Team Building Blog Latest Events

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.


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 was 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 fewer 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 coordinate 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


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!

 



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