it has the potential to be a time-consuming and stressful time.
We do however have a solution – use a professional organiser like KDM - it’s as simple as that. We’ve dealt with every type of booking imaginable and have contact with hundreds of suppliers and venues. We can guide you through the minefield of picking the right event: whether it’s a Gala theme night, a team building activity, a company fun day or a corporate conference.
We are completely independent and we are unbiased. We eliminate the stress, allowing you to deliver and enjoy your event and also take the credit for a job well done!
Who is taking part?
When planning a corporate event the activities you should consider depend on many different factors.
What are the guest's roles? What are their nationalities? What is the age range? What is the gender split?
These elements will all influence the event as you wish to design an event that will not only meet your objectives but also attract and retain the interest of your delegates or guests. Remember, the most lavish corporate event can be a disaster if you fail to take the interests of your guests into consideration.
How many people are taking part?
Superficially an obvious question but to work well larger numbers often require more activites or an event with quick rotations so that there is more team interaction. However smaller numbers may allow for the team to work on certain in-depth aspects of their role or relationships.
Knowing the number of guests is also essential so that your event management company can propose the correct event to meet your objectives and ensure that interaction is maximised and ‘dead’ time minimised.
Why? - The Event Objectives
Whether the event is for team interaction or for hospitality or entertainment, before you start any event planning you must consider and establish clear objectives and this will dictate the style, type and structure of the event. If delegates have been in the same conference room for two days a table based mental task may be one step too far. However, if you are looking to get a team working towards a common goal, a competitive outdoor event may not be best suited whereas it would be a perfect way of saying “thank-you” to a team for a job well done.
Do delegates work together on a daily basis? If so concentrating on crossing boundaries may be an appropriate event choice. For delegates who only speak on the phone, activities that focus on communication and working together may best achieve your event objectives.
Whatever your objectives clearly establish them at the outset – even if they are quite simply 'Let's have fun!' You must then make sure that they are clearly understood by your corporate event organiser or provider.
When - The Date?
Make sure that your planned corporate event doesn’t clash with major sporting events, other meetings and events at your workplace and popular holiday periods. Certain times of the year will be more popular than others.
Christmas is obviously a popular time for events, but festive events are so often left until the last minute when availability is at a premium. Planning ahead is essential.
When - The Time?
When to hold your event needs to be carefully considered. In a three-day meeting, holding an activity breakout on the second day may mean that you can often use the event to emphasise some of the key factors of the conference. On a one-day meeting you may decide to hold a thirty-minute high-energy icebreaker in the middle of the day to keep enthusiasm levels high and eyes open!
Where - The Event Location?
Not all corporate events can be held at all venues. Few city centre venues have grounds for large scale outdoor activities, some events need certain room heights; some venues have restrictions on amplified music. When considering the venue, location, access, size, availability, facilities, grounds, costs and style - modern city centre, country house, or unusual venue - all need to be taken into account. Each will have an influence on the overall success of the event.