Venue Finder & Hire Latest Events

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


Expanding Plans for 2014

January 2014

We hope that you had a fabulous Christmas and New Year and that 2014 is looking as exciting for you as it is for us! With so many things coming up this year we thought that we would give you a glimpse of what we are up to.

New Event App

Following months of reviewing code and pulling out his (already sparse) hair, our MD Kevin has created a great interactive event app. Designed in-house the app is completely unique to KDM and will be a great addition to many of our events. It is slick, highly reliable and great fun! It will enable us to provide live Q&A and event feedback for your events, personalised quizzes and game show rounds both easily and cost-effectively. We will be rolling the app out over the next month so ask for it on an event near you soon!

IMG_1026 resized

Vans

We imagine that breaking down on the way to your event because we are travelling in a rusty old van would be really bad! Bad for us and bad for you! Cunningly, we have always avoided scenarios like this by continually investing in repairs and improvements to our equipment. Recently, this has seen us add two brand new vans to our fleet. The additional vans:

  • Enable us to respond to an increased demand for events on the same day.
  • Are also larger – enabling us to hold a greater capacity of the equipment. So, we don’t have to send two vans on your event which is cheaper for you and better for the environment.

What’s more, our Event Staff are sure to enjoy the plush comfy seats whilst travelling the country delivering events from Inverness to Eastbourne!

And finally… New Staff

A survey by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), reported by the Telegraph, advises that 20% of workers will be on the lookout for a new job in 2014. This is great for us as we looking to recruit two new sales team members to continue the steady growth we achieved last year. We have been inundated with applications and first interviews will begin soon. But if you are one of the talented 20% looking for a new challenge in 2014, there’s still time and we’d love to hear from you so don’t be shy. Details can be found at TotalJobs KDM Events

 


KDM makes ‘Fresh Hair’ our 2013 Charity

August 2013

‘Fresh Hair’ opened in 2011 at the Cancer Centre at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire and gives a bespoke one-to-one wig fitting service for those that have lost their hair due to treatment or illness. Each year over 700 patients from North Staffordshire and beyond benefit from Fresh Hair’s services.

Fresh Hair operates in temporary premises but to secure its future needs a purpose-built facility. Plans are in place for a salon to include a beauty/holistic therapy suite and private consultation rooms with the aim of creating a salon where patients come to feel normal and leave looking fabulous. The cost of building this bespoke facility is in the region of £150,000.

KDM have nominated Fresh Hair as our chosen charity for 2013 and have made donations of £2,500 so far to this excellent cause. Check out their website for more information and ways that you can get involved – ‘Fresh Hair’ website

Wig_Salon_2


Sarah Fitz gets Her Man

November 2012

After years of keeping him waiting, our Venues and Agents Team Account Director Sarah Fitz finally said ‘I Do’ and just two weeks ago Lucky Jim finally got his girl. The happy couple went off on an eagerly awaited honeymoon in the USA and blew into New York just as Super Storm Sandy blew in from the other direction! Sandy soon realised that she’d met her match and moved on leaving Sarah and Jim to have a fabulous holiday and a truly amazing experience. Congratulations to you both from all your friends here at KDM.


KDM’s Industry Predictions for 2012

January 2012

As event professionals we are constantly asked for our opinion on what 2012 will have in store for the event industry. So, we’ve asked Nicky Wrighte, Commercial Director at KDM, and here are her top four predictions for 2012.

1) Events will move out of London in the run up to and immediately after the Olympics due to reduced availability, increased venue costs and traffic congestion.

2) Events for staff motivation and reward will be key in 2012 – in part using the budget which hitherto was spent on Christmas parties and Olympic themes will prove to be very popular for internal events.

3) Free Wi-Fi will become a standard offering from venues. There’s a clear call from consumers that this has to happen to allow for the advent of increasing technology based elements in events.

4) In planning their forthcoming hospitality packages, companies might needlessly spend massive amounts of time ensuring that they are adhering to the Bribery Act coming into force in April. This act is designed to prohibit high level ‘improper inducements’ e.g. all expenses paid trips for entire family to the Maldives rather than a ‘thank you/networking’ day out at Ascot!

Please contact us to discuss any aspect of the event industry and we’ll be happy to chat!


Last Minute Bookings (LMBs) – Top Tips

January 2012

There has been no settling back in gently for the KDM team after the lovely long festive break as due to last minute bookings everyone has had to hit the ground running to keep up. In fact, last minute bookings have become so common at KDM we’ve given them their own acronym – LMBs.

Way back in October 2011 we blogged that we actually love LMBs and it seems we’re not alone. We’ve discovered that they are something of a trend in the industry right now.

In a quick bit of research we’ve discovered that of the last 80 bookings, which have taken place over the last 2 months, there has been a lead in time of less than a month for over 50% of the enquiries and a lead in time of less than 10 days for nearly ¾ of those.

If you’ve been put in charge of organising a last minute booking for an event, whether it is a meeting, conference, team build or theme night, read KDM’s top tips for a successful event here:

Information To save time and energy making enquiries make sure you have all the information regarding your planned event, including guest numbers, timings, objectives and the all important budget right from the beginning. If your budget is £50 per person for a day delegate rate tell the venue you are asking for quotes. If you don’t advise your budget and they quote you £60 per person you’ll only have to go back and negotiate which will cost you valuable time. If you advise your budget and the venue can’t accommodate at least you will know right away so you can contact somewhere else.

Be flexible If you are looking for entertainment and the band you have booked for the last 5 years isn’t available be flexible and try someone else. You might just find that the alternative band/hospitality package/magician achieves exactly what you wanted anyway.

Use it to your advantage Some venues and entertainers will offer promotions if they have availability last minute and want to fill the date. So, when enquiring last minute it’s well worth asking if there are any promotions being offered, after all, if you don’t ask you don’t get.

Call in the experts If it’s all too much to cope with, just give KDM a call and we’ll take on all the hard work. We can recommend venues, negotiate discounts, organise AV, team building, theming and entertainment.

 


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

December 2011

This will be last blog for 2011. The next time I write it will be 2012!

There are only 5 working hours left and then the KDM office will close for the Christmas and New Year break – although Kevin is likely to pop in to the office as he’s a bit of a workaholic!!

Here at KDM we’ve had a great year – we’ve worked with some great clients (both old and new), had some weird and wonderful enquiries and created some excellent events (even if we say so ourselves).

Here are our highlights of 2011:

1. New Recruits – 2011 saw four new recruits as Claire, Katie, Jo and Vivian all joined the company. All recruits have settled in very nicely and now very much part of the KDM team.

2. BIG Product Launch – Between 26th May and 21st July 2011 KDM managed the UK wide product launch for a leading boiler manufacturer, with 24 events at different locations in 8 weeks. Regarded as a great success across the company and within the industry, the client has proposed to realign their marketing budget away from exhibitions to live events as a more successful means of communication with installers in line with feedback from the event.

3. Emerald Partner Status with Donna Louise Trust – KDM have donated over £10,000 to the charity, which provides a range of specialist care and support for children with a shortened life expectancy and their families, over the last two years including supporting them with their annual summer ball.

4. New Website – OK so it hasn’t been launched to the general public yet but work on the brand new KDM website started in earnest at the end of June and will be launched (fingers crossed) in early 2012.

5. Charity Support – KDM have been proud to support a number of charities with their fundraising efforts including the British Heart Foundation, the Donna Louise Trust, Breast Cancer Awareness, Children in Need, Comic Relief, the Poppy Appeal and Douglas Macmillan.

6. New Events – Weird and wonderful enquiries meant KDM developed the following new team building events, corporate entertainment and themed events and parties: Olympian Challenge, Rollercoaster (hour long icebreaker), Fairyball Themed Evening, Cirque du Soleil Theme Evening (including Rope Performer and Accordion Player), Jazzmatazz Charity Summer Ball, Dry Stone Walling (client’s fixed a wall on the Chatsworth Estate), Artistic Challenge (teams recreate works of art such as Birth of Venus by Botticelli and yes guests do take their kit off!).

7. Over 500 Events – KDM prepared, planned, organised, managed and ran over 500 events in 2011 – we’re hoping for even more in 2012

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year on behalf of everyone at KDM Events!


The Retail Experience!

October 2009

The world’s most famous department store opened its doors to our clients ‘Make the Difference’ nominated associates for a highly exclusive and totally aspirational celebratory dinner. (more…)



Activity Events Christmas Events Corporate Entertainment Locations
Corporate Event Locations Corporate Hospitality Locations Meetings & Conferences
Team Building Locations Treasure Hunt Locations Site Map