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When in Rome

April 2017

April found the KDM Events team packing our bags as we were invited to organise a team event at the newly opened Hotel Eden in Rome.

We were asked by our clients to organise a two day team event that provided activities dealing with team work and transformation, whilst also being fun and innovative. The team event was being held at the newly restored Hotel Eden located in the city of Rome as part of their ‘People Forum’. The forum was organised for the client’s internal team of Heads of Department.

Pleased to be invited to organise this team event, we packed everything we needed for the two day event into large suitcases and flew to Rome to deliver an animation team building activity and a beatbox energiser.

So what did the two day event consist of?

Across the two day team event the KDM team delivered our Animation Innovation team build activity and our Beat Box workshop to 40 members of the client’s team.

The Animation Innovation activity is designed to encourage team building through creativity. Through an introduction to Stop Motion Animation techniques, the team members were given the opportunity to use new ways of communication to show their ideas as they created, produced and edited their own animation.

Alongside the animation activity, we also provided a beatboxing workshop. The clients team were introduced to the techniques and skills needed to beatbox. Beat Box is a great energiser as it allows all members of the team to be involved as they work together to see what can be achieved together using only mouth, voice and lips. With their newly learnt skills and having been allocated different percussion sections, teams successfully worked together to create a musical memory.

And the feedback?

Our client delighted us with a very short email ending with this sign off “All was amazing!”

The UK’s Best Event Provider!

April 2017

We did it!

The first time we’ve even considered taking time out of the day job to enter ourselves into the industry’s most prestigious; M&IT Industry Awards, and we bagged ourselves a GOLD!

We couldn’t be prouder, the unique draw of the M&IT Awards is that, you, our fantastic clients are the judges. So when we entered, we were not only hoping to walk away with the prize, we were excited to find out how our clients had placed us against the amazing offerings from our worthy competitors in the UK Event Industry.

The addition of the sparkling Best Event Provider Award to our fancy new office, was really just the icing, knowing that our clients are loving what we’re doing is the real success! Check out our Managing Director’s Post Acceptance Interview below:

A Great British Party

March 2017

On a crisp Thursday afternoon in January, the KDM Event Management & Delivery team found ourselves at the beautiful Welcombe Hotel & Spa in Stratford, preparing for a last minute conference booked only two weeks prior.

As one of the UK’s largest suppliers to the Event Industry, short lead in times don’t phase us, our equipment is all stored at our central warehouse, much of it handmade in our own workshop and our full time Event Managers, trained to produce a huge variety of of corporate events, are not unfamiliar with acting fast to get the job done!

So what did we produce in those 2 weeks?

Our client, The Dental Directory, one of the largest full service dental dealers in the UK, tasked us with the provision of a full day experience their delegates wouldn’t forget following successful delivery of the same for their 2016 conference.


We began the conference with set up on Wednesday, KDM’s full AV Package was required throughout the following day along with the technical expertise of our AV staff to ensure smooth presentation.

Following a morning of company presentations, teams were provided with the necessary tools to produce their own films, their Animation Innovation team build was based around The Dental Directory’s products providing a variety of learning outcomes such as raising team morale and reinforcing product awareness.

While delegates retreated to prepare themselves for the evening, our ground crew got to work turning part of the neo-Jacobean mansion into a Great British Celebration, decorating banqueting furniture with red, white and blue and dressing the room with brilliantly British staples; life size telephone box, life size letter box, giant tea cup and saucer and British icon silhouette panels.

The evening’s entertainment was completed with a Great British pub games package and the glossy awards ceremony, captured beautifully a professional photographer, was met with cheers all round!

The client was undoubtedly pleased by the outcome:

“The guys that they did a brilliant job on both days. Set up Wednesday was great and then Thursday the presentations went very well and I was surprised how well the team responded to the animation exercise. As always the games went down well and the gents attending were really helpful, I also held the record for the batak so good day all round!”

If you’d like a hand with last minute plans for conferences, event management or team building, get in touch!

Posted in Team Building Blog

Fighting For Inequality?

March 2017

Our Commercial Director is all too familiar with the battle women face in the workplace to gain the same status, pay and respect as their male counterparts, but sees the current issues highlighted as wholly missing the point!

Nicky Whyman, Commercial Director writes:

“I recently read an article about the appalling representation of women speaking at the Northern Powerhouse Conference, and as somebody who books speakers for conferences on a daily basis I can tell you that never, do I begin the search by deciding on which gender best fits my criteria. In fact, there’s not a point during the selection, proposal or booking process, where I wonder to myself should I be booking a male or a female for this?! My proposal and recommendations will always be based on an individual’s suitability for the occasion, based on what the client is hoping to get out of it.

Event Industry views - fighting for inequality

“The events industry is actually dominated, in terms of sheer numbers, by women, though according to eventsuncovered.tv, the majority of leaders in the industry are men. This is clearly an issue to be addressed but the way to fix this is just not as simple as handing out leadership roles to women instead of men to even out the playing field – that is flawed on far too many levels to even begin typing!

“This is no different. The article I read featured descriptions of the ‘embarrassing’ 13% of speakers at the event, which celebrates the best business leaders in the North of England, quoting industry experts calling it ‘disappointing’ and an MP whose message was ‘women must be involved at every level’.

“My main problem with this rhetoric is that if we keep shouting about the special treatment we need to be heard and to succeed, if we continue to ‘slam’ somebody for choosing the male alternative, we’re actually presenting ourselves to the world as the weaker half of the population, who need a little extra opportunity to succeed and a bigger stage to be heard – how can we expect to be considered equal?

“The way I overcame the challenges facing me in the workplace was by emphasising my own ability, rather than try to isolate myself as entitled to different treatment. There are many ways to ensure you’re moving forward in your career and reach your goals – here are some tips based on my personal experience:

  1. Seek out a mentor who is a respected specialist in their area. Don’t underestimate the power of approaching someone and asking for their help!
  2. Don’t let your current position limit you – join and attend networking groups with job roles/membership that you aspire to.
  3. Increase your skill and knowledge levels with specialised training – ask those in the positions you aspire to what they recommend.
  4. If you are specifically being harassed or discriminated against then consider taking the appropriate steps. Don’t expect it to automatically blow over and don’t be tempted to just leave– take professional advice from a trusted 3rd party source before taking action.

“I’ll end on this final thought, the organiser confirmed that while they agreed that women are underrepresented, they’d actually approached companies who had decided upon a representative for themselves… Maybe the senior female leaders were too busy to RSVP?!”

Posted in News

Don’t Let Practicalities Limit Your Imagination… We Sure Won’t!

December 2016

As the exciting, sparkling madness of Christmas quickly approaches, the KDM office is alight with the buzz of party organising, getting the Is dotted and the Ts crossed, the event team are carefully placing giant playing cards behind the life-size polar bear and lining up traditional Christmas trees next to the giant disco balls. If you came by to visit us you might wonder whether we misunderstood the mad hatters tea party concept!

December is always a visual explosion at KDM, the masses of varied themed evenings underway all have to start somewhere and, like we tell all of our clients deciding on theming to add that extra sparkle to their Christmas party, you really are only limited by your imagination.

A Night at The Races - Themed Party

Some clients like to choose a theme with their venue in mind; we’ve produced a Winter Wonderland at East Midlands Conference Centre, a Grease themed party at Venue 1886, a Night at the Races at Bedford Lodge Hotel, an Electric 80’s theme at Mercure Hatfield Oak and A Victorian Christmas Tale at Coombe Abbey. All of these themes integrated beautifully into their respective venues, transporting guests to another era or place and we loved every minute of planning and production but this is only the tip of our creative iceberg!
winter-wonderland-selwood-26-11-16-11
If you want a wild and wonderful theme in a stately home, or a traditional Christmas in a modern space to shock and amaze your guests on arrival, we’ll work with you to pull it off gracefully but with maximum impact, we’ve plent of experience in dropping square pegs into round holes.

Think outside the box? What box?!? There is no box! Tell us about the party you want, the reaction you want, the type of venue you like and how many creative liberties we can take, we’ll build you the themed party you didn’t really believe was possible and we’ll do it with great big grins across our faces because we love a challenge! Get in touch about your next themed party to find out more.

Highlights and Developments: This Year’s Achievements and Next Year’s Goals

November 2016

2016 has been a fantastic year for KDM Events, we’ve been recruiting, renovating, innovating and expanding far beyond our 2015 goals. And that’s all been in addition to the hundreds of team building activities we’ve provided, conferences we’ve managed, venues we’ve sourced and entertainment we’ve supplied.

It’s sure been a busy one, but we’re not about to slow down, we’re on a roll! We’re committed to continuous development, being in the business of innovative event management, we place a great deal of importance on the unique quality and ideas our team produces, our in-house technical experts keep us ahead of the event technology game and our experienced event management team ensure the smooth running of our clients’ events through their vast combined knowledge of event venues, industry advances and team building trends.

So Far This Year

Our Workshop Manager; Pete, retired following over 20 years at KDM building unique activity equipment, themed props and even staging, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as we said goodbye to Pete! Luckily, Pete spent 2016 working with Chris, a lifelong Joiner and Carpenter, who was ready to save the day and take the place of Event Creator Extraordinaire, and though he’s jumped into a great big pair of creative boots, he’s doing a fabulous job!

Watch this space for brand new themes in 2017 along with digital strategy games and brand new icebreakers from our event development team.

You’ll soon be treated to a glimpse of our beautifully renovated office, to keep our growing workforce happy at work we’ve slowly and carefully taken a sledge hammer to our old office layout and style, we’ve made it warmer, cosier, popped in a couple more offices for convenience, installed a brand new kitchen, a bright diner style lunch space and a great big wall mural! It’s been an ongoing team building experience for us all, helping each other out through the noise and dirt, communicating without words during the pneumatic drill period and pulling together to make sure our clients’ events wouldn’t be effected when we lost a little office time on the day that will forever be known as Tarmac-Tuesday; the day a small unplanned asphalt issue resulted in hot tarmac being spread while we held on outside waiting for the go ahead to re-enter the building. (It was every bit as dramatic as you’re imagining!)

The investment in our environment has been met with huge gratitude by our workforce, watch out for pictures of their smiling faces in our fancy new home in 2017!

And can you believe it’s only November?!

What to expect in 2017

As well as our anticipated plans for brand new digital strategy games, beat box ice breakers and all manner of new themed party props, we’ve already begun planning for a revamp of our website.

While we continue to grow, so must your online portal to us, so our in-house graphic designer is busy working away on some striking new imagery to help tell the story of our events through our website and using your feedback we’re developing a client login area in order to ensure your online experience with us is as personal as you need it to be while looking and acting just a little slicker.

We’ll be sharing updates with our social media community as and when we have them: linkedingrey untitled-3 greyfacebook

Posted in News

The Show Must Go On!

October 2016

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.

av-staging-event-management

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-we-bought-a-zoo-conference-speaker

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!

team-building-filming-conference-production

Gamification: Trending or Distracting?

October 2016

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.

gamificationThe 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.

Corporate Team Building Event: The Crystal Mazed Mobile Experience

September 2016

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.

The Crystal Mazed Mobile Experience Team Building Activity Load the cannon!

The Crystal Mazed Mobile Team Building Activity Experience for Corporate Team Building Events

Enter the Futuristic Zone

The Crystal Mazed Mobile Experience Team Building Activity

Cash grabber finale!

The Kings Guard

The Kings Guard

Posted in Team Building Blog

Event Management Made Easy With Nothing Left To Chance

August 2016

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.

End to End Event Management for Corporate Events, Conferences andCompany Away Days

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.

johnson-tiles-13119 crop


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