Meetings and Conferences Blog Latest Events

How to Choose a Venue for a Conference

June 2020

Searching for a Venue

Choosing the right venue for a conference is an important part of the planning process. It forms the foundation upon which the rest of your event will be built. Get it wrong and you may end up with a space too small for the number of guests, or unsuitable for the type of event you are looking for.

When choosing a venue for a conference, there are a few key elements you must consider. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to choose the right venue for your conference.

1. What’s Your Budget

Budget is everything when planning a conference. No matter how creative or big your ideas are, if you haven’t the money to pay for it then it’s a huge waste of time. So, before you even start brainstorming venue ideas work out exactly how much of your budget will be given to the venue.

Knowing your venue budget right down to the last penny will help you to make a shortlist much quicker. That’s not to say you should entirely rule out any venue that falls over budget (you can still negotiate). But keeping your budget in mind will certainly help you to rule out venues that fall way out of range and aren’t worth spending too much time on.

Bear in mind that there are some factors that can bring the price of hiring a venue down, such as the day of the week or the time of year. Similarly, being flexible with your dates may help you to get a better price. These things are worth keeping in mind as you move forwards, as they may help you to get a bit more bang for your buck.

2. Location, Location, Location

Location is important because it will influence how many people attend your event. Ideally your chosen venue should be accessible by public transport, near to hotels, and have plenty of parking for attendees. The easier it is for your guests to get to a venue and stay there should they have to, the more likely they will be to attend.

Of course, there are ways around this if your dream venue isn’t located near train stations or airports. For example, you could arrange for guest transportation to take them to and from the venue to make their journeys simpler. However, choosing a venue that ticks these boxes will leave more time (and money) for other things.

3. Size Matters

The size of your venue matters. If your guest list is 1,000 people strong but your chosen venue can only safely and comfortably accommodate 500 people, then you’re going to have a problem.
Similarly, a venue with huge capacity is not a cost-effective choice for a smaller audience.

Simply, size matters. So take a look at your guest list or invitee list and decide on the capacity you’re going to need. Some venues may have several conference rooms suitable for different party sizes. Having a rough idea of how many people will be in attendance will help you choose the right sized venue for your event.

4. Explore What’s Included – And What Isn’t

It is not safe to assume that some features and facilities will automatically be included in venue hire. This could lead to a huge misstep further down the line as you have to plough more money into securing features you thought you were getting as standard.

To avoid this, be sure to ask lots of questions. If you there will be a presentation over the course of your conference, is there AV equipment available you can use? If you are planning on serving food, do the venue have the facilities? If so, do they allow for outside caterers or can you only use their in-house team? What are the different configuration options for a room? How many people does each room seat? How accessible is the venue for wheelchair users or attendees with reduced mobility?

The best thing to do before choosing a venue is to write down all of the questions you can think of. Be sure to explore all avenues so you can feel confident that all bases are covered and you won’t hit any stumbling blocks further down the line.

5. Make a shortlist

When you have taken all the above considerations into account, you should be able to create a shortlist of venues. This consists of all the venues that tick the boxes of the elements you’ve considered above.

Try and keep this shortlist…well, short because you’re going to be getting quotes from them all in the near future. If your shortlist is too big it could make the process more lengthy than it needs to be, which will keep you focusing on other parts of conference planning.

6. Use a Venue Finder

Finding your perfect venue can be a time consuming process. If you’re juggling this task with other areas of event management it can also be quite daunting. For this reason, we offer a handy venue finder and hire service to help you to find the perfect venue to meet your needs and budget.

Having been in the industry for over 30 years, we understand that finding the right venue involves much more than simply ticking boxes. Liaising with venues can also be very time consuming.
The good news is that our team of event management professionals are on hand to help you to find the right venue for your event quickly and easily. Using our online portal, we can access an independent database of over 1,000 venues in the UK and overseas. In addition to offering a huge range of options, we can also manage quotes, bookings and contracts – providing you with quick and easy access to important Procurement and Management reports showing your spend, savings, and booking trends

Finding a Venue With No Hidden Costs

If you choose to use our venue finder, there is no financial cost to you. Our time is covered by the commissions paid by venues to venue finders such as ourselves. This is a standard within the industry and has no impact on the venue’s pricing to you.

In fact, it’s a great benefit to have a professional team on your side with experience of hoteliers to negotiate pricing and contracts on your behalf. Venues are happy to negotiate rates for each specific booking in order to win the business. So, we work hard to negotiate the best deals for you, knowing the current deals on offer, past rates quoted and areas where venues can add value. Put simply, we thrive on getting our clients a great deal!

Speak to our team today for

If you are interested in using our venue finder services, please contact us today today. From hotels situated in the heart of bustling urban centres, to large scale conference centres, famous sporting venues, and stately properties, we can help you to select the right venue which will make your event a real success.


How To Manage Corporate Events

May 2020

Events Banner

Managing corporate events is a big job – no matter the size and scope of the occasion. It requires the spinning of many, many plates from start to finish, not to mention balancing the needs and wants of attendees within the constraints of a budget. But while it’s hard work, it’s also very rewarding. From conferences to seminars and company-wide parties, when everything comes together and you achieve your goals, it makes all the leg work worthwhile.

If you’ve been tasked with managing your organisation’s next company event, we’re on hand to help. In this article, we’ll take you step by step through how to manage corporate events. And if you need any extra help, contact us. We’re on hand to advise at any stage and our team is always happy to help.

Managing Corporate Events: A Step By Step Guide

Begin With A Budget

You may have big plans but you’re still going to have to work to a budget. And it’s not enough to simply know roughly how much you want to spend. Instead, get granular with it. Really think about what elements of your event are most important, and which areas you’re willing to spend a little less. For all corporate events, we would recommend portioning out the budget to each element of the day as you make your plan (see below). Doing this will be a great help when you come to negotiate on prices and gather quotes!

Make A Plan

Before you make a start, make a plan. Everything is much more manageable with a plan. But make sure it’s thorough. While it’s unlikely (but not impossible!) that big elements will be forgotten, it’s usually the smaller details that get left out. And trust us when we say that it doesn’t go unnoticed when they are. So, make a list. Move step by step through the event and write down all the things that need to be taken care of. Don’t forget to consider elements such as transport, lighting, and marketing!

Assemble Your Team

No man is an island, and when it comes to event planning many hands really do make light work. What’s more, collaborating with others and being able to put ideas out of your own head is definitely better than going it alone. So, when you have your plan of action in place, get your team together to run through the brief.

It’s important to make your team aware of the overall goal of the event and the budget they’re working to. If you assign very clear roles and expectations at this stage, it helps you stay on top of the whole process. So, be very clear. Set out what you expect of who and when you expect it by. If you’ll be having regular planning meetings, make sure these are in the diary and they are honoured.

Stay In Touch

When you have a team of people working together on planning an event it’s important to stay in control. Don’t just assume that everything will be done only for it all to come crashing down around you on the day. Instead, stay in touch and ensure everyone keeps you up to date of developments, challenges and achievements. Similarly, make sure you keep your team in the loop too. Make sure that any changes to the plan are communicated quickly so adjustments can be made.

As well as this, ensure you are in regular contact with vendors, venues, and suppliers throughout the course of planning. Ask questions and ensure that everyone is aware of where they should be, when they should be there and what they should be doing.

Create A Marketing Strategy

There’s no point in planning an exciting, engaging event if no one is there to experience it. So, make marketing a part of your overall plan too. For company-wide events, this means devising a marketing strategy to spread the word (through emails and posters, for example) and handle the RSVP process.

For corporate events such as networking, or a product launch, you may want to compose a guest list. This isn’t simply just a list of names of people you would like to attend but their contact information too. When this is done, it’s time to build a buzz around your event to get people engaged. The most effective way to do this is through a multi-channel marketing campaign that uses all the tools at your disposal. Think social media marketing, email marketing, direct marketing and any other creative ways you can deliver your message to your intended audience.

Be Prepared For Anything

You want your event to go swimmingly, however that’s not always a realistic expectation to have. While you can keep the majority of elements under your control, sometimes things just go wrong for one reason and another. For these instances, have a contingency plan. Having a plan B under your belt will help you to stay calm should anything go wrong. And if you can handle an issue quickly without losing control of the situation, it’s more likely that your guests will be none the wiser that anything was amiss.

Much like you did at the start of planning, it’s important to brief your team and make your expectations clear. Who should they speak to if there is a problem? How will they be able to communicate with you? What is their role in an emergency?

Finally, make sure everyone is aware of the itinerary and is confidently able to signpost guests should any questions arise. Ensure they know the basics too, such as where the bathrooms and fire exits are and any other information guests are likely to ask about.

Ask For Help

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that event planning isn’t your only role at the moment. So, not only do you have the task of spinning all the above plates, you’ve also got your own job to do as well. Having a clear plan and the support of a team is one step to breaking down what seems like a mammoth task into manageable bite-size parts, but you may still find yourself feeling overwhelmed.

If this is the case, then ask for help! Event management organisations (like us!) eat, sleep and breathe all things corporate events. Therefore, with their help you can turn a colossal task into a manageable one, while still getting your day job done.

Here at KDM Events, we provide flexible support with corporate events. If you don’t want us involved from start to finish, we’ll take the reins on the things you need help with and leave you to the rest. Similarly, if you’d like to hand over your event and have someone else take control entirely, we can do that too! From venue sourcing to entertainment, motivational speakers, team building activities, security, decoration, sound, lighting and more, we use our experience, knowledge, and contacts within the industry to create second to none events that guests love.

Talk To Us About Corporate Events

Our Event Managers are on hand to help you flesh out the goals of your event and ways in which you can make it engaging and memorable for all the right reasons. What’s more, we’ll help you achieve all this while staying true to your budget. To get in touch, simply give us a call at either of our offices in the Midlands or London and talk to us about your next event.


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!


Christmas Team Building – The Top 5

September 2019

Find the perfect Christmas team building activity for your next event.

Try something different this festive period and add some cheer to your annual gathering. Add one of our festive team building activities to make your Christmas get-together more productive. Including a team build into your itinerary will help boost your teams Christmas Spirit, at the same time encouraging collaboration and teamwork.

We have a whole host of Christmas activities and entertainment to choose from. Read on, for the very best Christmas Team Building options, KDM Event’s TOP 5!

Empty wooden table for present product on coffee shop or soft drink bar blur background with bokeh image.

Festive Barista Experience 

Wake up and smell the coffee! In fact, why not grind, blend, pour and taste it while you’re at it? This is your chance to try your hand at creating your own espresso blend and learning the intricate art of the Barista with a Christmas twist.

Guests will be provided with all the knowledge and equipment necessary to develop a wonderful array of coffee-based beverages. Of course, this is a Festive Coffee Experience! All the extra special ingredients to make wonderful seasonal tastes such as ginger, chestnut, hazelnut and cinnamon come as standard…along with decorations!

 

Mulled Wine Tasting 

A Christmas Team Building favourite, this is a 90-minute vino trip to remember! Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a relative novice, this dip into the fascinating world of wine will leave your taste buds wanting more! Our award-winning sommelier hosts the pre-dinner event allowing your guests to sample and enjoy wines from around the world. Eyeballing, swirling, sniffing and swishing will all become second nature as you attempt to identify the bouquet, the after-taste and even the colour of the fabulous selection on offer including the special festive mulled treats.

Ice Sculpting

Bring something unique to this year’s December conference. The ‘Team Ice Challenge’ is a great teambuilding session with the versatility to be used as either a fun break out session or a fully involved event.

After an inspirational demonstration, teams will have the opportunity to ‘try their hands’ at carving a masterpiece ice sculpture! Using the carving kits provided, including chisels, leather gloves and goggles, teams must follow directions to successfully carve their creations. Why not take a look at our event video here

 

Santa Sleigh Build 

‘Santa’s Sleigh’ is a fantastic, fun-filled Christmas Team Building event designed to challenge teams to work together. Involving elements of innovation, creativity, teamwork and ‘driving’ skill – your guests will find an area to excel in! Teams will be required to build their own sleigh using the kit provided to them. It’s then a race against the clock to strip and rebuild their sleighs to win points as the fastest pit crew. Teams then use their creative skills to transform their sleigh into a machine that Santa would be proud of! With the ultimate dream machines created, it’s time for the MOT before teams compete in the Christmas Present Dash. 

Merry Mega Quiz  

Bring teams together for an interactive evening of Christmassy fun this is an event to remember! Incorporating all things Christmas the event includes a Trivia round, Christmas Movies, The Price is Right (Christmas presents & stocking fillers!) and Yuletide Food & Drink. Between these themed rounds, we allow for those who may have Christmas fatigue by including general rounds of observation, history, geography and a good old-fashioned pen and paper round.

Will you win the Merry Mega Quiz Championship title?

 

Of course, this isn’t all of our Christmas offerings. Visit our Christmas Party Idea’s page here for more inspiration 


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.



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