Latest Events Homepage

GettingThe Most From Corporate Event Spend – Even If You Just Want To Have Fun!

August 2016

The first question we ask every potential client is: what do you want to achieve from your event? This isn’t because we’re questioning your reasons for holding a corporate event, it’s because we want to make sure that what we produce for you;

– is the best possible value
– is designed to meet your goals
– achieves the best possible results

Our internal goals for every event include punctuality, consistency, meeting budget & overall success and we assume you expect those things from us. So when we ask the question, we’re really asking, before you chose to invest in a corporate event, be it staff entertainment, team building, a company party, client entertaining or a 3 day conference, what business goal led you to that decision?

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We can often translate a knee jerk response into a SMART objective, and we’re more than happy to sit and have that chat to make sure we’re providing the most relevant products & services to help our clients meet those objectives.

For instance, a nationwide firm of solicitors holding a Christmas Party for the entire company will tell us that their sole objective is fun! And while fun is not something we’re in short supply of, it is something that’s difficult to accurately measure in terms of an outcome. Fun is usually the response from a company company that wants to achieve one of the following:

– increase in or maintenance of productivity and/or sales
– decrease in or maintenance of staff turnover
– decrease in or maintenance of sickness absence

If the fun goal is stemming from an intention to thank an amazing workforce, maintenance is or a slight increase/decrease is a likely goal, if it’s an attempt to increase staff morale, perhaps an increase in sales or decrease in turnover is the end objective.

Once we’ve established an objective we can make it Strategic Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-bound – SMART, and then we can really get stuck in to working towards achieving it, bringing together all of the tools at our disposal specifically designed to produce a variety of outcomes, from educating a sales force on the technical specifications of a new product to establishing team camaraderie in a brand new team or providing an open forum for feedback on company policies and processes.

It does take a little time to establish SMART event objectives in line with company goals but the resulting impact on how well your event is planned and executed is well worth the thought and effort and we’re more than happy to help guide our clients through that tat process.

For a number of common objectives we provide free evaluation tools for live measurement on the day & post event analysis and for more complex objectives we can work with you to create a method of monitoring, measuring and analysing performance against objectives during and after your event.

Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you construct and manage SMART objectives for your next corporate event.

Our friends in the North

July 2016

Is it just KDM’s experience – or are Northern venues suddenly standing out as exciting and innovative challengers to their Southern counterparts?

With bases in Staffordshire and West London we routinely deliver corporate events all over the UK, and are used to a heavy London bias in venue-selection because we, and our clients, felt that the Capital set the pace in terms of variety and wow factor.

But over the last year or so we’ve seen a shift.  Many more event planners are keen to explore locations north of Watford (in fact, north of Nottingham!) and we’ve been delighted to recommend a range of destinations in the top half of the map – not just for their stunning venues, but for the surrounding infrastructure in regenerated spaces.

Take Liverpool, for example. Enjoying the legacy of its 2008 European Capital of Culture status, the city has continued to receive development funding, sparking interest from corporate groups. This may be for companies based around the UK attracted by the better value of northern locations, or for Manchester-based clients keen to find a new, fresh destination within easy reach.

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With all the investment in regeneration around the Albert Docks, the museums and the new hotel builds, organisers are spoilt for choice in Liverpool.  The Titanic hotel is fabulous, especially its highly versatile Rum Warehouse – a great atmospheric space for meetings and dinners. The newly-built Jury’s Inn also provides excellent meeting space and proximity to the Echo Arena.  And the waterfront location of the award-winning ACC is a huge draw.

We’ve had great success with Black Cab GPS themed treasure hunts around Liverpool, taking teams to the Docks to explore the Maritime Museum or The Beatles Story; also to Knowsley Safari Park.  And with free entry, the World Museum provides further scope for team events.  And of course the Docks offer a prime opportunity for Dragon Boat racing.

Further afield, another of our current favourites is the Toffee Factory in the heart of the Ouseburn area of Newcastle – itself a fascinating area of interest.  Featuring design classics and locally produced furniture, the Toffee Factory hires out an event space for up to 70 people.

In recent months we’ve run a series of amazing events at other Northern venues – including a daytime team event at Thorpe Park Hotel in Leeds, another team event at the Westerwood Hotel in Glasgow.  Also an evening’s beer tasting and giant games at the Railway Museum in York, and a Yorkshire Fete themed event at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate.

So watch this space for further Northern gems. We’re confident that when it comes to venue selection, the North is the new Black, and we look forward to welcoming increasing numbers of  corporate guests from around the UK to experience its rich industrial heritage and dazzling natural landscapes.  Oh – and Northern hospitality takes some beating as well …

Conference News June 2016 – What the agents say

June 2016

conference-newsCheck out page 30 of June’s Conference News for some of our interesting insights into Liverpool as an events destination:
https://www.joomag.com/magazine/conference-news-june-2016/0698883001464772077?short

Meetpie cover our latest product releases

June 2016

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We are helping delegates tap into their inner celebrity in team bonding – launching two new products that sees participants star in their own on-screen productions. Read Meetpie’s coverage here: http://www.meetpie.com/Modules/NewsModule/newsdetails.aspx?t=KDM-Events-unveils-on-screen-team-bonding&newsid=23020

 

 

Posted in Team Building Blog

KDM takes Brighton Pier to university campus

June 2016

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When the University of Sussex hosted 220 higher education managers at a special Summer Festival on 15 June, KDM was asked to organise an evening of fun with a distinctive seaside flavour.

The guests were all participants in the annual CUBO (College and University Business Officers) Awards, and were treated to a pre-Awards celebration – not on the beach, but at the University’s Falmer campus.

The high-profile CUBO Awards draw entrants from around the country and have previously been held in major cities such as Liverpool, London and Edinburgh.

Sussex University’s Conference Services Manager Wayne Spicer said: “For the first evening of this two-day event we wanted to showcase Brighton’s unique appeal without our guests having to leave the campus, so we decided to bring the flavour of Brighton to them.”

KDM’s event team set-up a seaside-themed photo studio, festival props and lighting, as well as a carousel, dodgems and traditional games.

After a welcome reception at the University’s ACCA Centre, guests enjoyed a cabaret performance by mind reader Alex Crow. Moving outside, they sampled a taste of the Pier with popcorn and candy floss while trying their skills on the coconut shy, crazy golf and a cork gun shooting range.  Giant flags, a stilt walker and juggler added to the carnival atmosphere.

Street Food, provided by Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, included pulled beef baps, vegetarian baps, chorizo sausages, roasted Mediterranean vegetables, harissa tomato sauce and toasted pitta bread, Prawn Jambalaya, sweet potato and red chilli.

Launch of brand new team build options – KDM in the news

May 2016

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2 fantastic brand new outdoor team event options were released this month. The Hungry Games, puts teams in the world of arena survival, while Crystal Mazed transports participants to Aztec, medieval, and futuristic zones to complete themed challenges.  Read C&IT’s coverage here http://www.citmagazine.com/article/1393635/kdm-events-launches-hunger-games-themed-teambuilding-activity?platform=hootsuite

 

Posted in Team Building Blog

Adding Values through Focussed Team Building

May 2016

Team building activities are a great way of helping embed new values as part of an organisational rebrand. But don’t just take our word for it…

About our client
A new client for KDM, this financial services organisation was looking to create an extra level of communication for its annual Company Away Day. The organisation was rebranding and launching new values that needed to be understood and embraced by, its staff.

The brief
Our mission was to devise a suite of team building activities for the 200-strong work force, directly linked to the organisation’s three new values: Collaborative, Challenging and Accountable.  These would form the core content of the Away Day – taking place at 155 Bishopsgate, one of London’s state-of-the-art conference and event venues.

To boost interaction and engagement, a competitive element to the team activities would provide the content for an awards presentation to round-off the day.

KDM’s Response
We split participants into three groups that would in-turn experience three distinct team building activities, each tailored to bring-out the organisation’s new values.  These were ‘Harmonize’ – a session where the teams were trained by vocal coaches to become a choir, providing the ultimate Collaborative experience.  To Challenge them, the second session gave the groups a series of creative tasks incorporating business outcomes and calling for planning capability and logic.  Reflecting the third value, Accountable, teams competed against a ticking clock, having chosen their own challenges from a menu of 50 options carrying varying degrees of complexity and weighted score values.

The grand finale saw the three groups come together to sing ‘Dancing in the Street’ with perfect harmony achieved – in all senses of the word. Ending the day on a high, the awards presentation provided a joyous celebration of the groups’ successes.

Creative team building challenge participantsCorporate Event ParticipantsInnovative Team Building Activity - Harmonize, focusing on the results of collaborationEmployees participating in team building challenges, focussing on accountability

Outcome

The participants experienced their organisation’s new values in an atmosphere of fun and positivity while completing team building activities.

Our client’s early apprehension at working with KDM for the first time was allayed by the careful attention given at the event planning stage by our event manager, enabling him to fully understand and interpret the brief.  In describing our team as “motivated and professional”, the client said they “created real excitement to each activity” on the day.

If you need help with team building focussing on a specific outcome, feel free to contact us.

PS: With a scant 20-minute window to unload equipment into the event venue, KDM’s event delivery team successfully beat its own logistics challenge!

Posted in Team Building Blog

The Power of the Team | Problem Solving Team Building With A Creative Twist

April 2016

'Up Your Street' Engaging Team Building Activity from KDM Events ‘Up Your Street’ Engaging Team Building Activity from KDM Events

When one industry-leading business acquires another, it takes a strategic approach to align the two corporate cultures.  KDM supported one such culture-change programme in two separate series of events.

About our client
A pan-European distributor of tools and industrial products, our client serves a wide range of manufacturing sectors.  Adjusting to a recent major corporate acquisition, the company had embarked on a significant integration plan, spearheaded by its Head of Training and Development.

The brief
KDM was asked to support 11 separate corporate events over a two month period.  The first five of these would see groups of 50 staff from sales and operations departments brought together in locations as far apart as Glasgow and Windsor – to work on routes to successful collaboration in areas such as cross-selling.

The last six events would form part of an employee engagement programme designed to encourage positive attitudes and behaviours, and to foster a culture that would see knowledge, ideas and expertise shared throughout the business.

KDM’s Response
We proposed one of our most popular collaborative team building exercises, The Missing Link, for the first five events.  For this, the groups of 50 were divided into teams which independently completed a section of a construction project.  Each unit completed its own individual component of the build and the grand finale saw all of the units coming together and the teams united in achieving the common goal, producing a boost in team morale while reinforcing our client’s intended message.

For the six employee engagement events, teams were given the opportunity to script, act in and film an episode of Up Your Street – a hilarious soap mash-up with more than a passing nod to the Mitchell family and the Rovers Return.  Supplied with dialogue and character names, team members bonded over forming the writers, cast, and camera crew to produce their own portion of the TV drama, honing in on their combined time management and creative thinking skills simply by engaging in the team building activity together.  All the teams’ efforts were stitched together and shown on a large screen as the finale of the event.

Outcome
Working to meet a common objective brought teams together in challenges of problem-solving, time management and communication, ensuring that barriers between sales and operational cultures were dissolved as pride in collective achievement was shared.

By sharing ideas and creative thinking by completing a team building activity in an environment of humour, people really connected; team relationships were strengthened and participants had fun while working together. All recognised and experienced the company’s core values, understanding above all the amazing power of The Team.

Posted in Team Building Blog

Event delivery – with a splash of colour

March 2016

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Don’t be surprised to spot one of our vibrant new vans on the highways near you in the coming weeks.  KDM’s fleet of delivery vehicles has received an injection of eye-popping colour, and to be honest, they’re hard to miss!

These vans provide a vital link in the chain of joined-up event delivery that KDM offers our clients.  Starting with strategic planning, and continuing through the process of designing and execution of tailor-made experiences and branded environments, we translate business objectives into events that engage every guest and delegate.

From entire conferences or team building away days, to themed environments and stunning party decor, our in-house design and build teams partner with our logistics crews to ensure every component reaches its destination in pristine condition and primed for action.

KDM’s Commercial Director Nicky Whyman says: “Our new vans are a visual expression of the exciting, engaging and memorable experiences that we’re delivering all around the country every week of the year.  They certainly give us a burst of enthusiasm at the start of the day and we hope they’ll put a smile on the face of everyone who sees them.”

Posted in Team Building Blog

Engaging event at thestudio Birmingham

March 2016

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KDM recently welcomed over 30 Midlands-based corporate event planners, agencies and suppliers to a special showcase  event  at thestudio Birmingham.  Read all about it and see our photo gallery in Conference News


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