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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.
Nobody likes to hear “No!”, “It’s impossible!”, “It simply cannot be done!”, well, nobody at KDM does! So when we hear it, from a conference venue, an event transport provider or even a pre-dinner drinks entertainer, we get our thinking caps on and figure out how we’re going to work around their “No” to reach the ultimate “Yes” we need to get the job done.
We’re not spoiled! We just like our clients to get what they want, and if they want to arrive to readily prepared AV and staging set at 8am, then AV and staging they shall arrive to!
Only, on this occasion, when we spoke to the venue that had been chosen by the client, we were told that unfortunately, access to the room was restricted due to a function not ending until the early hours of that morning. This is not the point at which we give up, no Sir! Following some lengthy negotiations with suppliers, the event management & delivery teams along with the conference venue, we found ourselves a solution, we turned that no onto it’s head by altering the question. So there we were, bright eyed and bushy tailed at 3am on day 1 setting up an AV rig.
8am arrival went smashingly, rehearsals took place and the show opened at 10:30am.
Invitations to the gameshow themed event were extended to 300 delegates across the UK through online delegate registration and the conference, establishing the client’s newly launched vision and values, was supported by stage props and furniture, team building activities, a motivational speaker, evening entertainment and delegate gifts.
Benjamin Mee, motivational speaker known for ‘We Bought a Zoo’ spoke to delegates about teamwork and bravery and 30 teams were tasked with the production of company adverts aimed at the client’s 2 market sectors, built on the foundation of their vision and values. Pulling together the multiple moving parts of this operation, the KDM team put on a show as precise as it was fluid, dropping in a little improv as and when it was required to keep the 300 strong cast shining brightly through their variety of starring roles in gameshows, TV adverts and their glitzy awards ceremony finale.
The offending “No” was only the beginning of the challenges set by this conference but we like a challenge, so this has been a fantastic event to be involved with and the organiser’s gratitude and praise along with the smile on the face of each attending delegate gave us a warm feeling that only a successful KDM event can. Get in touch if you’d like to transfer the burden of the management of your next company event to us – we’ll be as pleased to do it as you are not to!
Here at KDM, we invest a great deal of time into our future by way of research and development, we’re often looking for ways to ensure we’re ahead of trends in the industry, setting trends through innovation and keeping a close eye on any relevant developments in UK business as a whole to ensure we have the best possible understanding of our clients’ needs and even restrictions.
Trends are important to every business, understanding them is key to ensuring that you keep pace with your industry and events are no exception. We’ve been delivering successful events for 25 years and over that period we’ve seen many trends come and go, surrounded in buzzwords and TLAs, some have developed and become standard practice in event management but some, it would seem, are little more than one salesman’s quick response to a difficult question that escalated rather quickly taking on a life of its own.
The one we’ve been watching particularly in 2016 is ‘Gamification’: the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.
Gamification is not new, it is part of that we’ve been doing for years and this year it seems to be becoming a gimmick serving only to help brush over the important aspects of event management and delivery that event organisers are actually looking for an open dialogue on. The elements of game playing which are part of our team building activities and corporate entertainment events are important, but nowhere near as important as the objectives for the event and measuring an events performance against them.
Engaging delegates at an event is imperative to the overall success, but if only the method is engaging and not the content or the result, reporting back to the Head of Finance and/or HR on the tangible benefits that investment has produced, could be a difficult task.
Our mission is to discover the objectives set by every event organiser who comes to us and with that information provide an event which will help to achieve the goals that led to the decision to hold the event in the first place, and we do that by getting to know our clients and their business, providing free measurement tools with every team building activity we deliver and following up with intelligent analysis on how well the event performed.
If you’re looking to organise an event with the aim of increasing sales, establishing a new set of company values, improving team communication in order to speed up day to day processes or educating staff in preparation for the launch of a new product, get in touch with us – you can be confident that the relevant methods and technology will be a part of your experience while a professional focus is maintained on the objectives you need to meet in order to ensure you’re achieving the best possible results.
We’ve all been there! It’s your annual Conference and Company Party, you’ve spent the day discussing how brilliantly you all performed last year (which is why you’re here getting treated like royalty in this fabulous location) and finding out about the great new ideas the Company is going to be moving forward with.
Cue, team building activity to cement the great working relationships you’ve built and generate new levels of company values and trust. The day’s enjoyable and team spirit is at an all time high, and you know what to expect from the team building event ahead… or do you?
This team were very pleasantly surprised to learn upon arrival at the outdoor activity field, that this year, their team building event was to be quite the new experience!
Following the high-profile launch of Central London’s The Crystal Maze Experience, the Event Organisers had sourced KDM’s The Crystal Mazed Mobile Experience to come to them, all of the problem solving, time pressure and cash grabbing frenzy of the classic TV show was right here at their annual conference to set the fun, competitive tone of the day and re-energise the team ready for an evening of corporate entertainment.
The success of The Crystal Mazed comes down to the way it was designed & developed, to be completely mobile. Very few delegates expect to leave their conference room and find the Aztec, Medieval & Industrial / Futuristic Zones set up on it’s doorstep with a custom built Cash Grabber providing the finale to outdo all finales!
Following on from their day navigating the maze to arrive in the Cash Grabber catching as many golden tickets as possible in 60 seconds, the excited team had some lovely feedback about the event to share:
“Last week went great – everyone loved it so thank you so much for it all . . .”
“Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the events last Thursday. They LOVED Crystal Mazed, they really liked that it was a mix of physical & mental activities & they loved the cash grabber finale (apart from Ann, she got disqualified!) ”
It’s not surprising The Crystal Mazed has become so popular, it’s been all over the UK in recent weeks including appearances at Cranage Hall in Cheshire, Burnham Beeches Hotel in Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, Birmingham even down to Surrey.
If you’re looking for a unique and exciting mobile team building event like the Crystal Mazed, get in touch with us for more information.
For most event organisers, when the day or evening arrives, the result of months of hard work, meticulous planning and endless calls to various companies confirming space requirements and timings, the last thing on their mind is sitting back and enjoying the fruits of their labour because they still have hours of coordinating, question answering and service nudging to get through before the event is over and they can finally relax.
It doesn’t have to be that way – as was discovered by one of our most recent Event Management clients – how? Let us explain:
Johnson Tiles are a manufacturer & supplier of ceramic and porcelain tiles to architects and designers all over the world. Sharon at Johnson Tiles organises their events carefully year on year, choosing a suitable venue, sourcing great suppliers and being there on the night to make sure it all runs nicely, to schedule and without issue.
This year, Sharon got in touch with KDM and asked us to help out by providing evening entertainment in the form of casino tables. While we were discussing the requirements we let slip that, as with many of the venues across the UK, we have first hand knowledge of and strong working relationship with her chosen venue; the Best Western Stoke-On-Trent Moat House. This led to KDM taking on a much broader role in the planning, production & management of the event.
We provided planning assistance, a complete AV set with double screens, technicians and music, pre-dinner entertainment; magicians and caricaturists, Roulette, Black Jack & Stud Poker Tables with giant props to add to the mood set by our favourite DJ and we managed the whole event from start to finish to ensure it ran beautifully, to schedule, without a hitch.
Sharon didn’t need to worry about a thing!
We plan over 500 events every year at conference venues, hotels and specialist team building activity venues across the country, so we get to know these venues and their respective spaces, accesses and conference staff pretty well.
And that’s our entire secret, that’s how we manage events so well and put our clients at ease, we’ve amassed a huge amount of knowledge and with that we can happily provide every assurance that your event will run exactly to plan.
Sharon was delighted with the success of her event, and here’s what she had to say afterwards:
“Absolutely awesome – not one single hitch, everything ran seamlessly – a great bunch of guys. My thanks to them and you, Jane.”
So, to avoid the worry of no shows, late suppliers and equipment not fitting through the door, give us a call and let us handle the details while you prepare to enjoy the event.
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.