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What Are The Different Types of Corporate Events?

May 2020

What are the different types of corporate events

Corporate events are a very common way of bringing together employees, shareholders, clients, potential clients, etc. There are many different types to consider if you’re looking at holding a corporate event. It’s most likely that you already have an end goal in mind, or a reason why you want to hold a corporate event. But you may be lacking in direction, or understand the difference between the different types, and why that is important.

The Different Types Of Corporate Events

In this article, we’ll cover all of the different corporate events, their purpose, and a few ways to make them engaging and memorable for delegates.

Seminars

What is a seminar?

A seminar is a gathering of people that takes place to educate and share information around a specific topic. It is often described as somewhere between a lecture and a workshop as, while there are interactive opportunities within a seminar, they tend to take a more presentational format with pockets of discussion and debate across the duration.

How to make a seminar engaging?

Use icebreakers at the beginning of your seminar to warm up the audience, familiarise them with one another and introduce a topic. Utilise storytelling to make what you are presenting interesting and easy to understand. Ask questions and incorporate interactive elements throughout to keep your audience in the moment.

Conferences

Conferences are usually organised on a much larger scale than seminars, sometimes spanning a number of days. They are an opportunity to bring groups of people with a shared interest together. Throughout the course of a conference there may be seminars, talks, workshops, interactive stations, and activities arranged with the purpose of conveying messages or discussing a topic.

How to make a conference engaging?

Make your conference engaging by planning a robust itinerary, sourcing exciting event speakers, using technology throughout and offering interactive elements where possible. When your guests can get involved and hands on, they’re more likely to remain engaged, so maximise these opportunities when you see them.

Trade Shows

A trade show is an opportunity for organisations and businesses to exhibit their products and services. Trade shows are usually focused on a niche market in order to attract a specific audience.

How to make a trade show engaging?

If you are exhibiting at a trade show, think outside of the box for new ideas and ways to present your product or service. Interactive elements, such as virtual or augmented reality, can be very effective. As can allowing visitors to get hands on with a product and see it in action through demonstrations.

If you are organising a trade show, go beyond just seeking out organisations as exhibitors. You could ask a few leaders in the field to do a talk on a specific topic or hold one yourself!

Product Launch

Product launches are used to introduce a new product to the market in an exciting and dynamic way. They are usually aimed at retailers or potential customers and aim to ‘show off’ a new product or service and create a buzz around it.

How to make a product launch engaging?

Your main aim with a product launch is to make it exciting and get people talking about it. This starts way before the actual day of the product launch, so use social media and other advertising channels (such as an email marketing campaign) to create curiosity around your new product prior to launch.

On the day, let attendees get hands on and showcase the USPs of your new product in new and inventive ways.

Team Building

Team building is used to build relationships between team members and help them strengthen their skills to work together more effectively. The size and scale of team building can vary from small groups to company-wide events.

How to make team building engaging?

Team building is about so much more than just having fun. But that’s an important element too! In your planning, take into account the strengths and weaknesses of your team so you choose an activity that focuses on these. Ensure the objectives of the chosen activity are clear from the beginning and make it accessible to everyone so each and every person gets the most out of it.

Christmas Parties

Christmas parties are mainly a celebration and tend to be a bit less corporate than most corporate events. They are a chance to gather employees together, thank them for their hard work over the course of the year and let your hair down. Within reason of course!

How to make a Christmas party engaging?

Don’t make it all about work! Christmas parties are meant to be fun, so try and steer clear of getting too corporate throughout it. Let attendees be themselves, arrange for nice food and entertainment and encourage everyone to relax!

Networking Events

The purpose of a networking event is to build contacts within your industry, whether that be potential clients, customers, partners or employees.

How to make a networking event engaging?

Networking happens most effectively when people are relaxed. In these types of events, the human aspect is much more important than the corporate one, so give plenty of time and opportunities for attendees to chat and get to know each other. Don’t put too much pressure on people to present or push themselves out of their comfort zone. Instead, have a loose agenda that allows attendees to relax and feel comfortable.

Charity Events

Businesses use charity events to demonstrate how they are acting on their social responsibility. These can range from tournaments and competitions to concerts, golf days and gala dinners. The overall purpose of these is to raise money and awareness for a charity.

How to make charity events engaging?

With the key aim of a charity event being to raise money, be sure to organise an activity that gets people reaching into their pockets! Charity is all about being human and showing support to one another, so make this the key focus when you approach this type of corporate event.

Tips for Planning An Awesome Corporate Event

Whatever form your corporate event takes and whatever you’re trying to achieve, making it enjoyable and memorable comes down to robust planning. No matter how large or small your event, in the planning stages you must ensure all your bases are covered, from the venue to transport and feedback.

And don’t forget to be creative! Many of us have attended corporate events and the traditional formats can sometimes feel a bit stale. So, shake things up where you can and do something unexpected.

If you need some support in planning your next corporate event, we can help! Our team is made up of a wide range of individuals with extensive experience in event planning. From bouncing around ideas to helping you make your event a smooth, enjoyable experience for everyone involved, we can take the pressure off you in the areas you need, allowing you more time to focus on other things. For more information, and an informal chat about your event, contact us today!

What are the 5 C’s of Event Management?

May 2020

What are the 5 c's of event management

Event management and event planning requires a few skills for success. Qualities such as attention to detail, creativity, patience and strategic thinking all come in to play at multiple points throughout the process. Therefore, it’s important to approach event management with a solid plan that helps you navigate the (sometimes) rocky road and emerge out of the other side relatively unscathed, bathed in the glory of a successful event.

If you’ve been tasked with delivering a memorable, engaging and effective event, you’re probably here because you have no idea where to start. And that’s okay! We all have to begin somewhere. If there’s one piece of advice that we can give you before you embark on your journey, it’s that having a strategy and being aware of all the bases you need to cover will serve you well throughout this process.

The 5 C’s of Event Management

To help you do this, in this article we’re going to cover the 5 C’s of event management, which are a great starting point for putting your plan together. These are: Concept, Coordination, Control, Culmination, and Closeout. But what do they mean? And how do you apply them to event management?

Concept

First up, concept. When you conceptualise your event, you create the framework from which it will grow. In doing this, you need to consider:

  • Why you are holding your event;
  • Who will be in attendance;
  • When it will be;
  • Where it will be;
  • What will happen at the event.

Don’t skimp on the details here. Really mine down into each of the above points and take the time to understand all corners of your event. First of all, what is the purpose of your event? What is the end goal? This objective needs to be clear and communicable to your audience. When you have this, you can start to think about the audience, how you will reach them and how you will engage them.

Understanding the ‘Why’ and ‘Who’ also helps you to make headway into the ‘When’ and ‘Where’. If your target audience all live, or work, in a specific area, the location of your event might be a no brainer. Or, if they are all part of one industry or a cross-section of people, there may be a time of year that is more appropriate, or less busy, that will help boost attendance figures.

Finally, what will happen at the event? Again, when you have your ‘Who’ and ‘Why’ fleshed out, you will have a better idea of which type of event will be most effective. For example, a convention will look very different to a company away day that aims to reward and incentivise employees because the overall objective is different. So let this guide you, and use any and all resources at your disposal to get inspired!

Coordination

When you have your concept, the planning can begin. This is most likely one of the lengthiest parts of the process, because there will likely be quite a few things you need to cover.

In the Coordination phase you’ll be looking at:

  • Deciding on a theme
  • Nailing down a solid budget
  • Drawing up an itinerary
  • Searching for a venue
  • Planning caterers/decorators
  • Booking entertainment/speakers/activity
  • Sourcing equipment
  • Coordinating transport and accommodation
  • Risk assessments & security
  • Contingency plans

The list above is by no means exhaustive. It may be shorter, or longer, based on the size and scope of your event. But the point is that throughout the coordination part of the process, you need to ensure all your bases are covered.

Start from the beginning of your event and work it through step by step. And don’t forget the finer details that are easy to miss, such as how your guests will get to the venue, how they will sign in, how they will navigate through the day, etc.

If you haven’t planned an event before, it’s easy to get caught up in the ‘fun’ parts of planning, such as sourcing a venue, entertainers and food. But you need to make sure the fundamentals are there too, so when the day of your event comes it runs smoothly from start to finish. And if there is a hitch, you have a backup plan to iron it out!

Control

Event control means just that. Staying in control. Be sure to keep things tight and stick to your plan as far as possible. If you start to go off-piste, and get distracted, it’s possible that you might waste time, money, or both on resources that don’t feed the ‘Why’ you established at the concept stage.

It may be helpful to draw up a timeline before you start planning and set yourself clear targets of what should be done, when it should be done by and who is responsible for it. You can’t be too much of a control freak in event management, so keep your eyes on the prize and ensure you have a clear understanding of what your event will look like before you do anything else.

Event control also means managing supplier and vendor relationships. If you’re working with other businesses, you are responsible for ensuring everyone is on the same page. Establish regular contact with suppliers and vendors and ensure they are fully briefed on your expectations, goals and contingency plans. Lack of communication will come back to bite you should anything go wrong, so again be sure to cover all of your bases!

Culmination

In event culmination, we reach the climax. The big day itself. Your event has come to fruition and it’s time to get the show on the road. But your job as event manager doesn’t stop when the event starts. In fact, it’s really only just begun.

The culmination phase involves communicating with suppliers, vendors and staff, keeping a close eye on timelines, monitoring security, ensuring everything is set up at the right time, etc. Just like the control phase, culmination is about steering the ship in the right direction and putting into action contingency or back up plans if it goes off course.

Make no mistake, something unexpected will happen throughout the course of your event. What will affect the outcome the most is how well you planned for it, how well you perform under pressure, and how timely this issue is communicated to you when it does occur.

Closeout

The closeout phase is what comes after the event is over. This can include ensuring the venue is clean and tidy, liaising with staff, and closing off with any caterers, entertainers, etc.

Closeout also extends to post-event management, such as getting feedback from clients, evaluating your performance, thanking attendees and staff, reviewing the budget, etc. Although you may just want to have a long lie down after your event, post-event management will help you to understand if and how you reached your goals for the event, and how you can use the momentum gained from it to move forwards.

Using The 5 C’s of Event Management For A Successful Event

The 5 C’s of event management will give you an overall structure for planning and executing your event. There is a lot to consider, even for small gatherings, meetings and conferences. Not to mention that added pressure of reaching your goals and ensuring attendees are happy, safe and engaged throughout.

Should you need any support, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. At KDM Events, we have a long track record of supporting businesses and organisations to deliver second-to-none events that are memorable for all the right reasons. From initial planning to venue finding and post-event management, we can support you when and where you need it through our flexible services. So please do get in touch if you need any help. We’re always happy to help!

How to Make Corporate Events Fun

May 2020

How to make corporate events fun

Corporate events needn’t be a drag. In fact, they shouldn’t be a drag. Whether your goal is to update your employees, share information, launch a new product, or reward your workforce, corporate events should energise and engage from beginning to end.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you make your next corporate event more memorable and engaging.

Tips For Making Corporate Events Fun

Always Leave Them Wanting More

This is a biggie. We’ve probably all experienced the overwhelming feeling of apathy that washes over us when we realise that something mind numbingly boring isn’t going to end soon. And we’ve almost definitely all experienced how it feels to enjoy something so much that we don’t want it to end!

This is the balance you want to strike with your corporate events. Activities, speeches, even entertainment, should be short and sweet. Not too short that it doesn’t leave your audience satisfied, but short enough that it leaves them wanting more.

When the attention of your audience begins to wane, you lose them. If you’re trying to communicate important information, about a product or in the course of a company update, then do everything you can to make it concise, relevant to your audience and engaging with hands on activities throughout.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Technology is a wonderful thing, but if not correctly utilised or prepared it won’t take the sting out of a boring presentation.

So, how can you jazz things up? Technology has come on leaps and bounds over the years and has the power to really engage your audience. So embrace it and consider trying something new to wow your audience. Video content, animated graphics, lighting, audio and virtual reality can all play an important part in keeping audiences engaged and entertained.

Tech can also be used to streamline your event and encourage engagements. Social media in particular can be very powerful in uniting attendees whilst creating an exciting buzz. Introducing a branded hashtag is one fantastic option to explore. By doing so, attendees can share photos, videos and insights from the day. Combine this with a livestream and you can turn your event into an exciting interactive day which everyone can get involved with!

Budget constraints will, of course, dictate the types of technology you can utilise. But if you can get creative, there’s lots of ways you can use it, even on a shoestring.

Shake Things Up

When it comes to corporate events, many of us have been there, done that and got the t-shirt. So, if you really want to impress and engage your audience it’s time to think outside of the box.

There are a number of ways you can do this. Take your theme, for example. How out there or unexpected can you get with it? Choosing an unexpected theme can also lead to more surprising elements through the course of the event extending to food, entertainment and beyond!

Of course, there’s an element of common sense to be applied to this. Take care to ensure that all aspects of your event are accessible to all guests, and that no one is excluded or left out as a result of your choices.

Mix in Interactive Elements

When you make attendees passive in your corporate events, they’ll disengage. The most effective way to create a fun, memorable event is to have interactive elements. This can range from team building activities, games, contests, or all singing, all dancing interactive stations.

Again, your budget may dictate how large you can go with this. But a little creativity goes a long way. For example, interactive food and drink stations at an event can give people the opportunity to network, come out of their shell and have a bit of fun. Or, within a talk or seminar, a quiz can be an energising way to bring people’s attention to the subject and content.

Make Having Fun One of Your Goals

As well as your main goal, you should also make fun a kind of sub goal too. This is because you get the most out of people when they are having fun, and you’re speaking to them in a language they understand.

Stuffy, corporate jargon backed up by a PowerPoint presentation just isn’t enough to capture the hearts, minds and imaginations of your audience. Watch any TED talk and you will see that the most engaging speakers are those who make the audience listen to them through storytelling and (sometimes) interactive elements.

In the planning stages of a corporate event, you should consider how engaging something is, as well as how effective it is. Chances are, if you find it snooze worthy then everyone else will!

Get Help in Planning Fun Corporate Events

At KDM Events, our whole business centres around making corporate events fun and entertaining. From team building activities to tailored audio and visual support, we’re bursting with out of the box ideas to help your next event go down in history – for all of the right reasons.

We understand that when you’re planning on spending potentially thousands of pounds on an event, you want to get the most for your money. And we can do just that. From initial planning and ideas generation to execution and post event management, our Event Managers have all the experience and know-how you could need or want in the event planning arena. Even better, we cover the whole of the UK with all our services and take pride in leaving no stone unturned in the planning process.

For an informal chat about how we can help, contact us today! We’d be happy to listen to your ideas and explain how we can help!

How to Plan Corporate Events from Start to Finish

May 2020

How to plan corporate events

So, you’re in charge of planning the next corporate event and the heat is on. How do you put together a company-wide event that won’t leave people cold or dreaming up an excuse to leave early? We can’t lie, we’ve all been there. Trapped in a stuffy room, forced to ‘enjoy’ subpar entertainment and eat less than palatable food. Not only is it boring, it has a real impact on how effectively you absorb information over the course of the event. Worse still, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth – and not just from the bad food.

How To Plan Corporate Events

Let’s face it, planning corporate events can feel overwhelming. Especially when you couple the pressure of hosting a fantastic event with the different elements involved in the planning process. However, with a little bit of know-how, positivity and organisation, it is possible to plan corporate events that absolutely don’t suck. Read on to find out how.

Nail the Details

First of all, get the finer details down and finalise them. This means nailing a date, time and overall goal for your corporate event.

If you jump headlong into searching for venues before you know when your event is going to be, you’ll just end up going around in circles. So, sit down and thrash these things out before you move on to the fun parts.

Generally, you’ll want to answer these questions:

  • Who do you want to attend?
  • Where will the event be held?
  • When will the event be held?
  • Why are you holding this event?

No doubt this part may be one of the most difficult parts of the process, as nailing down a date that suits everyone can prove difficult. As well as this, location needs to be carefully considered before you decide on a venue to ensure it is easily accessible to all of your guests. If it isn’t, you may have to consider organising transport, which will be another thing to add to your to do list!

Finally, why are you holding this event? Is it a product launch? Company update? Networking opportunity? Or something else entirely? Understanding why you are holding your corporate event will help you to plan activities and entertainment to keep attendees engaged.

Understand Your Budget

If you’re not the one in charge of the money, find out what the budget is. Of course, your aim won’t be to max this out, but rather fall comfortably within the scope you’ve been given. Working to a smaller budget than the one you have will leave a bit of wiggle room for unexpected costs that may crop up along the way.

To help you keep track of costs, set up a budget spreadsheet and make ‘mini’ budgets for venue, catering, entertainment, etc. This will help you stay on budget and avoid overspending. Plus, when you reach the negotiation stages with each supplier, you’ll have an idea of just how much you are prepared to spend to help you. Make a point of updating this spreadsheet every time you commit to spending. That way, you’ll be able to make adjustments to your spending as you go.

Brainstorm A Theme

Having a theme will help you give your event direction. When you’ve chosen one, picking a venue, decor, menus and entertainment will be a thousand times easier. Sometimes, a theme may be obvious depending on the overall purpose of your corporate events. But if it’s not, take some time to brainstorm different ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get a little bit silly. Sometimes, the best ideas grow out of the most out-there and wacky suggestions. So, get it all down on paper and then make a decision before you go any further. You may also want to run any ideas past someone else, just to check that it works outside of your head!

Source A Venue

Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. First step? Find a venue. If you already have one in mind, then it’s worth considering a few things before you jump headlong into the negotiation process. For example, some venues require you to bring your own caterer, others only allow you to use their own caterer. How many people can the venue accommodate? Is a permit required for your event? What is included in the venue hire?

If you have no idea where to start with the venue, it’s best to do some research of the area in which you’ll be holding the event. From that, you can make a long list, which you can then whittle down into a shortlist after you’ve done a bit of research. To avoid drawing this process out for too long, get your shortlist down before you start asking for quotes. That way, you can put all of your energy into chasing up the venues you’re really interested in.

When you’ve decided on your venue, got answers to all of your questions and a quote, you can then start the negotiation process. Make sure you know exactly how much you’re prepared to spend before you start, but don’t reveal this. You can also formulate a ‘benchmark’ price from the spread of quotes you have and use this to your advantage to get the best price.

Need Help Sourcing a Venue?

If you don’t have the time, contacts or negotiation know-how to do all of the above, you can use a venue finder service like the one from KDM Events. Our free venue finder service helps you to search a huge database of venues across the country, compare and contrast facilities and create a manageable shortlist. Our experienced Event Managers can also lead on getting quotes, negotiating prices and finalising contracts – leaving you to focus on more pressing matters while planning your corporate event.

Get the Food Sorted

If you’re planning on feeding your guests in the course of your corporate event (and we recommend you do!), you’ll need a caterer to help you. Now, some venues offer their own catering services which can streamline the process; however, your theme or budget may mean an alternative caterer is required.

Food is an important aspect of any corporate event. Sitting down to eat offers people a chance to network and get to know each other. In short, it’s a fantastic social activity – and your guests will most likely remember the quality of the food at your conference over a lot of other things.

If you have a theme, you should be able to narrow down a shortlist of caterers very easily. However, it’s still important to think about how food will be served as well as what will be served. For example, if you plan to host a drinks reception, you may also want hors d’oeuvres to do the rounds throughout this. If your plan is to host a dinner what form will this take? Silver service or buffet style?

Just like you did in choosing the venue, you want to cover all bases possible to ensure catering runs smoothly. So, ask lots of questions before committing and don’t forget to take into consideration special dietary requirements!

Don’t Forget Entertainment

So, you’ve nailed the venue and the caterer. But what about entertainment? Just like food, entertainment is a very memorable aspect of any corporate event so think carefully about what is appropriate for the day.

Many corporate events use this opportunity to host a team building activity over the course of the day. This could be anything ranging from a hands-on outdoor activity to a puzzle game like an Escape Room. For evening events, a DJ or a band may be appropriate to entertain guests and after dinner speakers are very common at a lot of conferences.

Entertainment also extends beyond physical entertainers and activities. Think short games, contests, giveaways and freebies. All of these things will work to keep your guests engaged and entertained.

Plan with Military Precision

With all the fun bits sorted, it’s time to delve into the logistics of your day. You’ll need to devise a schedule, or itinerary, that extends far beyond what your guests will see. Consider things like:

  • What time you can access the venue on the day
  • What time your suppliers will be arriving
  • What time your guests are arriving
  • What your agenda is
  • How you are going to communicate the agenda to guests

All staff need to be fully briefed on this itinerary, so they understand what is expected of them and they are able to advise guests with questions.

Market Your Event

When all of the above is finalised, it’s time to make sure your corporate event is well attended. If you are looking to invite only individuals within your organisation, this process is slightly easier. Whether you are sending out physical invitations or a company-wide email, ensure they include all the relevant information attendees need, such as:

  • Theme
  • Dress Codes
  • Arrival Times
  • Travel Information
  • Accommodation Information
  • Agenda
  • Parking

You may also want to set up a system to keep track of RSVPs so you know how many people will be in attendance on the day.

If your event is open and you have to spread the word, then it’s time to put your marketing hat on! You can use all kinds of avenues to promote your corporate event. Social media is a fantastic tool for getting the word out, so use this as much as possible. You may even consider using paid social media adverts to reach your target audience. A robust PR plan will also help you get your upcoming event featured on the local news or radio to boost awareness. You may also consider a direct mail campaign or print advert in an industry focused or related magazine.

Again, you’ll need to think about how people will buy tickets to your event before you start marketing it so people can sign up without a hitch!

Don’t Forget About Post Event Management

So, the event is over! Time to forget about it, right? Well, not exactly.

Now the hustle and bustle is over, you can sit back and take stock. How much did you spend? Were you well under budget, maxed out, or did you overspend? What went well? What didn’t go well? Did you achieve what you set out to do? What is the overall tone of the feedback you have received?

There are many reasons why you may ask these questions, the biggest being that it helps you to plan your next event and understand how to move forwards with the information you have. It may be that reviewing the corporate event gives you an idea for extending it. For example, if someone delivered a particularly good talk on the day, could this be shared on social media, or internally?

If the purpose of your corporate event was to network and find new clients, it may be that you follow up by using social media to reach out to them and say thank you. You could even ask them to share pictures and insights from the event using a branded hashtag!

And Relax!

We mean it this time. When all is said and done it’s time to sit down and give yourself a pat on the back. You did it! You planned and hosted a fantastic corporate event!

Get Help with Corporate Event Planning 

Hopefully, the 10 steps above will help you in planning your next corporate event. But if you find yourself hitting a roadblock, don’t worry. Our Event Managers at KDM Events work throughout the country supporting businesses to plan and deliver corporate events. No matter the size, scale or scope of your event, we can help with everything from initial planning through to post event management.

We’re flexible too! We understand that you might already have some areas covered – and that’s fine. We can just help with the difficult bits. Whether that’s sourcing a venue and negotiating the best price or dreaming up creative activities and entertainment for your delegates, we’ll channel all of our experience into creating the best, most memorable events for your needs.

To find out more, contact us today!

What is Event Management?

May 2020

What is event management

When we attend an event, we give very little thought to the planning, design, production, and resources that go into it. Well, we do when the event runs smoothly, anyway! When an event doesn’t go to plan, everyone knows about it. In some cases, it can be very minor but in others, poor planning can have a direct impact on the enjoyment of an event by delegates.

The truth is, if you’ve ever been given the task of planning and managing an event, you’ll know it is no mean feat! In fact, producing a cohesive event that takes into account the brand, target audience, theme, logistics and technicalities can be highly complex, but is also crucial to its success.

It is in this, that event management comes in. But what exactly is event management? Well, to help you understand the ins and outs of events and events management, we’ve put together this helpful article, which will explore event management in its entirety and give you an idea how it (and its principles) can help you plan your next conference or meeting.

About Event Management

Events happen every single day across the world. From awards nights to VIP events, conventions to conferences, even festivals and charity events. By and large, events make up a large part of the fabric of society. Most likely because, as human beings, we are social and find it inspiring, fun and enjoyable to come together in such ways.

Event management is what makes all these things happen. And there are many elements to it, as you will find out through the course of this article. As you can imagine an event like The Oscars does not happen spontaneously. In fact, planning for this kind of event usually starts just after the last one has ended to ensure it runs like clockwork!

What is involved in event management?

Event management is a process that encompasses the planning and execution of an event, and what happens after. The size and scope of an event will depend on how much planning is necessary, however as a general rule almost all of the same things need to be considered. Such as…

The Event Objective

Why are you holding your event? What is the end goal or result?

Before any planning takes place, it is crucial to understand an event’s purpose. For example, the purpose of The Oscars is to reward and recognise excellence in cinematic achievements. When you understand what your event objective is, the planning process will centre around it, with every action feeding into that end goal.

Timelines and Itineraries

What will happen throughout the course of your event? When will it happen? How will you move one group of people from one place to another safely and effectively?

Your timeline, or the itinerary, of your event is the framework or foundation to any successful conference, meeting, or party. Take getting married as an example. Weddings generally have a very rigid timeline, and in the planning process it is made clear how this timeline will be communicated to guests throughout the day.

A timeline or itinerary will help with the structure and planning of an event to ensure delegates arrive at the right place, at the right time, they know what is coming up next, venues and rooms are prepared in advance and essential aspects (such as lunch or refreshments) are provided in a timely, undisruptive manner.

Equipment and Suppliers

There is no doubt that, through the course of most events, you will need some external help. This could be in the form of caterers, motivational speakers, entertainers, waiting staff or decorations. It is vital to be conscious of what you need and then move through the process of sourcing them, contacting them for quotes, negotiating, short-listing and finalising contracts.

Even after that your job is by no means finished, as once a supplier has been appointed it is important to manage them, ensuring they arrive on time and fulfil their services to the agreed standard.

Budgets

Unless you have an endless pot of cash (and congratulations if you do) you’ll be working to a budget as you plan an event. Keeping sight of this budget as you wade through all the planning and preparations can be one of the hardest parts of event management, as it’s easy to lose track, get confused, or even accidentally overspend!

If you’re not au fait with negotiation either, or don’t have the contacts for the suppliers you are looking for, you may find it difficult to get the best price and max out your budget before all bases are covered…

Marketing Your Event

When all the planning is done, or even while you’re still in the planning and organisation stages, you need to market and promote your event. This is done in a variety of ways depending on the event. For example, for a wedding, invitations are sent out to guests that detail the date, time, venue and any other pertinent information. For larger events it may be necessary to use a range of marketing techniques ranging from digital marketing, social media and print advertising to direct mail to do this. However, in both cases, getting the word out about your event will ensure you’re not spending your time and money for nothing.

Risk Assessments

No matter where your event is happening, the scale of it, or who is in attendance, understanding and managing risks is crucial to event management. If we take our wedding example again, you might perhaps ask your guests to RSVP with any dietary requirements or allergies so you can avoid putting them at risk.

On a larger scale, risk assessments consider contingency plans in the case of a wide range of emergency situations and problems to ensure the safety of delegates.

Successful Event Management from KDM Events

As you can imagine, the list of event management elements above are by no means exhaustive. There are a huge number of aspects to consider when it comes to successful event management. With that in mind, it takes a wide range of skills and flexibility to get event management right from organisational skills down to an impeccable eye for detail, creativity, people skills, and financial know-how.

Are looking for support, help and advice in event management? We can help!

An award-winning event provider, our professional team has the knowledge, experience and skills to support you in planning an exciting event that is entertaining and engaging for guests. No matter the size, scale or scope of your event, our Event Managers will work alongside you to understand your needs. What’s more, we will step in when you need us, and step back when it’s time for you to take all the glory.

For more information and an informal chat about event management, contact us today!

What is a Conference?

May 2020

What is a conference

A conference is an event where a number of people come together to discuss a particular subject or share information. Conferences can last for one day, or be held over several days, depending on the size and scope of the event. Common types of conferences include:

  • Academic conferences
  • Business conferences
  • Trade conferences

About Conferences

Conferences can vary in terms of their structure & size depending on their purpose. For example, in business conferences the itinerary of events may be made up of speeches from influential individuals within the business (such as CEO’s and Directors), motivational speakers, and business updates from departments within the organisation. There may also be breakout sessions, where smaller groups come together to take part in team building activities or workshops.

Conferences can vary in size, however they do tend to be bigger than workshops or seminars. In some cases, certain conferences can attract thousands of delegates worldwide. In others, they may only be made up of employees from a single business.

Business Conferences

Business conferences are a fantastic way to bring groups of people together who otherwise would work apart, especially if they are part of the same organisation. For businesses with offices or shops nationwide, a conference allows you to bring everyone together and communicate business updates, new products, future plans and structural changes. Conferences can also be used as an opportunity to boost morale, promote team building, incentivise, and recognise and reward individuals for their achievements.

Academic Conferences

An academic conference is an event where researchers present their work and findings in a particular field to their peers. These types of events are necessary to allow for professionals to connect, discuss issues and share information. Usually, these types of conferences centre around one core theme or section of academia to allow for more focused sharing of information.

Trade Conferences

While trade shows offer the opportunity for businesses to showcase their products to customers, trade conferences are more geared towards the exchange of information and education of attendees. In these types of events, individuals come together who have a shared interest, or investment, in a certain area and take part in discussions and talks with other professionals. Again, trade conferences will generally revolve around a core theme, with talks and workshops reflecting these themes throughout the course of the event.

What is the purpose of a conference?

From the above explanations it’s not hard to infer that the purpose of a conference is to share information on a large scale while entertaining your audience. No matter what it is you need to communicate, it is much easier to do so when all your delegates are in one place. And not just on a practical level either. A conference organised with creativity and innovation in mind can be highly effective in its purpose. What’s more, they offer a fabulous opportunity to recognise and reward a workforce or even give like-minded people the opportunity to network and share ideas.

Planning Conferences with Us

For over 25 years, the team at KDM Events has forged a strong reputation for conference planning and production. No matter the size of your guest list, goals or budget, we have the knowledge, experience and creative flair to help you plan and deliver a conference that excites and informs.

From strategy and theme development, to supplier management and post event measurement, we can support you in covering all the bases needed for conferences that go without a hitch. To find out more, contact us today to talk about all things conference management!

Team Building Ideas for The Office

May 2020

Fun Team Building Ideas

Team building. We all know that it’s a useful way to learn more about each other and develop our skills. But we also all know that, when done wrong, team building can be an eye-roll inducing test of endurance that sees you wishing the day away and learning pretty much nothing about yourself or others.

If you’ve been tasked with planning team building activities for the workplace, there’s no doubt that you will be acutely aware of this fact. And the reason you’re here is you’re stuck for ideas or inspiration, and you’re keen to make sure your efforts hit the mark.

To help and inspire you, we’ve put together a huge list of ideas for work. The first section of this article will focus on team building activities that can be carried out in-house. These are generally shorter, require less resources and can be applied to a whole range of scenarios. In the second part of the article, we’ll look at some bigger, meatier team building activities that can be carried out as part of an away day, conference or meeting.

Across all these team building ideas, we’ll take care to relate them to the types of skills they will focus on and the benefits employees will be able to carry on through the workplace.
Ready? Let’s get stuck in!

Team Building Ideas for The Office

Before we dive into our top team building ideas for the office, let’s look at where and how you can apply them. If you have any training days coming up, team building activities can be a great way of loosening everyone up before leading into a topic. These are sometimes called icebreakers. For established teams, these activities can be used periodically for a change of pace, or to prompt groups to think about different types of skills.

Alternatively, quick team building activities can be used in team huddles to kickstart the day.

One of the common misconceptions about team building is they must take up hours and hours of time. They don’t! Little and often can be effective too for getting employees to think outside the box, work together effectively, and communicate better.

In Office Team Building Activities

Playing Card Jigsaw

Skills Focus: Communication skills, negotiation skills, empathy
Number of People: 6+
Time Required: 15-20 minutes
Materials: A deck of cards, pair of scissors, envelopes

Instructions:

  1. Begin by splitting the group into teams of two or more
  2. Pick six playing cards for each person in the activity. So, if you have 6 people, you’ll need 36 playing cards.
  3. Cut each card into four even pieces. You can do this by cutting the cards in an X shape.
  4. Mix all the card pieces together and equally divide them between the appropriate number of envelopes (e.g. If you have 3 teams, split the cards between 3 envelopes.)
  5. Give each team an envelope and set a timer for 3 minutes.
  6. In that time, teams need to work to sort their pieces and find out what they are missing to make up a complete card. They must also develop a bargaining strategy that they will use to negotiate with other teams in order to obtain their required pieces.
  7. When the 3 minutes are up, teams must start to barter with each other to acquire their missing pieces. Give them 8-10 minutes to do this.
  8. After the given time, each team must declare how many complete cards they have. The team with the most is the winner

Following this activity, the facilitator may choose to bring the team together and ask a few questions. You could ask teams how they think they worked together, which bartering techniques were the most effective, and what they would do differently next time. You might also ask teams to share what kind of skills they used throughout the course of the activity to be successful.

2 Truths, 1 Lie

Skills Focus: Communication skills
Number of people: 5+
Time Required: 10-20 minutes
Materials: None

Instructions:

  1. Gather the team round in a circle and ensure everyone is facing one another.
  2. Ask each person in the group to write down 2 true things about themselves, and one lie.
  3. When they have done this, ask each person to share their facts, and their lie, in a random order.
  4. The aim of the game is for the rest of the team to identify the lie through asking questions.

This is a particularly good activity for groups of people that don’t know each other very well, as it allows everyone to have a bit of fun and learn interesting things about each other. The game also helps participants refine their questioning and active listening skills.

Marshmallow Tower

Skills focus: Collaboration, Problem Solving
Number of people: 3+
Time required: 10-15 minutes
Materials: 20 sticks of spaghetti (uncooked), roll of masking tape, string, 1 marshmallow

Instructions:

1. Hand the team the materials and instruct them to build the tallest tower possible in 10 minutes. Stipulate the tower must stand on its own, and only the materials given to them may be used.
This is a fun activity that encourages teams to work together to solve a problem. This focuses on communication skills, innovation and collaboration.

The Human Knot

Skills focus: Communication, problem solving, adaptability, collaboration
Number of people: 5+
Time required: 5-10 minutes
Materials: Nothing

Instructions:

1. Get your team to stand in a circle, facing each other. Each person must reach out and hold hands with two people that aren’t standing next to them.
2. When they have done this, they will all be tangled up. The aim of the game is to get them to untangle and form a circle – but they can’t let go of anyone’s hand!

This game is a great way to loosen up teams and get them communicating effectively with one another. It’s also a great way to prompt innovative thinking and promote creativity.

Team Building Day Ideas

Getting out and about outside the confines of the office can be a fantastic way to energise your team and open their minds. There are many team building activities you can do at either an alternative venue or even outdoors. Read on for some ideas and inspiration to fuel your planning:

The Hungry Games

Skills focus: Teamwork, communication, problem solving
Number of people: Up to 168
Requirements: Flat grassed open space, bows, foam tipped arrows, facemasks, camp equipment

Inspired by the iconic Hunger Games series (but nowhere near as brutal), the Hungry Games sees teams go head to head as districts into the world of arena survival! Teams members will hone their weapon wielding skills through axe throwing, spear making and combat archery as they compete to win points and additional equipment.
At the climax of the event, teams will work together to create a weatherproof camp complete with roaring fire and warming drinks!

Barista Experience

Skills focus: Active listening, innovation, creativity, communication
Number of people: 4-30
Requirements: Space for tables and chairs for each team, coffee making equipment

If coffee fuels the office, then a Barista Experience is a sure-fire way to get everyone on board with team building.

In this activity, teams will be given a brief history of the espresso along with key information on how to make the perfect cup. Following this, teams of 5 will work together to develop a wonderful range of coffee-based beverages before trying their hand at serving them up in a top of the range barista bar.

Escape the Office

Skills focus: Problem solving, communication, innovation, collaboration
Number of people: max. 150
Requirements: Enough space for a table and chairs for each team

Escape rooms are fantastic team building activities. And this unique, interactive experience sees teams battling it out to solve a series of puzzles in order to be the first to escape the office.
Throughout the course of the activity, teams will be provided with a selection of typical desk items, along with locked filing cabinet jam packed with a selection of random items. But they’re not as random as they seem! In order to escape, teams will have to utilise all their problem-solving prowess and communicate with each other effectively. But don’t forget, the clock is ticking, and there’s only 60 minutes to escape!

Organising Team Building for Your Workplace

From escape rooms to activity focused away days, getting out of the office for team building activities is a sure-fire way to shake things up, push employees out of their comfort zones and have some fun!

At KDM Events, we can help with all sorts of team building. What’s more, we can set up most activities at a venue of your choosing and bring all the necessary equipment along with us. Our expert Event Crew will also facilitate your chosen event, ensuring each participant gets as much as possible out of the day. To find out more contact us today.

Posted in Team Building Blog

Reduce Staff Turnover with Team Building

April 2020

Reducing Staff Turnover

High staff turnover is a big problem for many organisations. Not only is it costly having to continuously recruit for staff, it’s also time consuming and can have a big impact on productivity when there’s the constant need to train new employees only for them to leave weeks or months later.

If your organisation is suffering from moderate to high turnover, it’s important to look at your team dynamics critically and understand what is and isn’t working. When you can get to the root cause of high turnover, you can begin to understand and address it.

Amongst other things, employee engagement has a direct influence on staff turnover. One way to boost employee engagement is through team building activities and efforts within your organisation. Below are just a few ways you can work towards reducing your turnover through team building and employee engagement activities.

Team Building to Reduce Staff Turnover

Workplaces are communities, just like anywhere else. So, creating a sense of community within the office is important to help individuals connect and feel part of something bigger. Work environments that promote an ‘every man for themselves’ culture are often quite toxic and, left unchecked, too much competitive spirit can soon lead to burn out. Which, you guessed it, results in high turnover.

Hold Regular Meetings

Team building doesn’t have to mean an all singing, all dancing activity (although these are effective). It can be as simple as regular team meetings to keep everyone in the loop. All employees should be 100% in the know about what is expected of them in their role and how their contributions feed into the success of the business. So, make a point of being clear about this at every opportunity, and regularly touch base with staff to reaffirm this and listen to their fears, apprehensions and challenges.

Organise Team Building Activities

Team building and team bonding activities are a fantastic way to foster employee engagement. Getting everyone from the top down involved in team building activities can help everyone feel better connected, understand one another and learn how to work effectively.

Team building and team bonding can be arranged on a scale that works for your teams too. From quick, 10-minute ice breaker games to full on day-long activities in or outside of the office. Similarly, team bonding, such as going out for after-work drinks or getting together for a meal, can encourage employees to connect and get to know each other outside of the workplace, leading to stronger, more stable relationships.

Let People Shine

If a person has a passion that can be utilised within their role, let them do it! When people feel like their skills and contributions are valued and nurtured, they’re more likely to stick around and give more of themselves to a company. This may not always be possible at every turn, but where possible give employees the freedom to unleash their creativity and be themselves. You never know where it could lead for the team they are working in, or the organisation as a whole!

Offer Opportunities for Development

As well as nurturing individual talents and letting creativity shine, offer regular opportunities for development through staff. Each employee should have a personal development plan that works to develop any gaps in knowledge and help them flourish within their role. Ensure you put ample time into this part of your employee retention strategy. Listen when an employee tells you they need support and action this swiftly.

You might also offer informal opportunities for development. This could mean giving someone a little more responsibility by delegating tasks to them or asking them to train up a new member of staff. Things like this can go a huge way to making staff feel valued and supported, rather than left at sea in their own little bubble.

Recognise & Reward

Everyone loves to be recognised for the work they are doing, especially if they’re trying their hardest. Having a structured, consistent method of recognising and rewarding effort and performance is fantastic for employee engagement. For some workplaces, it may be par for the course to offer monthly, quarterly or annual bonuses as recognition for hard work. Alternatively, you may consider other incentives like a benefits program where employees can work towards a reward through reaching certain targets.

However you choose to recognise and reward staff, make sure the method of doing so is consistent and fair. While it may not always be possible to measure everyone’s performance by the same benchmark, finding a way to do so that’s on a par with other departments and job roles will ensure that no one gets left out or feels as though their particular incentives are unobtainable.

Reducing Staff Turnover with Team Building

Team building is effective for many reasons. One of these is boosting employee engagement. When you invite employees to get involved in team building sessions you are giving them an opportunity to showcase their skills, get hands on and communicate with their fellow team members. Team building also extends to different aspects of the workplace too. Team building happens when you get your employees together for a meeting, offer training opportunities, or hand out rewards and recognition based on performance.

In short, employee engagement and team building go hand in hand. But it doesn’t always mean you have to go all out. Smaller, less grand gestures can still feed into employee morale and bring turnover down. Never forget that little things can mean a lot!

Posted in Team Building Blog

What are the types of team building?

April 2020

Outdoor Obstacle Course

Team building can take many forms. It can be used to help develop and refine skills, improve relationships, or unite groups of people in working toward a common goal. In this article, we’ll look at the different types of team building, and how you can use them within your organisation.

Types of Team Building

Activity Based Team Building

Activity based team building is about getting your team working to achieve a common goal. It normally takes place out of the office and is typically designed to push team members out of their comfort zones and challenge them.

Often activity-based team building is physical in nature. For example, at KDM Events we regularly host outdoor activity-based team building such as The Hungry Games, Out of Office Olympics and Ninja Workout.

Problem-Solving Team Building

Problem solving team building is designed to challenge your teams on an intellectual level. Often, it involves your team having to solve a puzzle, or a series of puzzles, to ‘win’ the game. This type of team building activity is particularly good at getting teams to assess each other’s strengths and apply them to a task.

Here at KDM, our problem-solving team building activities include our GPS Treasure Quest, Bushcraft Survival Skills, CSI Experience & Escape the Office.

Skills Based Team Building

Skills based team building is designed to focus on a skill or set of skills. These could be communication, problem solving, decision making, or adaptability. It can also extend to trust building activities, which aims to strengthen bonds between team members for more effective work relationships.

Skills based team building usually blurs into other types of team building activities too, as many require participants to use certain skill sets to succeed.

Team Bonding

While all the above types of team building are focused on developing teams professionally, team bonding activities promote better social relationships between colleagues. These types of activities are usually organised just for fun but can vary widely in their execution.

On a simple scale, team bonding activities can take the form of a team meal or after-work drinks. But they can also be more structured too. For example, many of our team building activities are designed to help colleagues let their hair down and have a fun day away from the office.

How can team building help you?

Team building is vital in supporting teams to work more productively. It not only helps your employees refine their skills, try something new and (safely) step out of their comfort zone, it also brings them closer together and acts as a refreshing way to get out of the office for a few hours.

To find out more about how different types of team building can help you to develop your employees and facilitate better work relationships, contact us today.

Posted in Team Building Blog

5 Quick Ways to Promote Team Building in The Workplace

April 2020

Promoting Team Building

The difference between a team that works well together and one that doesn’t is truly astounding. When a group of people tasked to work toward a common goal don’t gel the results can be not only unproductive but destructive, too.

It is simply untenable for a team that doesn’t communicate well or trust one another to continue to work together effectively. Problems need to be addressed swiftly with a focus on improving areas where individuals aren’t collaborating effectively and nurturing skills and qualities that are present to encourage them.

Which is where team building comes in. Team building goes great lengths to repairing broken relationships, encouraging creativity, fostering collaboration and increasing productivity. But, to be successful, everyone needs to be on board with team building. If it is met with resistance and cynicism, it doesn’t work, and all your meticulous planning will fall on deaf ears. Not good!

So, how do you promote team building in the workplace and get everyone on board? Here, we give you a few tips and tricks that you can implement from today. They will prime your team for their next team building activity and encourage them to carry the desired skills and activities through into the workplace.

Get Your Team Involved in Planning

We’ve all been there. Thrust together into a team building exercise you don’t understand the point of. At best it feels like a waste of time. At worst it feels awkward and cringeworthy.
If your team is resistant to the idea of team building, get them involved in planning. Do your research and select a range of activities and present them to your team. Ask them to vote on their favourite or put forward suggestions on activities they would like to do.

If you feel confident asking, hold a meeting and get your team to discuss the areas they would like to improve on when it comes to working together. And how best they would like to address them. Obviously, you need to maintain ultimate control over the final decision (especially if you’re working to a budget), but the more involved the team is, the more likely they are to engage with the activity and understand the reasons behind it.

Start Small

Team building activities don’t have to involve grand gestures. At least not straight away. In fact, they can be simple 10-minute exercises to help get employees in the right frame of mind. Short and sweet team building games can be used throughout training, or at the start of meetings, to give groups of employees the chance to break out of the ‘day-to-day’ mindset and view working together from a different perspective.

Regular use of mini team building games or activities could then lead to a larger event or day out. Building up to this is useful if you feel that a full-on team building day may be intimidating or met with resistance.

Get Leaders Involved

If you plan team building activities for a group of employees, but don’t get involved yourself, how do you expect them to respond? To effectively promote team building and its effectiveness, it’s important to get all ranks and organisational levels involved in the activity. Remember, you are part of the team too – and a pretty important one at that!

When you’re planning and executing team building activities, be sure to get everyone involved, especially senior members of staff. And make sure they’re enthusiastic about it! As leaders, one of the best things you can do to promote effective team working is to lead by example. So, drop rank (and ego) at the door and get stuck in!

Have A Clear Goal

The key to effective team building is to have a clear goal in mind for which areas of teamwork you’d like to improve. This involves really drilling down into what isn’t working and identifying the skills that need tightening up. It’s no use choosing a team building activity with no clear goal in mind. Or how else will you measure its effectiveness?

Not only that but having a clear goal in mind for your team building efforts will allow you to communicate this to the team. Rather than just telling them they are participating in a team building activity, be clear as to what it means for them. How will it benefit them? How will they be able to apply it in their day-to-day work?

Be Positive

Positivity is contagious. Honestly! If you take a positive, happy-go-lucky approach to working together with your team, this will rub off on them. There’s nothing worse than a workplace that solely seeks to blame and dress down those who are wrong. In fact, often it leads to people becoming closed off and afraid to take accountability for their actions.

If you take an approach to leadership which is open and positive, then in return your teams will be open, honest and positive too. Both with you and with each other.

Promoting Team Building in The Workplace

Promoting team building in the workplace can start small and lead to bigger things. As we’ve mentioned above, it may begin with simply asking your team where improvements are needed and getting them involved in choosing activities they may like to be involved with. This may then grow into more concentrated efforts to drill down into developing specific team building skills, either throughout the working week or as part of an office away day.

See Our Full List of Customisable Team Building Games

However, you choose to approach promoting team building in the workplace, the key is to lead by example. If you can demonstrate effective team working in everything you do, then the effects of this will trickle down through your team and create a cohesive atmosphere driven by collaboration. If you would like some support in choosing team building activities for your team that are fun, engaging and effective click here to see our full list of customisable team building games or contact us to find out more.

Posted in Team Building Blog

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