Team Building Blog Latest Events

What Went Wrong? Pre-problem Solving For An Issue Free Conference Event

October 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

September 2017

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

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

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

Creating a transformational event

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A result any events company would be proud of!


End to End Team Building & Event Management for a Unified Conference Experience

August 2017

KDM recently produced a unique experience comprising of team building activities, company party entertainment and end-to-end event management for an occasion any events company would be proud to showcase – a senior-level international conference that unified the senior global team behind a new leadership ethos.

About our client: Tunstall Healthcare Group is the market-leading provider of technology-enabled care services. Operating in over 50 countries and supporting over 3.6 million people worldwide, the organisation’s technology and services play a key role in helping older people and those with long-term needs to stay out of hospital and residential care and live independently.

The Brief: Our client asked for KDM’s support in planning its annual three-day conference. The event would provide a rare opportunity to bring together the company’s senior global team, to network, share common goals and take the company’s vision forward.

Our first task was to source a venue for an event that would include guest speakers, award ceremonies, workshops and team building activities. The CEO favoured a country house-style venue for 60 participants that would be prestigious but not ostentatious, in a rural location. With colleagues travelling from Australia, the US and Europe the location needed to be no more than an hour from Manchester Airport .

KDM involvement: We proposed Rookery Hall, an Elizabethan-style mansion in Cheshire. Having worked previously with the venue we were confident that it could deliver on all fronts, providing the requested auditorium and break-out rooms. We undertook the graphic design of logos, invitations and event branding. All collateral reflected the ‘Unify’ vision for the company’s strategy – the ethos of pulling together and collaborating. KDM also managed the conference AV and production, gala dinner theming and provision of evening entertainment.

One of the event’s highlights was a team building activity – The Missing Link. Devised by KDM, the exercise involved 10 teams each tasked with building ‘their’ section of the Missing Link machine. Gradually teams discovered that rather than competing, they needed to cooperate collectively to bring together the interconnected modules. KDM’s Senior Event Manager facilitated the activity, sharing notes on how each individual behaved within their team with the client’s own facilitator who fed-back progress live at the event. The Missing Link put into practice the company’s new strategy and enabled delegates to experience first hand the ‘Unify’ theme.

Client feedback: Carolyn Reed, Global HR Director said: “A big thank you to you and the team – the support the team has given us for Unify has been nothing short of brilliant!”


When in Rome

April 2017

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

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

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

So what did the two day event consist of?

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

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

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

And the feedback?

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


A Great British Party

March 2017

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

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

So what did we produce in those 2 weeks?

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


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

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

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

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

The client was undoubtedly pleased by the outcome:

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

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

Posted in Team Building Blog

Gamification: Trending or Distracting?

October 2016

Here at KDM, we invest a great deal of time into our future by way of research and development, we’re often looking for ways to ensure we’re ahead of trends in the industry, setting trends through innovation and keeping a close eye on any relevant developments in UK business as a whole to ensure we have the best possible understanding of our clients’ needs and even restrictions.

Trends are important to every business, understanding them is key to ensuring that you keep pace with your industry and events are no exception. We’ve been delivering successful events for 25 years and over that period we’ve seen many trends come and go, surrounded in buzzwords and TLAs, some have developed and become standard practice in event management but some, it would seem, are little more than one salesman’s quick response to a difficult question that escalated rather quickly taking on a life of its own.

gamificationThe one we’ve been watching particularly in 2016 is ‘Gamification’: the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.

Gamification is not new, it is part of that we’ve been doing for years and this year it seems to be becoming a gimmick serving only to help brush over the important aspects of event management and delivery that event organisers are actually looking for an open dialogue on. The elements of game playing which are part of our team building activities and corporate entertainment events are important, but nowhere near as important as the objectives for the event and measuring an events performance against them.

Engaging delegates at an event is imperative to the overall success, but if only the method is engaging and not the content or the result, reporting back to the Head of Finance and/or HR on the tangible benefits that investment has produced, could be a difficult task.

Our mission is to discover the objectives set by every event organiser who comes to us and with that information provide an event which will help to achieve the goals that led to the decision to hold the event in the first place, and we do that by getting to know our clients and their business, providing free measurement tools with every team building activity we deliver and following up with intelligent analysis on how well the event performed.

If you’re looking to organise an event with the aim of increasing sales, establishing a new set of company values, improving team communication in order to speed up day to day processes or educating staff in preparation for the launch of a new product, get in touch with us – you can be confident that the relevant methods and technology will be a part of your experience while a professional focus is maintained on the objectives you need to meet in order to ensure you’re achieving the best possible results.


Corporate Team Building Event: The Crystal Mazed Mobile Experience

September 2016

We’ve all been there! It’s your annual Conference and Company Party, you’ve spent the day discussing how brilliantly you all performed last year (which is why you’re here getting treated like royalty in this fabulous location) and finding out about the great new ideas the Company is going to be moving forward with.

Cue, team building activity to cement the great working relationships you’ve built and generate new levels of company values and trust. The day’s enjoyable and team spirit is at an all time high, and you know what to expect from the team building event ahead… or do you?

This team were very pleasantly surprised to learn upon arrival at the outdoor activity field, that this year, their team building event was to be quite the new experience!

Following the high-profile launch of Central London’s The Crystal Maze Experience, the Event Organisers had sourced KDM’s The Crystal Mazed Mobile Experience to come to them, all of the problem solving, time pressure and cash grabbing frenzy of the classic TV show was right here at their annual conference to set the fun, competitive tone of the day and re-energise the team ready for an evening of corporate entertainment.

The success of The Crystal Mazed comes down to the way it was designed & developed, to be completely mobile. Very few delegates expect to leave their conference room and find the Aztec, Medieval & Industrial / Futuristic Zones set up on it’s doorstep with a custom built Cash Grabber providing the finale to outdo all finales!

Following on from their day navigating the maze to arrive in the Cash Grabber catching as many golden tickets as possible in 60 seconds, the excited team had some lovely feedback about the event to share:

“Last week went great – everyone loved it so thank you so much for it all . . .”

“Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the events last Thursday. They LOVED Crystal Mazed, they really liked that it was a mix of physical & mental activities & they loved the cash grabber finale (apart from Ann, she got disqualified!) ”

It’s not surprising The Crystal Mazed has become so popular, it’s been all over the UK in recent weeks including appearances at Cranage Hall in Cheshire, Burnham Beeches Hotel in Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, Birmingham even down to Surrey.

If you’re looking for a unique and exciting mobile team building event like the Crystal Mazed, get in touch with us for more information.

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

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

Enter the Futuristic Zone

The Crystal Mazed Mobile Experience Team Building Activity

Cash grabber finale!

The Kings Guard

The Kings Guard

Posted in Team Building Blog

Meetpie cover our latest product releases

June 2016

Meetpie_Logo

We are helping delegates tap into their inner celebrity in team bonding – launching two new products that sees participants star in their own on-screen productions. Read Meetpie’s coverage here: http://www.meetpie.com/Modules/NewsModule/newsdetails.aspx?t=KDM-Events-unveils-on-screen-team-bonding&newsid=23020

 

 

Posted in Team Building Blog

Launch of brand new team build options – KDM in the news

May 2016

C&it

 

2 fantastic brand new outdoor team event options were released this month. The Hungry Games, puts teams in the world of arena survival, while Crystal Mazed transports participants to Aztec, medieval, and futuristic zones to complete themed challenges.  Read C&IT’s coverage here http://www.citmagazine.com/article/1393635/kdm-events-launches-hunger-games-themed-teambuilding-activity?platform=hootsuite

 

Posted in Team Building Blog

Adding Values through Focussed Team Building

May 2016

Team building activities are a great way of helping embed new values as part of an organisational rebrand. But don’t just take our word for it…

About our client
A new client for KDM, this financial services organisation was looking to create an extra level of communication for its annual Company Away Day. The organisation was rebranding and launching new values that needed to be understood and embraced by, its staff.

The brief
Our mission was to devise a suite of team building activities for the 200-strong work force, directly linked to the organisation’s three new values: Collaborative, Challenging and Accountable.  These would form the core content of the Away Day – taking place at 155 Bishopsgate, one of London’s state-of-the-art conference and event venues.

To boost interaction and engagement, a competitive element to the team activities would provide the content for an awards presentation to round-off the day.

KDM’s Response
We split participants into three groups that would in-turn experience three distinct team building activities, each tailored to bring-out the organisation’s new values.  These were ‘Harmonize’ – a session where the teams were trained by vocal coaches to become a choir, providing the ultimate Collaborative experience.  To Challenge them, the second session gave the groups a series of creative tasks incorporating business outcomes and calling for planning capability and logic.  Reflecting the third value, Accountable, teams competed against a ticking clock, having chosen their own challenges from a menu of 50 options carrying varying degrees of complexity and weighted score values.

The grand finale saw the three groups come together to sing ‘Dancing in the Street’ with perfect harmony achieved – in all senses of the word. Ending the day on a high, the awards presentation provided a joyous celebration of the groups’ successes.

Creative team building challenge participantsCorporate Event ParticipantsInnovative Team Building Activity - Harmonize, focusing on the results of collaborationEmployees participating in team building challenges, focussing on accountability

Outcome

The participants experienced their organisation’s new values in an atmosphere of fun and positivity while completing team building activities.

Our client’s early apprehension at working with KDM for the first time was allayed by the careful attention given at the event planning stage by our event manager, enabling him to fully understand and interpret the brief.  In describing our team as “motivated and professional”, the client said they “created real excitement to each activity” on the day.

If you need help with team building focussing on a specific outcome, feel free to contact us.

PS: With a scant 20-minute window to unload equipment into the event venue, KDM’s event delivery team successfully beat its own logistics challenge!

Posted in Team Building Blog


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