Team Building Blog Latest Events

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 chauffeured 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 the 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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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 cabarets 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 briefly!


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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Time to Celebrate – An Unusual Summer Event!

June 2013

On 5th June we delivered an unusual summer event for a key pet nutrition client. They were so happy that it’s only right to begin this blog with their feedback:

‘The afternoon event went really well, we can’t wait to get the films back … yesterday evening went absolutely great. The magician and mind-reader were amazing – great choices they really added another dimension. The photo booth went down a storm as we knew it would, pictures were being uploaded to Facebook straight away!! LOL. The band were really great getting everyone on the dance floor straight away with their lovely mix of music… ‘

Naturally, when a company hits a milestone they want to celebrate, even more so when they have two milestones in the same year which is why they chose KDM to organise the whole day and create a memorable event for them!

The initial brief was simple; a flexible afternoon teambuilding activity & evening entertainment during which long-lasting mementoes would be created. Pitching against 3 other companies our team put our heads together to create a bespoke solution based around our ‘Animation Innovation’ team event (Wallace and Gromit style film making) followed by a summer BBQ party with film screening. This proved to be a winning combination that ticked all the client’s boxes.

The event took place on site at their office and research centre in Leicester in a lovely Marquee with an open side so staff could enjoy the June weather (which thankfully was perfect!) The Animation Innovation hit four key requirements: Involvement of all guests – everyone had a specific role during the production of the films in addition to participating in outdoor challenges. Celebrating the company history – each animated short film depicted a key milestone in the company’s success. Creating something of lasting value – each of the animations created was designed to be utilised by the client following the event. Allowing staff to perform their work duties –the flexibility of the event allowed guests to come & go so that they could still carry out their critical pet care responsibilities. There was an amazing buzz in the Marquee all afternoon, all guests got stuck into the event; some guests were still working on their projects after home time!

In the evening, our Marquee was transformed to create a celebratory summer ball atmosphere with vibrant lighting, balloons & complimentary table dressing to reflect the company colours. Staff were joined by their partners to be greeted with a classic summer drink of Pimms & Lemonade and entertained by our brilliant mix ‘n’ entertainers – Magician, Caricaturist & Mind Reader.

After the big screen premiere of the animations and the ‘WAFTAs’ had been awarded guests enjoyed a traditional Hog Roast & buffet including a dessert of Mars Cheesecake (a little slice of heaven). Once all the guests were full an informal Wii competition took place; it was a close call on the Dance Stage as they all had ‘moves like Jagger’.

Whilst an amazing local live band were playing guests also enjoyed the unique experience of our Photo Studio, allowing groups of 10-15 people to create their own special memories as a reminder of this amazing celebration with a 6×4 photo to take away with them from a variety of backgrounds including two personalised to the client.

All in all, a perfect day to remember with 20 films to use for their future events…watch this space!


KDM’s Total Events Service

June 2013

A lower cost, saving of time and greater management of risk were the end results when our Hewlett Packard client chose to work with one supplier. One supplier can beat two or even three!

When we took a call in early April from the head of an EMEA Sales team at Hewlett Packard, the client was focused on his goal to improve his team’s communication and working styles – and wanted to hear ideas of how KDM could help via a team building product. However, with the client’s time at a great premium, a tight budget and only 5 weeks to go before the event, it soon became clear that a more valuable solution to the client was to place the organisation of the entire meeting into our hands.

Hence the following day, we sent a shortlist of venues that suited budget, location & meeting requirements – along with a suggested format and itinerary for the full 48 hours on site to include a mixture of presentations, business content and outcome focused team-build activities.

The client selected Easthampstead Park (Wokingham) to host the meeting combined with our Crystal Maze and Country sports events. A keenly negotiated venue rate and specific programme of activities that dovetailed with the business content delivered an extremely successful event that resulted in the client having his “…objectives fully met and within budget!”

KDM provide a total event management service. By working with one supplier the end result is a lower cost, a saving of your time and greater management of risk when organising conferences and meetings. So if you want to keep your business objectives in sight whilst achieving the best value and results possible then call us on 01782 646300 to discuss your event needs.

 


A Bunch of Cast Offs?

February 2013

Fittingly, it was a rainy cold February Monday afternoon when we stepped into the training room to embark upon a voyage into the unknown with our latest team event ‘Cast Away’ – a tabletop based strategy and communication challenge.

We endured the usual comments about our team – “they look like a scurvy crew, I don’t fancy your chances of survival with that mangy bunch of pirates” however we gathered our courage and set to the task at hand. Apparently, the ship we were travelling on had been shipwrecked and we were washed up on an unknown shore with no map, no food or water and basically no clue. Each team member was given a written set of different thoughts and ideas about the situation and having memorised (or taken notes of) the pertinent facts, we had to navigate as a team through the unfolding terrain represented on the tabletop with colourful location squares. Planning, timescales and understanding priorities were key as each decision we made revealed more ‘squares’ of our location and either rewarded us with supplies, information or things that made us die. Apparently, there are a lot of things that can kill you when you’re a cast away.

Gladly, after the 90 minutes we all made it out alive (sort of) with the following insights:
•    Assumption is a dangerous business! Useless information may not be so unimportant after all.
•    Sharing is important if you want to do well in life (my Mum would be proud)
•    Not knowing all the answers when you have to make a decision is quite scary
•    Clear communication is definitely an art
•    Losing your crew in a poisonous swamp and dying is surprisingly heart breaking…
•    But surviving a shipwreck and being rescued is surprisingly rewarding! In fact there were actually shouts of “We made it! Go KDM crew!”
Needless to say, we all thought this was a brilliant way to improve communication and team work within our group! Now that we are safely back on dry land please send us a message in a bottle (or an email if you prefer) to talk about this for your next team experience!

 


Olympic Success!

September 2012

A successful Olympics and Paralympics both on and off the park, Andy Murray wins a major, and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke – a Brit – wins the Tour of Britain – the first to do so since the last Ice Age. Never mind, we do have the England football team to bring a dose of reality to our lives.

Here at KDM HQ everybody continues to beaver away, bookings continue to flow in good numbers and I’m pleased to say we’re still able to offer top quality corporate entertainment, meetings and conferences at a seriously good price to our clients who appreciate the brilliant service everybody at Team KDM continues to bring. Well done chaps!


Half-way There and All’s Well – Sort Of.

August 2012

Whilst it’s been a great week for the Olympics and Team GB – and I don’t just mean the athletes; everybody in the country has put on a great show for the world and the enthusiastic support from spectators for all the competitors (especially if they’re from Team GB) has been superb. The organisers have been building a great team to put on the Games and the British Olympic Committee have spent the last seven years building a team that wins medals.

And we’ve only got one thing wrong.

Why oh why did we tell everybody to keep out of London – and our good old public servants to ‘work from home’ (i.e. lie in, shop and watch the telly) – in the mistaken belief that London was going to be sooo busy.

London seems to manage ok normally in July/August when it’s rammed with tourists and it manages ok when there’s also a test at Lords, Rugby at Twickenham and a couple of Premier League fixtures taking place happening simultaneously with a gig by some pimply pop star I’ve never heard of. So what’s the big deal?

For months it’s been a source of wonder to me at the fuss being made and why Boris wasn’t serving his electorate by telling one and all that London was open to business and they should ignore the sirens of despair instead of which he was bunging ‘Olympic Bonuses’ to transport workers so that they would do what they were already paid to do.

Now that it’s been shown that additional burdens have not been put upon these heroic workers can we have our money back, please?

Actually, I lied. We actually got two things wrong. We insulted the bunch of psychopathic maniacs that passes for a regime in North Korea by waving the South Korean flag at them. Awesome. A truly inspired insult which deserves a special gold medal all of its own for the person responsible.

Whereas in reality no doubt some jobsworth undoubtedly castigated him/her rather than congratulating them.


The Olympics are Here … Yee-har-hoo!!

July 2012

Well after the months of waiting the Olympic Games are here … Yee-har-hoo!

How excited the British press has been waiting with bated breath expecting and hoping that it all goes awry. Why is it that as individuals we don’t like making fools of ourselves but hope/expect that collectively as a nation we will do so? – bit odd us Brits.

Sad that but as all the eyes of the world are upon us let’s focus on the positive and make sure it goes well – after all we are paying for it and have spent years building a team to win!!

Mind, not that you’d have thought that if you’d spent the last few years listening to the pronouncements of LOCOG who throw a hissy fit if you try to use the words London 2012 or dare to show the Olympic rings on any marketing material without first giving them a bung (or sponsorship as it’s more politely known).

So let’s hope Team GB do well, London does well and everybody in the UK celebrates, has fun and remembers once again – as we did for the Jubilee – all that’s good about England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Kevin



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