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 were able to prove that end-to-end management of event content ensures seamless delivery, where nothing is left to chance …
About our client Johnson Tiles manufactures and supplies ceramic and porcelain tiles to architects and interior designers all over the world. The company, which was founded 1901, prides itself on the quality and loyalty of its workforce. In 2016 a number of its employees will have been with the company for 25, 40 and 50 years – so the company decided to hold a Long Service Awards event in their honour.
The brief KDM’s original brief was to provide casino tables as part of the evening’s entertainment, held for 140 guests at the Best Western Stoke-on-Trent Moat House. But on discovery that we have first-hand experience of, and strong personal links with the venue, our client asked us take on a broader role in planning and producing the event.
By a happy coincidence, our regional Account Manager had previously worked at the hotel and her knowledge of access and the event space itself were invaluable. The KDM Event Manager who would be running proceedings on the night also attended a site visit and pre-event meetings to ensure continuity throughout.
With hands-on involvement at every touch-point, KDM managed the Awards Show itself – providing the complete AV set, including double screens, technicians and awards music. During drinks and dinner, guests were entertained by table magicians and caricaturists, and for the last part of the evening they tried their luck at our Roulette, Black Jack and Stud Poker tables, surrounded by giant glitter dollar props. KDM’s favourite DJ also ensured there was no break in the party atmosphere.
Our Johnson Tiles client, Sharon Bates, was delighted with the success of the event. Here’s what she wrote to KDM Account Director Jane Findler:
“Absolutely awesome – not one single hitch, everything ran seamlessly – a great bunch of guys. My thanks to them and you, Jane.”
Here at KDM we like to think that the question being asked by event organisers up and down the land is – what do we want to achieve from our event? Because setting objectives should be the baseline of any event planning process.
And by achievement, we’re not talking about the event coming in on budget. Or the speakers all turning up. Or even the audience delivering a deafening round of applause. Important though all of these elements are, they’re not the business needs that sparked the decision to hold the event in the first place.
In the case of a product launch or the announcement of organisational change, it’s fairly straightforward to define objectives – in terms of sales uplift or reduction in factory time. But annual conferences with no clear driving mission tend to behave like rudderless ships.
Some planners, when put on the spot to identify objectives, will pluck a random theme out of the sky. Others lay down a lengthy wish-list, hoping that the more goals they come up with, the more impressive the event will appear.
But there’s no point in setting objectives unless they’re aligned to the business plan, and there’s a genuine intention to achieve them. And there’s no point in setting them at all without a post-event process to measure to what degree they were met.
And here’s the rub: it takes time and effort to adopt this strategic approach. In fact, it’s a great help to sit down at planning stage with an external facilitator who can help guide the thinking. A number of our clients have sought KDM’s assistance in this area, and found it useful.
This is where SMART goals can be helpful. People choose different definitions for this acronym, but the most popular are: Strategic, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound – and once all of these questions have been honestly addressed you can be sure that you have the right objective that stands a reasonable chance of being achieved, with the processes in place to monitor, measure and adjust the onward journey.
To discuss how we can assist with SMART thinking & the overall success of your next conference, please contact the team here at KDM for a no-obligation discussion.
Is it just KDM’s experience – or are Northern venues suddenly standing out as exciting and innovative challengers to their Southern counterparts?
With bases in Staffordshire and West London we routinely deliver corporate events all over the UK, and are used to a heavy London bias in venue-selection because we, and our clients, felt that the Capital set the pace in terms of variety and wow factor.
But over the last year or so we’ve seen a shift. Many more event planners are keen to explore locations north of Watford (in fact, north of Nottingham!) and we’ve been delighted to recommend a range of destinations in the top half of the map – not just for their stunning venues, but for the surrounding infrastructure in regenerated spaces.
Take Liverpool, for example. Enjoying the legacy of its 2008 European Capital of Culture status, the city has continued to receive development funding, sparking interest from corporate groups. This may be for companies based around the UK attracted by the better value of northern locations, or for Manchester-based clients keen to find a new, fresh destination within easy reach.
With all the investment in regeneration around the Albert Docks, the museums and the new hotel builds, organisers are spoilt for choice in Liverpool. The Titanic hotel is fabulous, especially its highly versatile Rum Warehouse – a great atmospheric space for meetings and dinners. The newly-built Jury’s Inn also provides excellent meeting space and proximity to the Echo Arena. And the waterfront location of the award-winning ACC is a huge draw.
We’ve had great success with Black Cab GPS themed treasure hunts around Liverpool, taking teams to the Docks to explore the Maritime Museum or The Beatles Story; also to Knowsley Safari Park. And with free entry, the World Museum provides further scope for team events. And of course the Docks offer a prime opportunity for Dragon Boat racing.
Further afield, another of our current favourites is the Toffee Factory in the heart of the Ouseburn area of Newcastle – itself a fascinating area of interest. Featuring design classics and locally produced furniture, the Toffee Factory hires out an event space for up to 70 people.
In recent months we’ve run a series of amazing events at other Northern venues – including a daytime team event at Thorpe Park Hotel in Leeds, another team event at the Westerwood Hotel in Glasgow. Also an evening’s beer tasting and giant games at the Railway Museum in York, and a Yorkshire Fete themed event at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate.
So watch this space for further Northern gems. We’re confident that when it comes to venue selection, the North is the new Black, and we look forward to welcoming increasing numbers of corporate guests from around the UK to experience its rich industrial heritage and dazzling natural landscapes. Oh – and Northern hospitality takes some beating as well …
Check out page 30 of June’s Conference News for some of our interesting insights into Liverpool as an events destination:
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.