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End to End Team Building and Event Management for a Unified Conference Experience

August 2017

KDM recently produced a unique experience comprising of team building activities, company party entertainment and end-to-end event management for an occasion any events company would be proud to showcase – a senior-level international conference that unified the senior global team behind a new leadership ethos.

About our client: Tunstall Healthcare Group is the market-leading provider of technology-enabled care services. Operating in over 50 countries and supporting over 3.6 million people worldwide, the organisation’s technology and services play a key role in helping older people and those with long-term needs to stay out of hospital and residential care and live independently.

The Brief: Our client asked for KDM’s support in planning its annual three-day conference. The event would provide a rare opportunity to bring together the company’s senior global team, to network, share common goals and take the company’s vision forward.

Our first task was to source a venue for an event that would include guest speakers, award ceremonies, workshops and team building activities. The CEO favoured a country house-style venue for 60 participants that would be prestigious but not ostentatious, in a rural location. With colleagues travelling from Australia, the US and Europe the location needed to be no more than an hour from Manchester Airport.

KDM involvement: We proposed Rookery Hall, an Elizabethan-style mansion in Cheshire. Having worked previously with the venue we were confident that it could deliver on all fronts, providing the requested auditorium and break-out rooms. We undertook the graphic design of logos, invitations and event branding. All collateral reflected the ‘Unify’ vision for the company’s strategy – the ethos of pulling together and collaborating. KDM also managed the conference AV and production, gala dinner theming and provision of evening entertainment.

One of the event’s highlights was a team building activity – The Missing Link. Devised by KDM, the exercise involved 10 teams each tasked with building ‘their’ section of the Missing Link machine. Gradually teams discovered that rather than competing, they needed to cooperate collectively to bring together the interconnected modules. KDM’s Senior Event Manager facilitated the activity, sharing notes on how each individual behaved within their team with the client’s own facilitator who fed-back progress live at the event. The Missing Link put into practice the company’s new strategy and enabled delegates to experience first hand the ‘Unify’ theme.

Client feedback: Carolyn Reed, Global HR Director said: “A big thank you to you and the team – the support the team has given us for Unify has been nothing short of brilliant!”

Mr Bond … I’ve been expecting you – Comprehensive Event Management with a Creative Team Building Twist

July 2017

After KDM had delivered a successful corporate team building activity event in 2015 for the UK’s largest full-service dental dealer, our client contacted us again – initially requesting a team engagement activity. As it turned out, our assignment was to evolve into a much more comprehensive event management package, and one with a distinctly Secret Service theme!

Our original brief was for an indoor-based, competitive team building event, by providing team building activities incorporating teamwork, creativity, and most of all, fun to appeal to the company’s 60-strong sales team during its annual conference. Cue ‘The Chocolatier’s Apprentice’ an engaging, entertaining and creative team building activity that had teams using a range of skills from creative thinking to budgeting, sales and marketing…all involving chocolate!

Learning that there was no AV provision in place for the company’s conference presentations, we proposed our full in-house AV package for the day and evening. This meant that presentations were made on stage during the morning’s business meeting and then teams had the opportunity to pitch ideas for the afternoon’s Chocolatier’s Apprentice team build to their unsuspecting competitors. We also took care of the conversion of the stage, set and lighting to create the perfect atmosphere for the evening’s Company Awards ceremony and themed dinner party.

In honour of the recently-released Bond film, Spectre, the awards dinner was transformed into a ‘shaken not stirred’ cocktail of sumptuous black and silver table dressing and elegant glass table centrepieces. Giant event props were used to dress the room and create a Bond theme, and an elegant Hollywood style red carpet lined the dining room entrance. Retro games provided the informal entertainment for the evening.

Finally, our in-house professional event photographer captured the highlights of the day’s activities and evening award celebrations. As an events company who pride ourselves on great value & quality by employing our own full-time event management & production team, we were delighted to offer our in-house professional event photographer to capture the highlights of the day’s team building activities & evening award celebrations.

The client’s verdict

“Fabulous feedback…The team did a great job, seamless transition from afternoon to evening! The Chocolatier event delivered in every respect – team building, leadership, creativity and most of all fun. Sensational! As always – you guys are really easy to work with. Till the next time.”

Looking forward to it Mr Bond!

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.”

When in Rome

April 2017

April found the KDM Events team packing our bags as we were invited to organise a team event at the newly opened Hotel Eden in Rome.

We were asked by our clients to organise a two-day team event that provided activities dealing with teamwork and transformation, whilst also being fun and innovative. The team event was being held at the newly restored Hotel Eden located in the city of Rome as part of their ‘People Forum’. The forum was organised for the client’s internal team of Heads of Department.

Pleased to be invited to organise this team event, we packed everything we needed for the two-day event into large suitcases and flew to Rome to deliver an animation team building activity and a beatbox energiser.

So what did the two-day event consist of?

Across the two-day team event, the KDM team delivered our Animation Innovation team build activity and our Beat Box workshop to 40 members of the client’s team.

The Animation Innovation activity is designed to encourage team building through creativity. Through an introduction to Stop Motion Animation techniques, the team members were given the opportunity to use new ways of communication to show their ideas as they created, produced and edited their own animation.

Alongside the animation activity, we also provided a beatboxing workshop. The client’s team were introduced to the techniques and skills needed to beatbox. Beat Box is a great energiser as it allows all members of the team to be involved as they work together to see what can be achieved together using only mouth, voice and lips. With their newly learnt skills and having been allocated different percussion sections, teams successfully worked together to create a musical memory.

And the feedback?

Our client delighted us with a very short email ending with this sign off “All was amazing!”

The UK’s Best Event Provider!

April 2017

We did it!

The first time we’ve even considered taking time out of the day job to enter ourselves into the industry’s most prestigious M&IT Industry Awards – and we bagged ourselves a GOLD!

(read more …)

A Great British Party

March 2017

On a crisp Thursday afternoon in January, the KDM Event Management & Delivery team found ourselves at the beautiful Welcombe Hotel & Spa in Stratford, preparing for a last minute conference booked only two weeks prior.

As one of the UK’s largest suppliers to the Event Industry, short lead-in times don’t phase us, our equipment is all stored at our central warehouse, much of it handmade in our own workshop and our full-time Event Managers, trained to produce a huge variety of-of corporate events, are not unfamiliar with acting fast to get the job done!

So what did we produce in those 2 weeks?

Our client, The Dental Directory, one of the largest full-service dental dealers in the UK, tasked us with the provision of a full day experience their delegates wouldn’t forget following successful delivery of the same for their 2016 conference.

We began the conference with set up on Wednesday, KDM’s full AV Package was required throughout the following day along with the technical expertise of our AV staff to ensure a smooth presentation.

Following a morning of company presentations, teams were provided with the necessary tools to produce their own films, their Animation Innovation team build was based around The Dental Directory’s products providing a variety of learning outcomes such as raising team morale and reinforcing product awareness.

While delegates retreated to prepare themselves for the evening, our ground crew got to work turning part of the neo-Jacobean mansion into a Great British Celebration, decorating banqueting furniture with red, white and blue and dressing the room with brilliantly British staples; life-size telephone box, life-size letterbox, giant teacup and saucer and British icon silhouette panels.

The evening’s entertainment was completed with a Great British pub games package and the glossy awards ceremony, captured beautifully a professional photographer, was met with cheers all round!

The client was undoubtedly pleased by the outcome:

“The guys that they did a brilliant job on both days. Set up Wednesday was great and then Thursday the presentations went very well and I was surprised how well the team responded to the animation exercise. As always the games went down well and the gents attending were really helpful, I also held the record for the batak so good day all round!”

If you’d like a hand with last minute plans for conferences, event management or team building, get in touch!

Fighting For Inequality?

March 2017

Our Commercial Director is all too familiar with the battle women face in the workplace to gain the same status, pay and respect as their male counterparts, but sees the current issues highlighted as wholly missing the point!

Nicky Whyman, Commercial Director writes:

“I recently read an article about the appalling representation of women speaking at the Northern Powerhouse Conference, and as somebody who books speakers for conferences on a daily basis I can tell you that never, do I begin the search by deciding on which gender best fits my criteria. In fact, there’s not a point during the selection, proposal or booking process, where I wonder to myself should I be booking a male or a female for this?! My proposal and recommendations will always be based on an individual’s suitability for the occasion, based on what the client is hoping to get out of it.

Event Industry views - fighting for inequality

“The events industry is actually dominated, in terms of sheer numbers, by women, though according to eventsuncovered.tv, the majority of leaders in the industry are men. This is clearly an issue to be addressed but the way to fix this is just not as simple as handing out leadership roles to women instead of men to even out the playing field – that is flawed on far too many levels to even begin typing!

“This is no different. The article I read featured descriptions of the ‘embarrassing’ 13% of speakers at the event, which celebrates the best business leaders in the North of England, quoting industry experts calling it ‘disappointing’ and an MP whose message was ‘women must be involved at every level’.

“My main problem with this rhetoric is that if we keep shouting about the special treatment we need to be heard and to succeed, if we continue to ‘slam’ somebody for choosing the male alternative, we’re actually presenting ourselves to the world as the weaker half of the population, who need a little extra opportunity to succeed and a bigger stage to be heard – how can we expect to be considered equal?

“The way I overcame the challenges facing me in the workplace was by emphasising my own ability, rather than try to isolate myself as entitled to different treatment. There are many ways to ensure you’re moving forward in your career and reach your goals – here are some tips based on my personal experience:

  1. Seek out a mentor who is a respected specialist in their area. Don’t underestimate the power of approaching someone and asking for their help!
  2. Don’t let your current position limit you – join and attend networking groups with job roles/membership that you aspire to.
  3. Increase your skill and knowledge levels with specialised training – ask those in the positions you aspire to what they recommend.
  4. If you are specifically being harassed or discriminated against then consider taking the appropriate steps. Don’t expect it to automatically blow over and don’t be tempted to just leave– take professional advice from a trusted 3rd party source before taking action.

“I’ll end on this final thought, the organiser confirmed that while they agreed that women are underrepresented, they’d actually approached companies who had decided upon a representative for themselves… Maybe the senior female leaders were too busy to RSVP?!”

Don’t Let Practicalities Limit Your Imagination… We Sure Won’t!

December 2016

As the exciting, sparkling madness of Christmas quickly approaches, the KDM office is alight with the buzz of party organising, getting the Is dotted and the Ts crossed, the event team are carefully placing giant playing cards behind the life-size polar bear and lining up traditional Christmas trees next to the giant disco balls. If you came by to visit us you might wonder whether we misunderstood the mad hatters tea party concept!

December is always a visual explosion at KDM, the masses of varied themed evenings underway all have to start somewhere and, like we tell all of our clients deciding on theming to add that extra sparkle to their Christmas party, you really are only limited by your imagination.

A Night at The Races - Themed Party

Some clients like to choose a theme with their venue in mind; we’ve produced a Winter Wonderland at East Midlands Conference Centre, a Grease-themed party at Venue 1886, a Night at the Races at Bedford Lodge Hotel, an Electric 80’s theme at Mercure Hatfield Oak and A Victorian Christmas Tale at Coombe Abbey. All of these themes integrated beautifully into their respective venues, transporting guests to another era or place and we loved every minute of planning and production but this is only the tip of our creative iceberg!
winter-wonderland-selwood-26-11-16-11
If you want a wild and wonderful theme in a stately home, or a traditional Christmas in a modern space to shock and amaze your guests on arrival, we’ll work with you to pull it off gracefully but with maximum impact, we’ve plent of experience in dropping square pegs into round holes.

Think outside the box? What box?!? There is no box! Tell us about the party you want, the reaction you want, the type of venue you like and how many creative liberties we can take, we’ll build you the themed party you didn’t really believe was possible and we’ll do it with great big grins across our faces because we love a challenge! Get in touch about your next themed party to find out more.

Highlights and Developments: This Year’s Achievements and Next Year’s Goals

November 2016

2016 has been a fantastic year for KDM Events, we’ve been recruiting, renovating, innovating and expanding far beyond our 2015 goals. And that’s all been in addition to the hundreds of team building activities we’ve provided, conferences we’ve managed, venues we’ve sourced and entertainment we’ve supplied.

It’s sure been a busy one, but we’re not about to slow down, we’re on a roll! We’re committed to continuous development, being in the business of innovative event management, we place a great deal of importance on the unique quality and ideas our team produces, our in-house technical experts keep us ahead of the event technology game and our experienced event management team ensure the smooth running of our clients’ events through their vast combined knowledge of event venues, industry advances and team building trends.

So Far This Year

Our Workshop Manager; Pete, retired following over 20 years at KDM building unique activity equipment, themed props and even staging, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as we said goodbye to Pete! Luckily, Pete spent 2016 working with Chris, a lifelong Joiner and Carpenter, who was ready to save the day and take the place of Event Creator Extraordinaire, and though he’s jumped into a great big pair of creative boots, he’s doing a fabulous job!

Watch this space for brand new themes in 2017 along with digital strategy games and brand new icebreakers from our event development team.

You’ll soon be treated to a glimpse of our beautifully renovated office, to keep our growing workforce happy at work we’ve slowly and carefully taken a sledgehammer to our old office layout and style, we’ve made it warmer, cosier, popped in a couple more offices for convenience, installed a brand new kitchen, a bright diner style lunch space and a great big wall mural! It’s been an ongoing team building experience for us all, helping each other out through the noise and dirt, communicating without words during the pneumatic drill period and pulling together to make sure our clients’ events wouldn’t be effected when we lost a little office time on the day that will forever be known as Tarmac-Tuesday; the day a small unplanned asphalt issue resulted in hot tarmac being spread while we held on outside waiting for the go-ahead to re-enter the building. (It was every bit as dramatic as you’re imagining!)

The investment in our environment has been met with huge gratitude by our workforce, watch out for pictures of their smiling faces in our fancy new home in 2017!

And can you believe it’s only November?!

What to expect in 2017

As well as our anticipated plans for brand new digital strategy games, beatbox icebreakers and all manner of new themed party props, we’ve already begun planning for a revamp of our website.

While we continue to grow, so must your online portal to us, so our in-house graphic designer is busy working away on some striking new imagery to help tell the story of our events through our website and using your feedback we’re developing a client login area in order to ensure your online experience with us is as personal as you need it to be while looking and acting just a little slicker.

We’ll be sharing updates with our social media community as and when we have them: linkedingrey untitled-3 greyfacebook

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


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