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Who says fun can’t produce measurable ROI?

April 2015

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Now that corporate Britain is setting its sights on growth again, bosses face the challenge of hiring and keeping the best people – the very people whose enthusiasm and ambition will shift company performance into a higher gear.  At the same time there’s a lot of work still to be done to dispel the lingering uncertainties over job security that stalked the corridors during those lean recessionary years.

All of which has brought Motivation back to the top of the HR agenda.  At KDM we’re receiving a lot of enquiries for social-style internal events, on top of the purely business-focused activity that has characterised our order book in recent years. We’re already seeing more requests for team events, engagement activity and incentive experiences, as well as a resurgence in demand for family fun days.

But we’re also hearing that some CEO’s are pretty dismissive about fun-style corporate activities. They are questioning the benefit of purely social events as contribution to corporate performance and dismissing them as an unnecessary luxury because the outcomes, and therefore the return on investment from such events, are difficult to quantify.

To KDM, this viewpoint misses the bigger picture.  Companies that are committed to raising and sustaining levels of motivation amongst their workforce need to apply a strategic approach to their internal events.  It’s absolutely true that a one-off party or anniversary celebration is a blip in the calendar that has the same effect on company-wide motivation as a crash diet has to sustained weight loss. The feel-good factor fades as soon as ‘real life’ returns.

And, as with any other business strategy, the starting point must be a measurable objective. This could very easily be that of reduction in staff turnover. Experts estimate that it costs around twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement, so reducing churn is already a critical goal in all companies.

We’ve been helping some of our clients to devise a calendar of motivational activity – which can include anything from quiz nights to on-site massage sessions.  Using current staff turnover figures as a baseline, it’s easy to monitor churn over a period of a year.  Further metrics can be supplied from annual employee well being surveys, examining such factors as how valued employees feel, to what degree they are proud to be working for their company and to what extent they would recommend their employers to job seekers.  The statistics enable you to progressively measure the effects of a long-term motivational strategy.

So making staff feel appreciated, recognising the important role that all of our families play in our daily lives, and creating an occasion to thank employees and their loved ones for continued support, turns out to be a sound business investment with measurable return, after all.

Brad Davies, Account Director

Posted in Team Building Blog

Self awareness and perception create realities

February 2015

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Not the title of a new mystic self help article (you may be relieved or disappointed to know) but rather an observation of just how different personalities interact in the workplace. How we understand ourselves and those around us really does build or erode successful working relationships … read our full PA Life article here www.kdmevents.co.uk/palifejanfeb2015expert.pdf

Article used with kind permission of PA Life . To read the full Jan/Feb 15 issue see http://www.palife.co.uk/magazine/janfeb2015/PA-Life_JanFeb2015.html.

Posted in Team Building Blog

Will team events help with business goals?

January 2015

Can you use team events to help reach your business goals? Absolutely!

We were asked an interesting question by a client last year “Have you got an event that will help my team achieve their new sales targets? We think we need to do some team building?” After delving further into the specifics of the team and their industry they were able to work with them to design a series of team events that met the motivation and training needs of the team members – enabling them to meet their sales targets in 2014.

However even when you don’t set a specific programme of events, any participative activities should have a very positive impact on your delegates and consequently your business in a number of subtle ways:

Improved team performance

When the energy of your delegates is directed towards a united purpose, your team will feel a sense of togetherness that translates fluidly back into the workplace when working together towards common business goals.

Improved individual performance

Activities enable people to experience winning and achieving in a way that their normal work might not. Learning something new and different liberates the mind – facing a challenge, meeting it and mastering it helps build confidence which can contribute to success in the workplace.

Forging stronger bonds and lines of communication across your business

Your team-building event will act as a catalyst so that your guests will connect better with one other. Few people feel comfortable with making the extra effort to chat with colleagues they don’t know, so a shared experience and something interesting to talk about facilitates better networking.

Greater business implementations back in the workplace

Adding interaction to your meeting means that participants will remember and gain more from the experience, enabling your delegates to implement more from your key messages back in the workplace.

Creation of relevant new business ideas

Team building events create excellent forums to promote lively discussion and debate around your key messages, often resulting in innovative new business outputs.

Higher ROO

Simply getting people together is expensive, so making the most of the time you have with your delegates greatly improves your overall return on objectives. By investing in a team activity that aligns with your business messages, the likelihood of your guests retaining and implementing new knowledge and communicating with colleagues increases dramatically.

Forms cohesiveness and a can-do culture

People often enjoy events which include new non-work activities, especially when bosses and superiors take part in the same teams as their junior staff, which also helps cohesiveness.

Develops mutual respect

Everyone is different. Taking part in new challenges and activities outside of the work situation illustrates people’s different strengths and working style preferences. Mutual respect develops when people see skills and attributes in others that they didn’t know existed.

The solutions you might need will depend on the specifics of your team dynamics and business goals. And as with any business activity, clear measureable objectives should be set beforehand so that success can be measured. But team events are an essential part of motivating, rewarding and training staff – it’s definitely money well invested when you have clear set goals in view!

Posted in Team Building Blog

Brighton Festival anyone?

November 2014

The chance to work on a truly bespoke event is always an exciting prospect, and a recent event delivered for a leading Housing Association & Developer was certainly no exception!

The brief from the client was very simple – they wanted to create an indoor festival atmosphere for their annual staff away-day for 250 guests, to be held in a unique & quirky venue.

Hence the 1st task was to source a suitable location & venue for the event, step forward Brighton Dome which is a renowned multi-arts venue located in the heart of Brighton – its origins date back over 200 years, and the character & enormity of the Corn Exchange room provided just the right environment to allow for lots of varied entertainment, food and drink to keep the group engaged over the 4 hour event.

Of course food is supremely important and as the venue is ‘dry-hire’  we worked with independent caterers to find the best solution to keep within the catering budget. Fish & Chips was the perfect menu for the day to deliver the fun informal festival theme and tie in with the venue being by the seaside!

A mix of music, live comedy, games, green screen photo studio and simulators gave the vibrant festival feel the client was looking for and we chose to book Dan Mitchell to act as both compere & comedian. Dan is a veteran of the comedy circuit appearing on a number of TV shows & didn’t disappoint on the day!

Following the serving of lunch & Dan’s stand-up set, the DJ kicked-in for the remainder of the event whilst guests enjoyed a variety of games & activities ranging from Crazy Golf & Test Your Strength, to a Rodeo Bull & Surf Simulator amongst many others. Our green screen photo studio was popular with guests enjoying posing on the Brighton Pier…whilst remaining warm and dry inside!

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On the day itself our team of 7 Event Managers were on-site from 7.30am to transform the room, set up the various games & activities along with managing the delivery of tables, caterers, comedians and DJs. As a lasting memento for the client, our staff were also able to film the event to produce a 3 minute video recap of the day – ensuring that the event will live on in the client’s memory!

Most importantly the client’s feedback was that “The event & venue were fantastic – we have had very good feedback from everyone, who all seemed to thoroughly enjoy the event”.

Now enough words! See the video of the day here

 


Animation explosion!

January 2014

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Here at KDM we pride ourselves on looking at something, even if it’s working, and asking whether it could be done better. Consequently, our Animation Innovation event was great, but now it’s new and improved!

Previously guests were provided with cameras and laptops to create their Wallace and Gromit style animations, meaning saving , transferring and uploading all the images between the 2 pieces of kit. Now, following heavy investment, teams are provided with touchscreen tablets and tripods. This clever use of one piece of equipment means production of the animations is slicker, less techie and far more accessible for all your delegates. The images, taken using the tablet’s camera, can be immediately edited using the film software..and your animations come to life!

Now teams can focus on their creative animations rather than the different pieces of technology involved, making the event even more enjoyable. And as they say, the proof is in the pudding – we provided three Animation Innovation events with the new amendments in the same week just before Christmas. (and 2 on the same day!)

CLICK HERE  to see the teams’ very entertaining results and contact us if you’d like to know more for your next team event.

Posted in Team Building Blog

Breaking records?

December 2013

We needed new ideas for 2013! This was the third year our client had chosen us to provide the team event at their annual staff convention for 165 delegates at Best Western Rockingham Forest.

Having provided brilliant pub games and simulator competitions for the last 2 years, KDM were tasked with suggesting new ideas for 2013’s event. It had to be a fun activity which would have a wide appeal and be accessible – enjoyed and understood by guests whose first language is not English. With 165 guests participating in 2 hours the challenges also had to be easy to understand and quick to take part in.

So our creative team took inspiration from the challenges in our range of existing events to deliver a bespoke ‘Worlds Records’ event involving 12 all new activities designed to allow the company to set their own world records! Paper planes, chopsticks, superman pants and beer mats have never been so much fun!

The activities were mixed to ensure there was a wide appeal to guests with different skill sets and so the event on Monday saw the teams taking part in memorable challenges such as:

FLIPPIN HECK – How many beer mats can you flip using one hand without spilling them everywhere?

HIGH FLYER – How far can you fly a paper aeroplane you have made yourself?

THIS SUCKS – Move ping pong balls from one container to another using a straw in the fastest time possible!

PEA IN A BOTTLE – Drop a pea from a height into a Champagne bottle in 5 or less attempts!

CHOP CHOP – How many jelly beans can you pick up with chopsticks?

THAT’S PANTS – How many pairs of pants you can put on (over your clothes)?

Points were racked up by each member of the team attempting to set a new ‘World Record’, noted and assisted by our enthusiastic event staff. Coloured lanyards helped the teams to co-ordinate their efforts and attempt to break as many records as possible to accumulate the highest score.

12 individuals went proudly home with specially designed  “KDM World Record Holder”  certificates whilst the overall winning team celebrated with medals.

But most importantly our client said that “this year’s event was the best yet!” So having raised the bar again this year we just need to make sure 2014’s event is better still! I’m sure our creative team will come up with something….

Sarah McGregor , Account Manager

Posted in Team Building Blog

Taxi for Caroline!

November 2013

When a client tells us they have a short lead in booking, it usually means we have a few weeks or at the very least a week….

It was a rainy day last Tuesday when an email enquiry for a team building activity suitable for an international group in London landed in my inbox. I immediately thought that our new GPS Black Cab Challenge would be perfect. We’d just set up a great deal with a family run cab company and we were excited to be able to begin working with them so I called the client to share my thoughts about how this would be an excellent activity for the group – the combination of the iconic Black Cabs and historical points of interest within the capital city makes for an exciting and unique tour of London. Guests have the opportunity to visit a number of key locations such as Westminster & Whitehall, the Square Mile of the City, St Pauls, Soho, Southbank, Kensington Gardens & Hyde Park in a short amount of time. Plus you get chauffered around the city door to door and don’t get too rained on!

The client was delighted with the idea, but then dropped the bombshell – “and so we’d like this event on Thursday” I gulped and replied “This Thursday? In 2 days?”

Fortunately, I was able to quickly speak to Garry one of our Event Managers here on site to check availability of staff and GPS tablets. Next, our cab company sprang into action (thank you Helen!) to check the drivers for us and so within 90 minutes the entire event was confirmed and organised with time to spare!

Feedback from the client was that it was a ‘Great teambuilding event, and run really professionally at very short notice.’

A happy end to the rainy week! So if anyone else has any last minute bookings – bring ’em on!

Caroline
Account Manager (and speed booker extraordinaire)

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Warmed up by Ice

November 2013

Finding an event to suit everyone – male and female, old and young, physically active to couch potatoes –  is not always an easy brief to fulfill but we managed just that when we provided an Ice Sculpting Workshop for Costa Coffee’s staff event in October.

Sixty five guests, in 18 teams, took part in the challenge, which saw them turn blocks of ice into works of art! There were a few raised eyebrows when the team first saw the huge pieces of ice but they soon got into the spirit of the event and the competition was fierce!

The client said that “the event was great fun and enjoyed by all!” No mean feat apparently and a great result.

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Posted in Team Building Blog

Back to school…again!?

October 2013

September Back to School … again?

When given the brief “we would like an afternoon activity for 350 people that lasts 2½ hours in September for under £30 per head” the KDM team got to work creating a tailored event to meet the client’s requirements. Given the limited space available at the venue we knew the only style of event that would work would be an indoor/outdoor event. The indoor space would hold 175 cabaret and the outdoor space would comfortably hold the other 175 guests so the thinking caps went on and our bespoke ‘Back to School’ event transpired.

The indoor lesson would consist of 45 minutes of high energy, fast and furious challenges including maths and social media as well as a compulsory science module where teams designed and built their own rocket to be launched as the finale. Within the 45 minutes teams had to choose their challenges wisely and allocate their resources skilfully to score as many points as possible.

Then we proposed to take guests back to the good old days of PE and the traditional School Sports Day with the outdoor lesson, but with the two main differences being that the parents were absent and no-one was picked last! Guests would participate in a number of track events all with a slight twist including ‘Funny Feet’, Hop-A-Long and of course the Egg & Spoon race.

Finishing touches of the event included our event staff wearing ‘Victorian’ style teacher clothing, and teams being given their own individual school ties. The winners would be awarded a Trophy and medals with the losers the compulsory wooden spoon!

And following a site visit to the venue with the client by Caroline (Account Manager) and Garry (Senior Event Manager) to pitch our concept to the client…we were delighted to get the phone call that they had chosen KDM Events to organise, manage and run the event!

Feedback from the client: ‘The event staff on the day were really helpful, polite & professional. Garry  made me feel relaxed about the activity as he had everything under control. An Excellent very well managed and fun, I really enjoyed working with you all.

What now? Give Caroline a call on 01782 647032 if you’d like her to solve your next challenging team build brief!

Posted in Team Building Blog

Zero Tolerance

August 2013

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Pitted head to head in 2 teams, our office staff faced certain humiliation when we recently completed our event training for our newest event ‘Zero Hour’. Given a catalogue of 50 different challenges ranging from mental conundrums to physical dexterity challenges, we raced against the clock to successfully  complete as many as we could before the timer ran out. Each task had a different difficulty level and points available for beating it, so choosing which tasks to tackle became increasingly important  as things become more frenzied whilst on screen clock counted down ever closer to the Zero deadline!

Highlights of the competition came when Sarah and Nicky had to ‘headbang’ nodding dog style to record 200 steps with a pedometer … and managed to look as though they had just been discharged from A&E. Plus the moment where one team momentarily gave up competing in order to doggedly complete their lego house roof… awww.

Amazingly, cheating was kept to a minimum because the tasks kept everyone so focused that there was no time for sabotage! Whilst I don’t think any of us will be entering The Cube anytime soon, we all had serious amounts of fun and learnt that good time management, staying calm under pressure and knowing your team’s strengths/weaknesses are definite requirements if you want to come out a winner!

For more information about Zero Hour check out our video here and get in touch for a detailed quote.

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Posted in Team Building Blog


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