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The Big Venue Interview – Brocket Hall

September 2019

This September it is all about our Venue of the Month, Brocket Hall Estate. This week we interviewed the well-travelled Sales & Marketing Director, Paul Liczbinski.

 

View of Brocket Hall from the outside and banner

What motivated you to get into the hotel industry and how did your career journey start?

I started out as a Hilton graduate. Worked in Hilton Hotels across Australia, Hong Kong, New York and the UK. Moving away from hotels I began working for British Airways as a Special Services Manager. I then returned to the Hotel industry and opened the Regent Plaza Hotel and Suites as a DOS,

I have held positions at Talking Point (a travel and events company), The Cavendish Hotel in St James, and the Westbury Hotel. After this, I acted as Regional Sales & Marketing Director at Corinthia Hotels; then moved on to open the St James Hotel and Club St James, The Gulf Hotel and Congress Centre in Bahrain, Blenheim Palace and then worked for a company called My Amazing Events.

Finally landing in my current position here at Brocket Hall Estate.   

 

       What attracted you to Brocket Hall in particular?  

The all-round Estate! The Golf Club, The Auberge De Lac and the jewel in the crown Brocket Hall itself.

 

Can you tell us what a typical day as a Sales & Marketing Director at Brocket Hall entails?

Hunting for new business, team briefings, show rounds with future business clients, reviewing new enquires coming into the business and answering numerous emails. A hundred and one things!

         

When it comes to the Event and Conference side of the business do you see any new trends emerging from your client’s request?

Yes definitely! We are seeing an increase in private events such as birthday parties. Our private clients aren’t the only ones celebrating milestones. More and more we are seeing companies come through with celebratory anniversary events with much larger numbers.

What would you consider makes Brocket Hall a great venue?

It’s history, amazing customer service, a food and wine menu to die for and unprecedented attention to detail.  If you are interested in knowing more about the tales of Brocket Hall dating as far back as the 1200’s, take a look at our timeline here

 

What is your favourite feature of the property?

The Brocket Hall Estates Hall and the Prime Minsters Table.

 

Tell us an unusual fact about Brocket Hall that perhaps the general public wouldn’t know?

The Brocket Babies! Over 4,645 babies have been born at Brocket Hall during the second world war from 1941-1946.

Black and white image of woman bathing a newborn baby. Picture taken during second world war at Brocket Hall

 

Finally in just one sentence can you describe Brocket Hall and why it’s a property not to be missed?

Brocket Hall Estate provides an exclusive event space on 540 acres of grounds. With three uniques venues and space for Marquees for up to 2,000 guests.  

 

Man holds award against promotional background

Paul Liczbinski, Sales & Marketing Director.

 

Want to know more about Brocket Hall? Speak to our venue finding team to find out more


Brocket Hall – KDM’s Venue of the Month

September 2019

In this month’s segment, we are happy to announce that the Grade I-listed classical country house Brocket Hall is KDM‘s Venue of the Month for September.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be taking a better look at Brocket Hall. To begin with, we will be highlighting all the event spaces the venue has to offer. In addition to this, we will get behind the scenes knowledge from the venue’s Sales & Marketing Director, Paul in the Big Interview.  Finally, but most importantly, we will look at past events KDM has provided at Brocket Hall, as well as exploring the potential for new and upcoming teambuilding options. 

So let’s get started and introduce you to this quintessentially British Stately Home

Brocket Hall
View of Brocket Hall from the outside and banner

If you are looking for exclusivity and excellence, Brocket Hall provides the perfect setting. Situated just 22 miles from Central London, the magnificent 543-acre estate offers history and heritage. With picturesque views across Broadwater Lake and the finest of golf courses, it’s easy to see why Brocket Hall is a preferred venue for business leaders.


The estate host three venues: The Hall, Melbourne Lodge and Auberge du Lac

   Stately home surrounded by grass, trees and a river Sitting room with sofas and a baby grand piano Long dining table with place settings and chandelier

The Hall

18th-century Brocket Hall was once home to two Prime Ministers and is rumoured to be a favourite of Queen Victorias. Today it is home to the finest conference, golf and residential facilities in the United Kingdom. There a number of different spaces at Brocket Hall for your event. All of which have specially commissioned leather chairs and oak tables to ensure the comfort of delegates alongside state of the art audiovisual and conferencing facilities. Not to mention the professional butlers discreetly anticipating your every whim and a team of chefs delivering the highest culinary standards.

The Ballroom is one of the most breathtaking rooms in the Hall; boasting the second-longest dining table in the United Kingdom, the room can accommodate up to 150 guests. With an original hand-painted ceiling and a beautiful grand chandelier, it’s sure to make a lasting impression on your guests. 

Alternatively, for those looking for a more intimate affair, the Library is a perfect choice. Whilst providing panoramic views of the stunning Broadwater Lake, the room can comfortably accommodate up to 20 guests. 

Melbourne Lodge

In the tranquil grounds of the Brocket Hall Estate lies the Melbourne Lodge, an elegant Georgian coach house conversion. Formerly a stable block, it now houses 16 luxury en suite bedrooms with beautiful views of the estate.

All 16 bedrooms are appointed to the highest standard in traditional country house style to provide a relaxing experience. Grandly spacious, furnished with original pieces from the Estate, each room retains the heritage and luxury of a bygone era. At the same time providing all the conveniences of the 21st Century including free WiFi, TV, tea and coffee making facilities.

Auberge du Lac

Housed in the former hunting lodge, Auberge du Lac enjoys an idyllic lakeside setting overlooking the beautiful 543-acre country estate. With numerous awards, Auberge du Lac provides the highest standards in cuisine and service.

Whether it’s al fresco dining in summer or an intimate environment in the winter months, Auberge du Lac can cater for it all. With a beautiful lounge, picturesque terrace and a host of private dining rooms, the restaurant regularly caters for private dinners, ladies lunches, weddings, birthday parties and other celebrations.


Why We Recommend Brocket Hall

  • Exclusive hire of a Stately home.
  • An expert event team who are on hand to bespoke your event to the highest of standards.
  • A dedicated team of butlers who cater to your guests’ every desire.
  • We have a 16-year long-standing relationship with the venue, hence our extensive knowledge of the site

If you want to know more about this stunning venue get in touch with our team today.

Don’t miss next weeks blog where we will be talking to the venues Sales & Marketing Director, Paul Liczbinski. 


Lets Talk Team Building – Heythrop Park

August 2019

Drive and motivate your team with a unique team building event at one of the country’s finest venues. 

Outside shot of Heythrop Hall and Venue Of The Month Banner

We regularly host all types of team building activities at Heythrop Park Resort throughout the year. We can provide everything from intimate team away days to large 650+ corporate family fun days. Our long-standing relationship with Heythrop Park as a regular supplier means that we are well versed with the venue, its activity sites and their procedures. Delivering peace of mind to our clients and allowing venue staff to concentrate on the other elements of your event.

With over 440 acres of outside space, woodland & grounds to play with, there’s plenty of opportunity for creative team building. 

Popular options include:

Casino Evening 

Action and Adrenalin

Games Galore 

Themed Events

• Team Challenges – Crystal Mazed and Krypton Factor

Country pursuits – Laser Clays, Axe Throwing and Archery
And much more!

Looking for Inspiration?

Here are some events we provided earlier this year:

Race to Success

 

Involving elements of efficiency, time management, creativity, and ‘driving’ skill – each team player will find an area to excel. Using the kit provided to them teams are to build their own outdoor go-kart and trailer. Inter-team communication is key to successfully completing the challenge because no instructions are included and resources are limited. Although our experienced event crew will be on hand to help teams along the way, it is essentially down to the delegates to work together. 

Action and Adrenaline

Guests are provided with an exclusive experience with specifically designed Activity and Adrenalin days. Guests take part in a range of unusual and exciting activities such as Segways, Quad Bikes or Axe Throwing. With one to one tuition, our professional instructors will guide you through the activities with an emphasis on guests gaining as much ‘hands-on’ fun experience as possible.

Depending on your preference this event can be provided in a competitive format as well as informal fun. Informally we will search for the best individual on each activity and award them with a KDM medal. Whilst in the team competition, guests must work together to complete the tasks. Delegates will be tasked with either ‘beating the clock‘ or scoring the greatest number of points in an attempt to gain the maximum advantage against their competitors. Based upon skill, scoring is devised so that the competitive members of your team can compete whilst those simply wishing to enjoy the day can do so. Although guests are encouraged to ‘have a go’ no one will feel under pressure to take part, making it an event all can enjoy. 

Alpine Lodge

Host a cosy wintry evening by simply dressing your room in gingham table dressings, lanterns, sumptuous sheepskin and Christmas garlands. By surrounding your room with atmospheric scenery, snowy trees and lighting, you can immerse your guests into the Alpine Lodge setting.

Even if you can’t hit the slopes this year, you can indulge your guests throughout the evening with entertainment fit for a snowy retreat. Add our VR ski simulators to transport your guests to the very top of the Pyrenees. Huddle around our ski lodge-inspired cocktail bar with authentic ski rack and boots. Consider a pot of fondue for Swiss-style calorie loading, or stick with mulled wine and hot chocolate cocktails. The options are endless and at Heythrop Park, you can let your imagination go wild.

Take a look at what we created last year here

Circus Spectacular

Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the spectacular world of death-defying acrobatics, juggling and entertainment. Transport your guests to the Circus Ring with carnival concourse games, colourful table dressing and fairground backdrops. For an authentic experience, you can even drape the room to give the effect of dining in a circus tent.

The Marquee at Heythrop Park provides a perfect setting for this theme. Don’t just take our word for it, view the Big Top transformation here

Our team building activities and theming options are all created in-house by our event technology and development team and we work very closely with the on-site team at Heythrop Park. Consequently, the ideas above, while varied, are a great illustration of what we can do but are by no means all. So if you have something in particular in mind please do not hesitate to ask the question.

That concludes this month segment. It has been great focusing on such a fabulous venue like Heythrop Park and revisiting the incredible events we have worked on together. We hope you gained valuable insights and have seen the venues true potential. If you would like more information on Heythrop Park and our team building offerings, get in touch with our dedicated events team today.

While this may be it this month, don’t forget to look out for our Venue of the Month in September!


The Big Venue Interview – Heythrop Park

August 2019

 Outside Shot of Heythrop Park with 'The Big Interview' Banner

This August it is all about our Venue of the Month, Heythrop Park. This week we interviewed their Conference Office Manager, Ruth Honeywell to answer those burning questions.

What motivated you to get into the hotel industry and how did your career journey start?

The Hotel industry was never really on my radar. I started out as a weekend housekeeper at The Lygon Arms Hotel in Broadway throughout my A-Levels and Gap Year prior to University. I studied Sports Science so this was really not what I had planned! Towards the end of my degree, I was offered the opportunity to go back to the hotel to do a 2-year management placement. I thought this would be a good move and this would then allow me to travel afterwards. I actually met my now husband there and ended up staying for 8 years so all plans of travel went out of the window

What attracted you to this venue in particular?

I wanted to develop in the Events area and my background of Country house hotels meant I was looking for something special. I was drawn to the Grand Manor House and the Estate and was excited by the plans to develop the Resort into the Estate it is now.

How long have you been at Heythrop Park and what changes have you seen at the property over the years?

I started at Heythrop Park in January 2008 so lots of changes have occurred over the 11 years. The work to develop the estate had not yet begun so I saw the Estate transform into the beautiful 18 Hole Golf Course which opened in 2009 and the conference centre refurbished into a Crowne Plaza property and opened in 2010. We have since had refurbishments on bedrooms, The Orangery Restaurant and the addition of the Marquee ( the Archery Suite) so there is always something new to sell!

The venue has received a number of positive reviews for its outstanding customer services and attentive staff. How do you motivate your team to deliver professional service on a daily basis?

Taking pride in the property you work in is key. Knowing the customer and anticipating their needs. We have a number of clients that return year on year and it is great that our staff remember them and they remember us so it really does become personal.

What would you consider makes a great hotel?

The team! You can have the best facilities in the world but if you do not have the right staff then everything will fail

What is your favourite feature of the property?

From an events perspective, the Conference Theatre is our most unique space. It will really transform a quite ordinary in Conference into something spectacular. We have had some amazing events in there and listening to Key Note Speakers in that environment is something special that you would not get in a flat conference room. The Manor House Foyer is the best feature and in the Winter months when the fire is lit and the Christmas Tree is up, it really is the best place to have a drinks reception

What’s the most unusual feature at the venue that still remains from the original estate?

Probably the Whale Cave! This is an area in the estate that once housed the bones of a Whale that was gifted to the owner of the estate. The Cave is still there but the skeleton is sadly no longer there.

Whale skeleton inside Heythrop Park Whale Cave

Finally in just one sentence can you describe Heythrop Park and why it’s a venue not to be missed?

We are flexible and unique residential conference venue combining modern facilities with 18th-century elegance, situated in the beautiful countryside providing the ultimate WOW factor to any conference, meeting or event!

Headshot of Ruth Honeywell

Ruth Honeywell – Conference Office Manager

 

Want to know more about Heythrop Park? Speak to our venue finding team to find out more

 

 


Heythrop Park – KDM’s Venue of the Month

August 2019

 We understand that finding the right venue involves much more than simply ticking boxes regarding room sizes or location. The style, atmosphere, price, transport links, contract terms (the list goes on) are all critical factors. For that very reason, we have decided to highlight one of our recommended venues each month. Over the course of the month, we will touch on the general information, interview the events team and showcase some of the fabulous events that have taken place on-site. 

 Venue Of The Month BannerWhat better way to kick off our new segment than to announce the Superb 4star hotel Heythrop Park as KDM‘s Venue of Month.

Heythrop Park

One of the UK’s leading meetings & event venues, located 12 miles north of Oxford. With over 440 acres of outside space on the edge of the Cotswolds, there’s plenty of opportunity for creative team building. From Sheepdog Handling on the South Lawns to go-kart building, the only limit is your imagination.

The venue has 29 meeting rooms in total across the resort, but it’s the venues larger event spaces that steal the show.


interior photograph with 3 red and white sofas Courtyard seating area surrounded by trees and foliage Banquet tables with place settings inside marquee

Conference Theatre

Heythrop Park houses a state-of-the-art Conference Theatre with a private foyer and auditorium seating for 400. The purpose-built auditorium provides the perfect event space for conferences, product launches and award ceremonies. With onsite AV assistance and technical support, you can rest easy knowing your event will go off without a hitch. 

The Ballroom

The Ballroom is a truly versatile event room with capacity for up to 348 in banquet style. The space offers an outside private foyer, event planning desk and separate entrance for your delegates negating the need to use the main hotel entrance.

The Archery Suite

The Archery Suite is the venues largest, purpose-built space with a banqueting capacity of up to 800 people. The suite overlooks the idyllic views of the lawns and Manor House making it the perfect setting for large, lavish events!

The Manor House

At the heart of Heythrop Park resort lies the glorious grade II listed Mansion House.  An 18th-century architectural gem with grand and characterful rooms providing an impressive space for drinks receptions or gala dinners.

Heythrop Park successfully combines modern facilities with elegant period charm. Add in the 358 bedrooms across the resort with beautiful outdoor spaces located in the heart of England. It is easy to see why Heythrop Park is one of the UK’s leading venues for meetings, conferences, and events. 


Why We Recommend Heythrop Park

  • The vast and versatile indoor space that the venue has to offer
  • An expert event team who are on hand to bespoke your event to the highest of standards
  • A resort where old meets new – where 18th-century elegance meets 21st-century style
  • A unique tiered Auditorium sets it apart from its competitors. 

Take a virtual tour of the venue here

Don’t miss next weeks blog where we will be talking to the venues Conference Office Manager at Heythrop Park, Ruth Honeywell. 


Event Management How To: Spend Less Money On The Same Conference & Event Management Result!

November 2017

When a long-standing financial sector client came to us with a request to organise their annual Retail Division Update Conference, we were delighted to help as we always are. This year though, we were asked to provide the conference along with our event management expertise on a smaller budget.

We’re not an Events Company who turn down a challenge so, with Networking and business content high on this year’s agenda, we aimed to meet the reduced budget target by achieving savings in 4 key areas:

  • AV requirements.
  • Room hire and Set up costs the night prior to the conference.
  • Delegate travel overnight accommodation the night prior to the conference.
  • Private dinner format.

We kept it simple with the following recipe:

Take:
80 senior managers and Directors

Add:
1 unusual historic country event venue
1 dedicated meeting space with natural daylight, private bar and terrace
1 compact AV set and technicians
Mix together with:
1/2 day business presentations
1 BBQ dinner overlooking Capability Brown designed gardens
6 Seasoned live swing/jazz musicians
Glorious summer sunshine
80 Overnight stays and breakfast

Then allow to develop over 18 hours until risen!

How We Did It

Selecting the right event location for the conference was key. Previously our client has used business conference centre venues with a high-end business look and feel to the conference. However, this year they wanted to encourage a more relaxed summer networking atmosphere whilst retaining the professional business presentation feel. We worked with the client to source an unusual Country House venue, having provided team building activities and conferences here in the past, we knew the exclusive meeting space was perfect for an intimate business atmosphere. A compact AV set to match the size and style of the room enhanced the personal feel to the business presentations and allowed for closer interactions during the afternoon.

The agenda for the day was also made more compact. Rather than an early start and full day of content, the group arrived for lunch followed by an afternoon of business presentations made shorter to allow for more contribution by the delegates.

Networking, sharing ideas and best practise was important so an informal outdoor BBQ dinner with drinks and live music provided the perfect informal setting for the team to share their thoughts from the day and catch up with the latest developments. Moving back indoors once the sun went down, the networking continued into the wee hours.

The Results Are In

All in all, the combination of the revised compact agenda, altered travelling times, change in style of event venue with smaller AV requirements and relaxed evening dinner meant that the event cost came in circa £1,000 under the new target budget. Added to the positive feedback from the delegates who appreciated the style and content of the ‘new look’ conference, the client was very satisfied with the tasty recipe we created!


Bravura Party Performance at Stamford Bridge – Star Studded Conference Event Management

July 2017

Asked to produce an action-packed motivational staff party at a landmark London venue, KDM’s corporate event squad brought Hollywood to Chelsea FC for a star-studded experience.

About our client
Our client is part of a leading UK merchant banking group listed on the FTSE 250 index and one of the City’s most enterprising and respected banks. A pioneering provider of premium finance with a 35-year pedigree, the company helps over a million people across the UK and Ireland spread the cost of their insurance policy.

The brief
With a strong commitment to customer service and an industry-leading staff training programme, the company sees employee engagement as critical to its business success. KDM had been producing annual employee events, ranging from corporate team building activities & games through to full conference event management, for this client for the last three years, but its new Chief Executive was keen to kick-off 2015 with a fresh event format that would motivate and reward all 330 staff members for the year ahead.

We were tasked firstly with sourcing a venue exuding real wow-factor that would be sited within a 20-minute radius of our client’s Wimbledon office, and secondly with producing an action-packed evening event combining dinner, dancing and an awards ceremony.

KDM’s response
From a shortlist of six possible venues, we proposed Stamford Bridge – the iconic home of Chelsea FC and ideally located with excellent transport links to neighbouring Wimbledon. Most importantly, the venue’s Great Hall provides a magnificent open space for large-scale company events. Rather than being a dedicated function suite, this versatile area gave us the perfect blank canvas on which to stamp the personality and style that would create an unforgettable corporate event.

‘A Night at the Movies’ was the chosen theme to tie in with their internal communications programme, and with the help of creative lighting, star cloth and giant props, the guests were transported to Hollywood for a night of glitz and glamour. Throughout dinner, a series of themed team building games kept them on the edge of their seats. Contestants won prizes using specially-designed scratch-cards, and each movie-themed table competed to win a celebrity face mashup contest. In addition to a pre-arranged celebrity look-alike contest, guests took selfies, which could be immediately uploaded onto the main screen, offering just one of the evening’s many prize opportunities. Following the company’s award ceremony, an eight-piece band and DJ ensured there was no let-up in adrenalin-fuelled activity. Our Event Management team were delighted with the results and enjoyed the evening almost as much as our client’s guests.

Client feedback
Our seamless event management seems to have paid off! Here’s just a sample of the comments received from the guests:

“A great evening thoroughly enjoyed by all within my teams so thank you so much for putting this on for everyone!”
“Amazing night and a huge thank you to everyone involved in organising it!”
“Great location, fantastic effort with decoration of the main room.”
“It was a well organised evening and I enjoyed myself, it just went too quickly.”
“It was amazing, I felt as if I enjoyed myself too much! Was such a great atmosphere and the marketing team and everyone involved really did pull it out of the bag! Well done”
“The decorations were amazing and loved the Hollywood theme.”


The Show Must Go On!

October 2016

Nobody likes to hear “No!”, “It’s impossible!”, “It simply cannot be done!”, well, nobody at KDM does! So when we hear it, from a conference venue, an event transport provider or even a pre-dinner drinks entertainer, we get our thinking caps on and figure out how we’re going to work around their “No” to reach the ultimate “Yes” we need to get the job done.

We’re not spoiled! We just like our clients to get what they want, and if they want to arrive to readily prepared AV and staging set at 8am, then AV and staging they shall arrive too!

Only, on this occasion, when we spoke to the venue that had been chosen by the client, we were told that unfortunately, access to the room was restricted due to a function not ending until the early hours of that morning. This is not the point at which we give up, no Sir! Following some lengthy negotiations with suppliers, the event management & delivery teams along with the conference venue, we found ourselves a solution, we turned that no onto it’s head by altering the question. So there we were, bright eyed and bushy tailed at 3am on day 1 setting up an AV rig.

8am arrival went smashingly, rehearsals took place and the show opened at 10:30am.

av-staging-event-management

Invitations to the gameshow themed event were extended to 300 delegates across the UK through online delegate registration and the conference, establishing the client’s newly launched vision and values, was supported by stage props and furniture, team building activities, a motivational speaker, evening entertainment and delegate gifts.

benjamin-mee-we-bought-a-zoo-conference-speaker

Benjamin Mee, motivational speaker known for ‘We Bought a Zoo’ spoke to delegates about teamwork and bravery and 30 teams were tasked with the production of company adverts aimed at the client’s 2 market sectors, built on the foundation of their vision and values. Pulling together the multiple moving parts of this operation, the KDM team put on a show as precise as it was fluid, dropping in a little improv as and when it was required to keep the 300 strong cast shining brightly through their variety of starring roles in game shows, TV adverts and their glitzy awards ceremony finale.

The offending “No” was only the beginning of the challenges set by this conference but we like a challenge, so this has been a fantastic event to be involved with and the organiser’s gratitude and praise along with the smile on the face of each attending delegate gave us a warm feeling that only a successful KDM event can. Get in touch if you’d like to transfer the burden of the management of your next company event to us – we’ll be as pleased to do it as you are not too!

team-building-filming-conference-production


Sabre are Shaken not Stirred…

July 2014

Whilst it may be a cliché to state that no two events are the same, this was certainly proven to be the case when KDM were recently tasked by leading technology company Sabre with organising a bespoke event for 30 VIP clients of CEO level from across the world – with the brief involving The Shard, James Bond, creativity & technology.

Our initial thought was for a unique James Bond themed experience using classic cars in Central London; however upon considering the logistics of transporting guests around Central London at a pace quicker than a comatose snail we unfortunately had to shelve this idea.

However from this came the inspiration for a unique event – a James Bond themed GPS Treasure Hunt, but with a rather unique format!

Hence after a briefing south of the river, guests were met by a fleet of black cabs with all drivers suitably dressed for the occasion – to be ferried to an exclusive Private Member’s club in the heart of the City, for a martini-making masterclass.  After learning the history & basics behind 007’s favoured martini’s (and some equally important tastings), teams were put on the spot to design their own martini, with the outcome judged by our very own barman.

Part one of the challenge over, guests were then transported to a variety of locations including the National Portrait Gallery & Westminster Abbey to tackle a range of Bond themed questions & challenges, finishing up at the Shard before the results of the event were announced later that evening at the James Bond Exhibition in Covent Garden.

End result of the event was some very drinkable martinis, great photos, lasting memories for the guests & a satisfied client on the day!

Guests arrived at an exclusive Private Members Club in the Heart of the City, but didn’t have long to relax in the luxurious surroundings! Half of the group headed straight for a Martini-making master class..

sabre1

sabre2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst the other half of the group took in a Classic Bond film in the oh so cool Cinema room, whilst sampling a selection of Bond-inspired Martinis!

sabre3You Only Live Twice - JCB - Alton Towers - Phil 003 resized


9 Knockout Venue Dressing Tips

June 2014

Some venues are fabulous inside and out; others need a little help to create a setting that will truly  wow your guests.  Our in-house theming expert, Kathy Davies shares some valuable venue-dressing tips. 

Whether you are hosting a formal reception, a product launch or a party, choice of venue is the first and most important decision to be taken, and factors such as budget, size, location and timing will narrow your choice dramatically.  So once all of those boxes have been ticked you may still be left with the challenge of transforming the event space into a stunning environment.

kathy

How much should you spend?

Top-line expenditure will be on room hire, catering and possibly transport, but it’s important right from the outset to safeguard some budget for dressing the space.  We suggest that the absolute minimum sum required to dress a venue would be £1,000.

Venue assistance 

Don’t forget that the venue will almost certainly have some decor resource at its disposal, so a conversation while you are still at venue-selection stage will reveal what is available in-house.  With a little timely negotiation it will be possible to have such elements as table centrepieces and coloured chair covers and tie-backs included within your overall hire cost.

Working within the space

For a large scale project with a decor budget of over £1,000 you will have several spaces to work with and some traffic flow considerations.  Factor-in the importance of allowing room to position some large props to create a stunning first impression.  And be very careful not to end up with a lot of guests crammed in a tight space for the drinks reception.  Not only is the effect claustrophobic, but the wow factor of your gorgeous decor will be sadly missed in the crush.

Eye-catchers

Sometimes organisers have the opposite problem – a large space that won’t be filled by the expected number of guests.  The natural response would be to fill up every area of empty space, but in fact if you create just a few key focal points, your guests’ eyes will be drawn to these and they won’t notice the empty corners.  We find that putting a lot of focus on a dramatically themed doorway or walkway between reception and dining rooms confers more visual impact than a collection of smaller props strategically positioned around the room.

Themed settings

If you have the space and the budget to work with large set pieces, avoid the temptation to park them at equal distances around the room.  Instead group them in pockets.  By siting props together you automatically create a themed setting, which will have the affect of attracting guest to cluster together and form natural conversation groups.

Screen drama

Events that incorporate AV production provide an added opportunity to amplify and dramatise the decor or theme at little or no extra cost.  On-screen visuals add colour, movement and of course messaging to grab your guests’ attention, while supporting the overall theming. Plasma screens and projection are a great way of injecting a ‘live action’ feel to the event, while adding light and extra focal points.

Star-spangled venues

If your budget allows you to really go to town on decor, imagine silk drapes falling from a central spot on the ceiling, bathed in coloured LED lighting.  Corporate branding or event theme can be projected by lights which sweep around the room, spotlighting your giant props and set pieces of scenery as they go. Tables are the key areas of focus in a dining room, so invest in some fabulous LED-lit centrepieces.  Entrance doorways are also prime areas for dramatic treatment, and these can be framed with swathes of fabric, with spot lighting to guide your guests into the adjoining room, or special prop archways leading the eye to a glittering carpeted runway beyond.

The centre of attention

We can’t always have free rein when it comes to decor spend, but  it’s still possible to achieve a stunning effect on a modest budget. If you are decorating a room that will be largely populated by dinner tables, it’s probably a waste of money in any case to decorate the walls with props or other solid objects.  Far better to dress the tables themselves to create maximum visual impact.  Again, those  self-lit themed centrepieces will steal the show, supported by stylish linens and colour-themed chair covers. And shining colour washes of light up the walls will, in itself, transform a non-descript room into a magical space.

Creativity on a tight budget

Occasionally there’s no option but to theme your event on a shoestring, and for such occasions there’s still scope to inject some sparkle into the proceedings – via novelty elements such as colour-themed cocktails, or cupcakes that have been branded with corporate logos or messaging.

No matter what your budget, the secret to gaining maximum mileage in dressing the venue is to  make sure that styling and theming your event are included in the action plan from the earliest  planning stage. It’s amazing how far your money will stretch with some creative thinking and clever resourcing from the outset.

Kathy



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