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Brocket Hall – KDM’s Venue of the Month

September 2019

In this month’s segment, we are happy to announce that the Grade I-listed classical country house Brocket Hall is KDM‘s Venue of the Month for September.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be taking a better look at Brocket Hall. To begin with, we will be highlighting all the event spaces the venue has to offer. In addition to this, we will get behind the scenes knowledge from the venue’s Sales & Marketing Director, Paul in the Big Interview.  Finally, but most importantly, we will look at past events KDM has provided at Brocket Hall, as well as exploring the potential for new and upcoming teambuilding options. 

So let’s get started and introduce you to this quintessentially British Stately Home

Brocket Hall
View of Brocket Hall from the outside and banner

If you are looking for exclusivity and excellence, Brocket Hall provides the perfect setting. Situated just 22 miles from Central London, the magnificent 543-acre estate offers history and heritage. With picturesque views across Broadwater Lake and the finest of golf courses, it’s easy to see why Brocket Hall is a preferred venue for business leaders.


The estate host three venues: The Hall, Melbourne Lodge and Auberge du Lac

   Stately home surrounded by grass, trees and a river Sitting room with sofas and a baby grand piano Long dining table with place settings and chandelier

The Hall

18th-century Brocket Hall was once home to two Prime Ministers and is rumoured to be a favourite of Queen Victorias. Today it is home to the finest conference, golf and residential facilities in the United Kingdom. There a number of different spaces at Brocket Hall for your event. All of which have specially commissioned leather chairs and oak tables to ensure the comfort of delegates alongside state of the art audiovisual and conferencing facilities. Not to mention the professional butlers discreetly anticipating your every whim and a team of chefs delivering the highest culinary standards.

The Ballroom is one of the most breathtaking rooms in the Hall; boasting the second-longest dining table in the United Kingdom, the room can accommodate up to 150 guests. With an original hand-painted ceiling and a beautiful grand chandelier, it’s sure to make a lasting impression on your guests. 

Alternatively, for those looking for a more intimate affair, the Library is a perfect choice. Whilst providing panoramic views of the stunning Broadwater Lake, the room can comfortably accommodate up to 20 guests. 

Melbourne Lodge

In the tranquil grounds of the Brocket Hall Estate lies the Melbourne Lodge, an elegant Georgian coach house conversion. Formerly a stable block, it now houses 16 luxury en suite bedrooms with beautiful views of the estate.

All 16 bedrooms are appointed to the highest standard in traditional country house style to provide a relaxing experience. Grandly spacious, furnished with original pieces from the Estate, each room retains the heritage and luxury of a bygone era. At the same time providing all the conveniences of the 21st Century including free WiFi, TV, tea and coffee making facilities.

Auberge du Lac

Housed in the former hunting lodge, Auberge du Lac enjoys an idyllic lakeside setting overlooking the beautiful 543-acre country estate. With numerous awards, Auberge du Lac provides the highest standards in cuisine and service.

Whether it’s al fresco dining in summer or an intimate environment in the winter months, Auberge du Lac can cater for it all. With a beautiful lounge, picturesque terrace and a host of private dining rooms, the restaurant regularly caters for private dinners, ladies lunches, weddings, birthday parties and other celebrations.


Why We Recommend Brocket Hall

  • Exclusive hire of a Stately home.
  • An expert event team who are on hand to bespoke your event to the highest of standards.
  • A dedicated team of butlers who cater to your guests’ every desire.
  • We have a 16-year long-standing relationship with the venue, hence our extensive knowledge of the site

If you want to know more about this stunning venue get in touch with our team today.

Don’t miss next weeks blog where we will be talking to the venues Sales & Marketing Director, Paul Liczbinski. 

Lets Talk Team Building – Heythrop Park

August 2019

Drive and motivate your team with a unique team building event at one of the country’s finest venues. 

Outside shot of Heythrop Hall and Venue Of The Month Banner

We regularly host all types of team building activities at Heythrop Park Resort throughout the year. We can provide everything from intimate team away days to large 650+ corporate family fun days. Our long-standing relationship with Heythrop Park as a regular supplier means that we are well versed with the venue, its activity sites and their procedures. Delivering peace of mind to our clients and allowing venue staff to concentrate on the other elements of your event.

With over 440 acres of outside space, woodland & grounds to play with, there’s plenty of opportunity for creative team building. 

Popular options include:

Casino Evening 

Action and Adrenalin

Games Galore 

Themed Events

• Team Challenges – Crystal Mazed and Krypton Factor

Country pursuits – Laser Clays, Axe Throwing and Archery
And much more!

Looking for Inspiration?

Here are some events we provided earlier this year:

Race to Success

 

Involving elements of efficiency, time management, creativity, and ‘driving’ skill – each team player will find an area to excel. Using the kit provided to them teams are to build their own outdoor go-kart and trailer. Inter-team communication is key to successfully completing the challenge because no instructions are included and resources are limited. Although our experienced event crew will be on hand to help teams along the way, it is essentially down to the delegates to work together. 

Action and Adrenaline

Guests are provided with an exclusive experience with specifically designed Activity and Adrenalin days. Guests take part in a range of unusual and exciting activities such as Segways, Quad Bikes or Axe Throwing. With one to one tuition, our professional instructors will guide you through the activities with an emphasis on guests gaining as much ‘hands-on’ fun experience as possible.

Depending on your preference this event can be provided in a competitive format as well as informal fun. Informally we will search for the best individual on each activity and award them with a KDM medal. Whilst in the team competition, guests must work together to complete the tasks. Delegates will be tasked with either ‘beating the clock‘ or scoring the greatest number of points in an attempt to gain the maximum advantage against their competitors. Based upon skill, scoring is devised so that the competitive members of your team can compete whilst those simply wishing to enjoy the day can do so. Although guests are encouraged to ‘have a go’ no one will feel under pressure to take part, making it an event all can enjoy. 

Alpine Lodge

Host a cosy wintry evening by simply dressing your room in gingham table dressings, lanterns, sumptuous sheepskin and Christmas garlands. By surrounding your room with atmospheric scenery, snowy trees and lighting, you can immerse your guests into the Alpine Lodge setting.

Even if you can’t hit the slopes this year, you can indulge your guests throughout the evening with entertainment fit for a snowy retreat. Add our VR ski simulators to transport your guests to the very top of the Pyrenees. Huddle around our ski lodge-inspired cocktail bar with authentic ski rack and boots. Consider a pot of fondue for Swiss-style calorie loading, or stick with mulled wine and hot chocolate cocktails. The options are endless and at Heythrop Park, you can let your imagination go wild.

Take a look at what we created last year here

Circus Spectacular

Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the spectacular world of death-defying acrobatics, juggling and entertainment. Transport your guests to the Circus Ring with carnival concourse games, colourful table dressing and fairground backdrops. For an authentic experience, you can even drape the room to give the effect of dining in a circus tent.

The Marquee at Heythrop Park provides a perfect setting for this theme. Don’t just take our word for it, view the Big Top transformation here

Our team building activities and theming options are all created in-house by our event technology and development team and we work very closely with the on-site team at Heythrop Park. Consequently, the ideas above, while varied, are a great illustration of what we can do but are by no means all. So if you have something in particular in mind please do not hesitate to ask the question.

That concludes this month segment. It has been great focusing on such a fabulous venue like Heythrop Park and revisiting the incredible events we have worked on together. We hope you gained valuable insights and have seen the venues true potential. If you would like more information on Heythrop Park and our team building offerings, get in touch with our dedicated events team today.

While this may be it this month, don’t forget to look out for our Venue of the Month in September!

The Big Venue Interview – Heythrop Park

August 2019

 Outside Shot of Heythrop Park with 'The Big Interview' Banner

This August it is all about our Venue of the Month, Heythrop Park. This week we interviewed their Conference Office Manager, Ruth Honeywell to answer those burning questions.

What motivated you to get into the hotel industry and how did your career journey start?

The Hotel industry was never really on my radar. I started out as a weekend housekeeper at The Lygon Arms Hotel in Broadway throughout my A-Levels and Gap Year prior to University. I studied Sports Science so this was really not what I had planned! Towards the end of my degree, I was offered the opportunity to go back to the hotel to do a 2-year management placement. I thought this would be a good move and this would then allow me to travel afterwards. I actually met my now husband there and ended up staying for 8 years so all plans of travel went out of the window

What attracted you to this venue in particular?

I wanted to develop in the Events area and my background of Country house hotels meant I was looking for something special. I was drawn to the Grand Manor House and the Estate and was excited by the plans to develop the Resort into the Estate it is now.

How long have you been at Heythrop Park and what changes have you seen at the property over the years?

I started at Heythrop Park in January 2008 so lots of changes have occurred over the 11 years. The work to develop the estate had not yet begun so I saw the Estate transform into the beautiful 18 Hole Golf Course which opened in 2009 and the conference centre refurbished into a Crowne Plaza property and opened in 2010. We have since had refurbishments on bedrooms, The Orangery Restaurant and the addition of the Marquee ( the Archery Suite) so there is always something new to sell!

The venue has received a number of positive reviews for its outstanding customer services and attentive staff. How do you motivate your team to deliver professional service on a daily basis?

Taking pride in the property you work in is key. Knowing the customer and anticipating their needs. We have a number of clients that return year on year and it is great that our staff remember them and they remember us so it really does become personal.

What would you consider makes a great hotel?

The team! You can have the best facilities in the world but if you do not have the right staff then everything will fail

What is your favourite feature of the property?

From an events perspective, the Conference Theatre is our most unique space. It will really transform a quite ordinary in Conference into something spectacular. We have had some amazing events in there and listening to Key Note Speakers in that environment is something special that you would not get in a flat conference room. The Manor House Foyer is the best feature and in the Winter months when the fire is lit and the Christmas Tree is up, it really is the best place to have a drinks reception

What’s the most unusual feature at the venue that still remains from the original estate?

Probably the Whale Cave! This is an area in the estate that once housed the bones of a Whale that was gifted to the owner of the estate. The Cave is still there but the skeleton is sadly no longer there.

Whale skeleton inside Heythrop Park Whale Cave

Finally in just one sentence can you describe Heythrop Park and why it’s a venue not to be missed?

We are flexible and unique residential conference venue combining modern facilities with 18th-century elegance, situated in the beautiful countryside providing the ultimate WOW factor to any conference, meeting or event!

Headshot of Ruth Honeywell

Ruth Honeywell – Conference Office Manager

 

Want to know more about Heythrop Park? Speak to our venue finding team to find out more

 

 

Heythrop Park – KDM’s Venue of the Month

August 2019

 Venue Of The Month Banner

We understand that finding the right venue involves much more than simply ticking boxes regarding room sizes or location. The style, atmosphere, price, transport links, contract terms (the list goes on) are all critical factors. For that very reason, we have decided to highlight one of our recommended venues each month. Over the course of the month, we will touch on the general information, interview the events team and showcase some of the fabulous events that have taken place on-site. 

What better way to kick off our new segment than to announce the Superb 4star hotel Heythrop Park as KDM‘s Venue of Month.

Heythrop Park

One of the UK’s leading meetings & event venues, located 12 miles north of Oxford. With over 440 acres of outside space on the edge of the Cotswolds, there’s plenty of opportunity for creative team building. From Sheepdog Handling on the South Lawns to go-kart building, the only limit is your imagination.

The venue has 29 meeting rooms in total across the resort, but it’s the venues larger event spaces that steal the show.


interior photograph with 3 red and white sofas Courtyard seating area surrounded by trees and foliage Banquet tables with place settings inside marquee

Conference Theatre

Heythrop Park houses a state-of-the-art Conference Theatre with a private foyer and auditorium seating for 400. The purpose-built auditorium provides the perfect event space for conferences, product launches and award ceremonies. With onsite AV assistance and technical support, you can rest easy knowing your event will go off without a hitch. 

The Ballroom

The Ballroom is a truly versatile event room with capacity for up to 348 in banquet style. The space offers an outside private foyer, event planning desk and separate entrance for your delegates negating the need to use the main hotel entrance.

The Archery Suite

The Archery Suite is the venues largest, purpose-built space with a banqueting capacity of up to 800 people. The suite overlooks the idyllic views of the lawns and Manor House making it the perfect setting for large, lavish events!

The Manor House

At the heart of Heythrop Park resort lies the glorious grade II listed Mansion House.  An 18th-century architectural gem with grand and characterful rooms providing an impressive space for drinks receptions or gala dinners.

Heythrop Park successfully combines modern facilities with elegant period charm. Add in the 358 bedrooms across the resort with beautiful outdoor spaces located in the heart of England. It is easy to see why Heythrop Park is one of the UK’s leading venues for meetings, conferences, and events. 


Why We Recommend Heythrop Park

  • The vast and versatile indoor space that the venue has to offer
  • An expert event team who are on hand to bespoke your event to the highest of standards
  • A resort where old meets new – where 18th-century elegance meets 21st-century style
  • A unique tiered Auditorium sets it apart from its competitors. 

Take a virtual tour of the venue here

Don’t miss next weeks blog where we will be talking to the venues Conference Office Manager at Heythrop Park, Ruth Honeywell. 

How To Plan Your Next Corporate Event

February 2019

Important questions you should ask before you start the event planning process

Infographic - How To Plan Your Next Corporate Event

WHY

Let’s talk event objectives

When it comes to corporate event planning the logical place to start is by asking yourself WHY. Why are you or the company holding this event? Is your goal to acquire new sales leads or maintain current client relationships? Do you want to reward the sales team for a record-breaking year? Are you celebrating a company milestone or looking to improve internal relationships? Defining your event goals and objectives will shape much of what is to follow in the event planning process.

WHO 

Define your events target audience

How well you know your audience can make or break your event. Job Role, Nationality, Age Range, and Gender are all important questions to ask in order to define and optimise each element of the event. These factors will influence many of the choices you make. The aim is to design an event that will not only meet your objectives but also attract and retain the interest of your guests.

WHAT 

Make your corporate event, one to remember

Are you rewarding employees with a fun experiential event?  Do you need to gather the team to learn new strategies and techniques to boost company productivity? Whatever the reason, you will need to have activities that will engage your audience and are aligned with the event goals. There is a large variety of options to consider. Peripheral entertainment, immersive décor, guest speakers or introducing team building activities are all crowd-pleasers.

Keeping your guests engaged with quality activities is imperative. This will have a direct impact on the outcome of the event and whether or not you meet your event objectives. Keep in mind your audience when choosing your activities, for example pairing a creative marketing group with a tabletop, strategy team build may not be the right choice.

WHEN 

Save the date 

When choosing the date for your upcoming corporate event make sure that you consider meetings and events at your workplace. Certain times of the year will be more popular than others. Christmas is obviously a very popular time for events, but festive events are so often left until the last minute. Planning ahead is essential when availability is at a premium.

Are you considering an open invite event? If so, it is imperative that once you have a proposed date, that you check not only your calendar but the industry calendar and events in the surrounding area. Significant events can affect your attendance as well as the logistics of an event.

WHERE 

Location, Location, Location 

Location, decor and ambience will set the tone for your corporate event and plays an important role in the overall experience. However, as well as ticking off the aesthetics, you need to consider other logistical elements before settling on your final venue. The venue needs to be easily accessible and convenient for delegates, event management and suppliers alike. Consideration needs to be made for local traffic. Does transportation need to be provided?  What parking options are available?

You need to factor in the number of people attending and whether the venue can comfortably accommodate guests in your desired layout. The activities you have planned for the event will also impact on the space required. A room which can hold 250 guests for an informal cocktail event may not be suitable for a team building activity for the same numbers.

BUDGET

Money Talks

Arguably the most important question to ask yourself is what budget do you have to with work with? This will ultimately define the What, When and Where of your event. When preparing the budget, you will need to incorporate estimates for all of the key elements such as venue, A/V equipment, catering and entertainment. Consideration should also be given for venue décor, seating, additional event staff and fees. Detailing these estimates will help create a realistic cost overview. Sit down with your accountant or financial team to determine what is reasonable for this event.

Get Started

Starting this process can be quite daunting but considering these key elements is a great start to your event planning journey.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your next corporate event, contact your dedicated KDM Event Planner today.

Sweet Success Conference Event Management

November 2017

Following a number of successful Olympic themed conference events, our client (one of the world’s largest snack companies) asked us to organise and manage their upcoming Annual Field Sales Conference.

The Hilton Birmingham Metropole hosted the 2-day event for 350 field sales staff and the main objective was to launch their bold and bright new branding, the sales team had high expectations and the organisers were excited for the big reveal so our event dressing had to have the wow factor.

Slick Event Management

To deliver the maximum visual impact we designed a bespoke AV set with curved boards to reflect the logo, company coloured staging and amazing micro LED tiles which both changed colour and allowed their new branding with animation to flow over the whole set.

KDM event management staff were on-site throughout to manage the event and ensure the organisers could concentrate on their live business content, we even helped to accommodate some last minute content changes, just another day at the office for a KDM Event Manager!

During registration, we took control of 350 field sales laptops, chargers & bags which were all updated and PAT tested during the stay – the feedback from this element was that it was the smoothest turnaround they had ever had.

Then with a very short window of time, our event management team ensured that the main room was transformed to an atmospheric purple paradise for the awards dinner where guests entered to dressed tables complete with silver candelabras and branded linens.

The after-dinner awards ceremony saw a 350 strong audience in fancy dress applauding a Gorilla, Superman & ‘Dorothy’ picking up company awards, this is where our photo studio came into its own with guests coming back for more photo opportunities. It’s the only time you will ever see Marilyn Monroe, The Pink Ladies, Minnie Mouse & Mario together!

Finally, the following day saw the conference event wrap up with group rotations each hosted by a KDM event management team member to ensure no-one got lost! And using our interactive handsets through the conference also allowed the company to gain feedback throughout the event to ensure it successfully met all of their objectives.

Client Feedback

The overall feedback, any events company would be proud of and we certainly: – “Very positive, well structured, well planned even with the adverse weather affecting timings, I’m not an event organiser so appreciated the support/advice/guidance provided by Caroline and her team. We’ve had lots of feedback on how well it was organised, the content was great and it was very engaging. The evening looked great and the photo studio was a favourite! Thank you for your support at all times – It was a pretty slick operation!”

Event Management How To: Spend Less Money On The Same Conference & Event Management Result!

November 2017

When a long-standing financial sector client came to us with a request to organise their annual Retail Division Update Conference, we were delighted to help as we always are. This year though, we were asked to provide the conference along with our event management expertise on a smaller budget.

We’re not an Events Company who turn down a challenge so, with Networking and business content high on this year’s agenda, we aimed to meet the reduced budget target by achieving savings in 4 key areas:

  • AV requirements.
  • Room hire and Set up costs the night prior to the conference.
  • Delegate travel overnight accommodation the night prior to the conference.
  • Private dinner format.

We kept it simple with the following recipe:

Take:
80 senior managers and Directors

Add:
1 unusual historic country event venue
1 dedicated meeting space with natural daylight, private bar and terrace
1 compact AV set and technicians
Mix together with:
1/2 day business presentations
1 BBQ dinner overlooking Capability Brown designed gardens
6 Seasoned live swing/jazz musicians
Glorious summer sunshine
80 Overnight stays and breakfast

Then allow to develop over 18 hours until risen!

How We Did It

Selecting the right event location for the conference was key. Previously our client has used business conference centre venues with a high-end business look and feel to the conference. However, this year they wanted to encourage a more relaxed summer networking atmosphere whilst retaining the professional business presentation feel. We worked with the client to source an unusual Country House venue, having provided team building activities and conferences here in the past, we knew the exclusive meeting space was perfect for an intimate business atmosphere. A compact AV set to match the size and style of the room enhanced the personal feel to the business presentations and allowed for closer interactions during the afternoon.

The agenda for the day was also made more compact. Rather than an early start and full day of content, the group arrived for lunch followed by an afternoon of business presentations made shorter to allow for more contribution by the delegates.

Networking, sharing ideas and best practise was important so an informal outdoor BBQ dinner with drinks and live music provided the perfect informal setting for the team to share their thoughts from the day and catch up with the latest developments. Moving back indoors once the sun went down, the networking continued into the wee hours.

The Results Are In

All in all, the combination of the revised compact agenda, altered travelling times, change in style of event venue with smaller AV requirements and relaxed evening dinner meant that the event cost came in circa £1,000 under the new target budget. Added to the positive feedback from the delegates who appreciated the style and content of the ‘new look’ conference, the client was very satisfied with the tasty recipe we created!

What Went Wrong? Pre-problem Solving for an Issue Free Conference Event

October 2017

One of our long standing clients in the motor insurance sector recently asked us to deliver their annual company-wide conference. As always, the event was a great success, and while we love writing about how well our conferences and team building events go, we also analyse each and every one of them to make sure we’re learning from every possible outcome, whether it happens or not.

Capturing issues early and engineering workarounds before the event is one of the ways we really add value for our clients. After all, post-conference 20-20 hindsight won’t help you have a perfect event.

So, what would have gone wrong on this particular day?

Itinerary timings – speakers know their allocated timings and yet so often enthusiasm means a presentation runs over – and strangely the average is 10 minutes! This could result in missed comfort breaks, teambuilding activities running behind, a late lunch and a restless and hungry audience. With the co-operation of the client organiser we built in extended timings for refreshments and lunch beforehand and as we always recommend leaving detailed timings off the delegate itineraries – when the inevitable happened – the time was regained without impacting the audience’s experience.

Exhibition – With this being the first year that our client had organised an exhibition as part of the itinerary, the list of internal exhibitors was extensive, the IT requirements were varied but the budget was very limited! Many of the exhibitors would bring their own laptops, tablets and projectors to hook up to our plasma screens and knowing how complicated hooking up incompatible devices with the wrong cables can be we produced an ‘IT cables’ guide which allowed the exhibitors to see the names, pictures and descriptions of the cables available to them onsite. Not one exhibitor arrived without the right adapters so were all able to display their content and of course, we had spare cables in stock just in case!

AV Autocue – as the speaker itinerary developed and more hosts became involved for each different section, it became obvious that the number of people wanting to use the autocue system would not allow time between each speaker to manually set the autocue glass height to suit them. With only a few weeks to go, we addressed this by switching to an electric glass system to allow us to reset the height remotely between presenters, avoid unsightly delays between sessions and allow each speaker to see their script – a rather critical essential!

Ready For Anything…

But like any event organiser knows, there are some things that you just can’t plan for! Such was the case when after rehearsal, changes were needed to slides in EVERY presentation. Fortunately, over the years our team has learnt to be ready for anything so powered by coffee and sugar we worked into the small hours to complete the changes.

Great event planning really is one of the major keys to any successful conference or exhibition event and avoiding potential problems on the day. But when the unavoidable happens, a flexible expert event management team on the day is worth their weight in gold!

Get in touch with us if you’d like your next team building or conference event to be taken care of by an Events Company who will look for the potential issues during planning.

Winning Applause From Conference Delegates: An Event Management How To

October 2017

So you’ve booked the conference venue, all the speakers are lined up and you’ve issued invitations to attendees. Your conference is off the starting blocks and you can heave a big sigh of relief. But the next consideration could determine the make-or-break of your event’s success. The value of the event will be largely measured on the satisfaction recorded by its attendees.

One of the biggest challenges of a conference organiser is to shape the agenda in such a way as to keep the audience engaged and enthused throughout the day. Here are a few tips to ensure no yawns, no empty seats and a large round of applause at the end.

Variety is the spice of life: if you’ve ever had to sit through a full day of PowerPoint presentations, with no opportunity to actively participate, and just the most cursory Q&A component, you’ll know how dull and uninspiring the experience can be. Small wonder that attendees emerge tired and grumpy, having learned little and enjoyed less. And yet it’s easy at the drawing board stage, to suggest an agenda with rich and varied content. Of course, you’ll need presentations, but why not build in an engaging team building activity such as a treasure hunt, a workshop or even an exhibition, one or two interactive sessions along with an ice breaker should break the day up comfortably, helping conference delegates maintain concentration.

Short and sweet: 20 minutes is probably the longest period that any of us can maintain active concentration. After that, the mind wanders, thoughts turn to lunch or the brain gently slides into neutral. Speakers are understandably keen to share their insights in great detail but research shows that delegates actually appreciate shorter and more concise presentations with the opportunity to submit their own questions and comments. Whenever possible, ask speakers from the outset to bear these two points in mind when planning their content.

Ask your Events Company how best to achieve the longest period of engagement.

We’ve been in Events Management for over 20 years and audience engagement technology has evolved massively in that time. We are finding that conference delegates love to be involved in two-way dialogue instead of being passive listeners, and the latest conference apps allow questions and comments to be submitted from the floor. We’ve recently developed our own event apps, which enable members of the audience to put live questions and comment to speakers as part of interactive business sessions. The great bonus is that group conclusions can be reached on the day and feedback obtained while delegates are still experiencing the event.

Active learning: Once the key conference messages have been conveyed in the meeting room, why not reinforce them via a team building activity? We all assimilate information in different ways, so the inclusion of quizzes or challenges can help to ensure understanding in an interactive, entertaining way.

Icebreakers: Energy levels tend to slump immediately after lunch, so we recommend that our clients energize their delegates and get the oxygen flowing. A quick 10-minute ice-breaker works wonders before the start of the first-afternoon presentation. Not only will your delegates thank you, but their memory recall of that first session will be so much stronger.

Controlling the clock: In a perfect event management world, speakers would religiously stick to the timetable but it’s not unusual for sessions to either finish early or over-run. And in every event organiser’s memory, there are instances where speakers had to pull out on the day. So it’s a good idea to plan for the worst and ensure your agenda has built-in flexibility. This way you’ll be able to adjust the length of refreshment breaks to either catch up from the over-runs or fill-in some unexpected free time.

Give us a break: Research has shown that conference delegates really appreciate the opportunity to network with other attendees or catch up on their e-mails, so it’s not a good idea to pack the agenda too tightly. And if you do get a last minute speaker cancellation, what may seem like a crisis to you could turn out to be a welcome gap for them.

Bright eyed and sharp-witted: Conference venues used to provide stodgy traditional meals but in recent years there has been a revolution in menu design. But if you feel the options are lacklustre, don’t be afraid to ask for healthy alternatives, such as fresh fruit smoothies and raw vegetable canapés. That way your delegates will be saved the mid-afternoon blood-sugar crashes which are so detrimental to concentration and problem-solving.

And for overnight events, late-night alcohol binges can be a disaster for attendance levels on subsequent mornings, so the inclusion of a coffee bar as an alternative option may yield dividends. Guests really appreciate the extra choice and will be far more alert the following morning.

Our clients have found that putting themselves in the delegates’ shoes and imagining what would create an inspiring, upbeat day for them, is the best way of ensuring enthusiastic feedback at the end of the event. You want your delegates to go home happy, and so do we!

Speak to us if you need some help planning your next conference or team building away day.

Gone to the dogs? Not a chance! A Three Day Product Launch – Creative Team Building and Unique Party Theming

September 2017

An event to mark the launch of a ground-breaking animal healthcare product, developed by a global healthcare leader. While the new brand would be a transformational offering, it would be entering an already-satisfied market place competing against established household name products.

The internal staff launch, therefore, had the critical mission of galvanising the salesforce with team building activities to challenge the status quo and confidently sell the revolutionary new brand, while assisting direct-selling customers to regain business that was currently being lost through other channels.

The three-day launch would bring together over 150 employees in what was briefed as a transformational event that would enable and empower staff to ‘create great’.

Creating a transformational event

Having won a three-way pitch, for the provision of the event’s operational content, KDM Events had a four-week window in which to source two venues one for the accommodation and business content, and the other for the product launch itself and to design a dedicated delegate registration website for streamlined and effective event management.

The branding and the concept behind the launch theme had been designed by healthcare strategy and communications specialist, Cognite.  KDM was tasked with conveying Cognite’s ‘Transformational’ theme into the look and feel for the events.

We also produced two key elements of the internal launch – the gala dinner and team building activity.

Day One of the three-day product launch conference saw the 150 delegates engaged in business unit meetings, using multiple meeting rooms at London’s Tower Hotel.  The unveiling of the new product took place on Day Two, at iconic events space Vinopolis. The surprise guest speaker was distinguished physicist and presenter Professor Brian Cox, who inspired the audience with a scientific talk echoing and expanding on the launch’s ‘Transformational’ theme.

The gala dinner at the Tower Hotel saw the venue ‘transformed’ in the new product logo colours with creative table and room dressing.  Mind reader Alex Crow delighted guests with a personalised cabaret while a customised photo studio provided delegates with souvenir photos linked to the product.

Day Three of the launch provided an opportunity for delegates to put their understanding of the new product into practice, through one of our most popular and unique team building activities, the Stop Motion Animation techniques made popular by Aardman Studio’s ‘Wallace & Gromit’.  In this highly creative session, delegates worked in teams using modelling clay and craft materials as well as mini studios and recording equipment to create, film and edit their own movies.  The exercise stretched participants to communicate ideas in new ways and brought out strong teamwork, planning and production skills.

Client Feedback

Our very happy client said:  “Both the choice of venues and the launch content reinforced the brand’s essence and core values.  The event’s messaging and delivery helped support our team to further believe in the product and they came away energised and ready to ‘create great’ and be ‘transformational’ in the field.  We are confident that they will be able to challenge perceptions, and encourage direct-selling customers to rethink and become brand ambassadors in their own right.”

A result any events company would be proud of!


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