Team Building Blog Latest Events

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


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

 

 


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

 


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 workforce, 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!


The Power of the Team: Problem Solving Team Building With a Creative Twist

April 2016

'Up Your Street' Engaging Team Building Activity from KDM Events ‘Up Your Street’ Engaging Team Building Activity from KDM Events

When one industry-leading business acquires another, it takes a strategic approach to align the two corporate cultures.  KDM supported one such culture-change programme in two separate series of events.

About our client
A pan-European distributor of tools and industrial products, our client serves a wide range of manufacturing sectors.  Adjusting to a recent major corporate acquisition, the company had embarked on a significant integration plan, spearheaded by its Head of Training and Development.

The brief
KDM was asked to support 11 separate corporate events over a two month period.  The first five of these would see groups of 50 staff from sales and operations departments brought together in locations as far apart as Glasgow and Windsor – to work on routes to successful collaboration in areas such as cross-selling.

The last six events would form part of an employee engagement programme designed to encourage positive attitudes and behaviours and to foster a culture that would see knowledge, ideas and expertise shared throughout the business.

KDM’s Response
We proposed one of our most popular collaborative team building exercises, The Missing Link, for the first five events.  For this, the groups of 50 were divided into teams which independently completed a section of a construction project.  Each unit completed its own individual component of the build and the grand finale saw all of the units coming together and the teams united in achieving the common goal, producing a boost in team morale while reinforcing our client’s intended message.

For the six-employee engagement events, teams were given the opportunity to script, act in and film an episode of Up Your Street – a hilarious soap mash-up with more than a passing nod to the Mitchell family and the Rovers Return.  Supplied with dialogue and character names, team members bonded over forming the writers, cast, and camera crew to produce their own portion of the TV drama, honing in on their combined time management and creative thinking skills simply by engaging in the team building activity together.  All the teams’ efforts were stitched together and shown on a large screen as the finale of the event.

Outcome
Working to meet a common objective brought teams together in challenges of problem-solving, time management and communication, ensuring that barriers between sales and operational cultures were dissolved as pride in collective achievement was shared.

By sharing ideas and creative thinking by completing a team building activity in an environment of humour, people really connected; team relationships were strengthened and participants had fun while working together. All recognised and experienced the company’s core values, understanding above all the amazing power of The Team.


Event Delivery – With a Splash of Colour

March 2016

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Don’t be surprised to spot one of our vibrant new vans on the highways near you in the coming weeks.  KDM’s fleet of delivery vehicles has received an injection of eye-popping colour, and to be honest, they’re hard to miss!

These vans provide a vital link in the chain of joined-up event delivery that KDM offers our clients.  Starting with strategic planning, and continuing through the process of designing and execution of tailor-made experiences and branded environments, we translate business objectives into events that engage every guest and delegate.

From entire conferences or team building away days to themed environments and stunning party decor, our in-house design and build teams partner with our logistics crews to ensure every component reaches its destination in pristine condition and primed for action.

KDM’s Commercial Director Nicky Whyman says: “Our new vans are a visual expression of the exciting, engaging and memorable experiences that we’re delivering all around the country every week of the year.  They certainly give us a burst of enthusiasm at the start of the day and we hope they’ll put a smile on the face of everyone who sees them.”


Whats the Point? KDM Conference News article

December 2015

conference-news

Digital display with many mathematical symbol, 3d

 

This year, measurement and evaluation of an events’ success has been a major
area of focus for our clients. Just how can we set objectives, measure them and
use that information to prove the success of a conference, meeting or activity
event? Conference News asked us the same question – you can read our 1-page
article www.kdmevents.co.uk/confnewsoct15.pdf

 

 


Team-up in the Sunshine – Case Study

December 2015

KDM made it possible for Prologis staff to celebrate the achievement, break down barriers and take important learnings back to the workplace – while making the most of the Summer sun.

prologis

 

 

 

About our client: Prologis is the global leader in industrial real estate, owning and managing approximately 23 million square feet of logistics and distribution space in the UK alone.  Headquartered in Solihull with an additional office in London, Prologis’ dedicated teams provide a range of leasing and property management services, supported by the company’s legal, finance, HR, client relations, and marketing departments. The company has enjoyed stellar success in 2015, having won the prestigious Estates Gazette Property Company of the Year – Industrial and Distribution award for the second year running.

The brief: For Prologis, the summer of 2015 presented the ideal opportunity for staff to take stock of what they’d achieved and to learn a little more about working with people from other parts of the business.  A dedicated team building event would enable employees to get actively involved in fresh learning challenges and form a better understanding of their colleagues that could be taken back to the workplace.

Julie Bunce of Prologis said: “We also knew that the team would relish taking on a challenge that would take us out of the comfort zone”.

KDM’s response

We customised our indoor collaborative team build event, Crystal Maze, to enable half of the activity to take place out-of-doors. We also introduced a professional facilitator, who talked-through the learning points whilst the event was happening and explained how these could be applied in the workplace.  A key part of the bonding process came from switching teams around throughout the event.  This meant that participants got to work with different members of the group – which they thought was a great (and challenging) experience.

In the evening an outdoor barbecue allowed the teams to relax and review the day’s activity – which then continued over traditional pub games, such as darts, air hockey and skittles.  Newly-formed friendships were reinforced as colleagues from different parts of the business celebrated their achievements together.

Client feedback

Julie Bunce of Prologis said: “We’d worked with KDM in the past organising Christmas parties, so we knew how professional they were. This event was a really good demonstration of the value that professional event organisers can offer.  The team worked really hard on the day to move part of the event outside, so we were able to take advantage of some great weather and the professional facilitator was really intuitive – switching teams when needed and making the collaborative learning process fun and entertaining.  KDM proved brilliantly that they know how to run creative events and I’d thoroughly recommend their services to anyone, in fact, we’re already looking forward to the next one.”

CMaze


What Can’t Be Measured Can’t Be Managed

October 2015

Office stand03 Office stand07

Meeting visitors attending this year’s Office show has been a rewarding and informative experience for KDM.  PAs, EAs and administrative executives find the show a useful source of contacts and tools that will enhance their working lives, and the Show provided us with a chance to engage with visitors in a seminar environment, where we discussed how they can assist in measuring the positive impact of the events they organise.

Our opening message was that with a little advance planning, conferences, team building days and other corporate communication activities can be measured and evaluated with the same rigour that is applied to other business initiatives.

It has long been known that there’s a huge need to find a way to effectively measure the success of business events.  And from our perspective, the starting point is to be clear on what really constitutes Event Success.  Our own research has revealed that in many cases people at the sharp end of event management have only a general idea of their events’ objectives.  Or, during the hectic planning process, organisers lose sight of the event’s original purpose – because their focus is directed on the logistical arrangements and delegate communications.

While speaker quality, venue arrangements, and even financial management are critical elements of the event planner’s checklist, they don’t provide the reason to hold an event.  So we encouraged our seminar attendees to identify the leadership team strategy that would have prompted the decision to stage their events in the first place – and to focus on that event’s purpose throughout the planning stage to ensure that its agenda and content would deliver the most effective communication.

Then we introduced the discipline of applying metrics to the planning process.  Having identified the objective of, say, reducing employee turnover, the second key step is to attribute numerical targets to that objective.  A prime parallel exists in the emotive area of dieting.  Nothing much is achieved all the time we are merely saying we’d like to be able to get back into our skinny jeans.  But as soon as we step on the scales, make a note of our starting figure and then set the target of losing so many kilos in so many weeks, we have a plan that enables us to track progress and provide measurable outcomes.

Similarly, in the business world, it’s not possible to say how successful an event was in achieving its objectives without having the same kind of metrics in place.  This, we believe, is where so many event organisers trip up.   Very often it’s after the event that people say – “We need to demonstrate ROI” – but without the benchmark figures against which a post-event comparison can be made, it’s too late to conduct any meaningful measurement.

Using tablets with a customised app, our delegates told us how confident they were in measuring the success of the events they organise. We put this question to them at the start of the seminar and then again at the end.  From an unpromising start, we were delighted to see how enthusiastically they had absorbed the seminar content and how confident they were to put their newly-acquired knowledge into practice.

Delegates confirmed to us that measurement had never entered their event evaluation process.  Naturally, it’s the ‘owner’ of the event – the director or senior leadership team that conceived it in the first place – who would be responsible for evaluating its business performance.  But we know that the concept of ‘before-and-after’ numerical comparison is still largely untried amongst corporate event organisers.  The PAs and EAs who attended our seminar will be in the vanguard of championing and executing this discipline.

For KDM it was really gratifying to welcome such an interested and engaged audience (especially as our seminar session had strong competition from the other theatres!).  It was clear that PAs are not only keen to be proactive and make an assertive contribution in their jobs but also delighted to support their bosses in demonstrating  ROO – the return on objectives for their events.

To be able to demonstrate to the CEO or the Board that the event provided a real return on its objectives, will link the event organiser directly to the overall performance improvement of the business, earning considerable kudos – for the PA and of course their boss – in the process.



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