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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.

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.”

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

GBG Family Fun Day

February 2016

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KDM helped put together a fantastic family fun day at a client’s head office.
GBG is a global specialist in identity data intelligence.   From employee screening to helping fight fraud, the company’s technology connects instantly to hundreds of databases across the globe. Headquartered in Chester, GBG has 18 offices worldwide and provides data intelligence solutions to many of the world’s biggest organisations.

The brief
We were tasked with putting together a company fun day for approximately 150 employees, to take place at GBG’s Chester head office.  Our clients had organised this event themselves on earlier occasions but acted on a recommendation from a neighbouring company impressed by KDM’s services for their own event.  We were given a strict budget to provide a wide range of family entertainment and asked to ensure that the youngest guests were protected from the busy road bordering the site.

KDM’s response
After carefully considering a menu of options with the client, we proposed a selection of fun activities tailored to the budget and available space.  Bright orange barrier fencing was sourced to separate the busy road from the grassy area where the activities would take place.  It also provided an attractive border, enhancing the village green-style feel of the environment.

On the day, guests were entertained by a huge range of games and inflatable activities. The youngest participants sampled face painting and enjoyed the children’s entertainer’s balloon modelling, before venturing on to the Ball Pond, Hook-a-Duck, Beat the Buzzer and Tin Can Alley.  A bouncy castle, giant slide and inflatable basketball helped burn up a lot of youthful energy, while the grown-ups were entertained by Crazy Golf and a Surf Simulator.  A fantastic variety of food and drink were provided directly by the client.

Client feedback

“We’ve had a great day, thank you, feedback has been fab!”

“Everything worked brilliantly and your staff were very helpful, nothing was too much trouble so please pass on our thanks to them.”

“It was a fantastic event and I’ve already had little people asking me when the next one is!  Thank you for all your help”.

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Creating Memories at a Big Family Thank You!

January 2016

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The Bigger Picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FFD Caricaturist Penalty Shoot Out

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About our client

This household name company is one of the world’s leading food manufacturers, producing a range of legendary grocery brands.

KDM won a competitive pitch to produce an event that would celebrate family time, featuring activities designed to please all age groups.  Our mission was to create a memorable event that people would talk about for years to come. And very important to the client was the opportunity for guests to contribute to a giant picture montage on the day tied into the company’s core values.  In honour of the event, the company had decided to close down the factory site for the day, so as to give all staff from every shift the opportunity to attend.

All the fun of the fair

We pulled out all the stops to create a carnival atmosphere, starting with fairground rides, as well as coconut shy and Hook-a-Duck stalls.  The younger family members gravitated towards the bouncy castle, petting zoo, balloon modeller and face painting. And for the seriously energetic we laid-on a Bucking Bronco, surf simulator and inflatable assault course.

The fun was captured by a photographer and caricaturists, and of course food – in the form of a hog roast – and non-alcoholic drinks were in abundance.  An ice cream and popcorn barrow ensured that nobody went home hungry. A marquee provided the central hub to the day’s activity, as well as a wet weather contingency for the autumn event.

And crucially, contained within the marquee, guests were able to paint their own part of a colourful giant interpretation of the company’s core 5 principles to hang in the site’s reception.

What our clients said

“The whole KDM crew were fantastic and did a great job for us and have heard so many positive comments and cannot thank them enough for helping to make a brilliant event.”

 “Hog Roast Staff – I have had loads of comments about how nice the food was and also how pleasant and friendly the staff were.”

 “Caricaturist and face painters – were excellent, the detail was amazing from both (in fact I think I need to go on a severe diet seeing how big my cheeks were from the caricaturist!!!).”

Company Family Fun Day

December 2015

When seeking to celebrate the performance of a company, a popular way of doing so can be to hold a company family fun day – which not only rewards your staff but also thanks to your employees’ families who can play an important yet understated role in the performance and support of your staff.

The Client

KDM Events had worked with a leading house building company for several years delivering team-building events when the question arose of how they may hold a larger event for 300 people in the Summer – but was unsure of how to approach or organise this.

Having first organised a large Company Family Fun Day around the time that Right Said Fred was topping the charts, KDM were perfectly placed to advise on the logistics and requirements around such an event – which has to start with finding a venue that is suitable in terms of both grounds for the various activities, but also has both indoor space in the event of bad weather, and of course sufficient car parking for the large numbers of guests.

We have the advantage of having run events at most major venues throughout the country in our 25 years as business, and site surveys for each which detail the available grounds and space – meaning that KDM was swiftly able to put forward a shortlist of 3 venues which matched this brief and could accommodate the chosen date in July, from which Theobalds Park in Hertfordshire was chosen as the ideal location.

The Event

With the venue and date secured for the Hertfordshire Company Family Fun Day, KDM suggested several packages of activities and entertainment to suit various budget levels – with an important balance to be struck between sufficient activities for the adults, and suitable entertainment for the 80 or so children that were also expected on the day.

The chosen package included some traditional country pursuits, inflatable assault course and eliminator run, fairground games, bouncy castles, children’s slides, face painters, Pimms Barrow, Candy Floss stall amongst others – with KDM’s 16 staff on site from 7am in order to set-up the activities as well as mini marquees, PA, signage, bunting, power and all of the other small logistical details that are 2nd nature to us!

With the Great British Summer playing its role to perfection a great day was had by all, and the benefits that our client reported included increased staff morale, pride in the company, gratitude from employees’ families and also that the event provided an important opportunity for employees to connect and communicate in a more informal setting.

Whats the Point? KDM Conference News article

December 2015

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This year, measurement and evaluation of an events’ success has been a major
area of focus for our clients. Just how can we set objectives, measure them and
use that information to prove the success of a conference, meeting or activity
event? Conference News asked us the same question – you can read our 1-page
article www.kdmevents.co.uk/confnewsoct15.pdf

 

 

Team-up in the Sunshine – Case Study

December 2015

KDM made it possible for Prologis staff to celebrate the achievement, break down barriers and take important learnings back to the workplace – while making the most of the Summer sun.

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About our client: Prologis is the global leader in industrial real estate, owning and managing approximately 23 million square feet of logistics and distribution space in the UK alone.  Headquartered in Solihull with an additional office in London, Prologis’ dedicated teams provide a range of leasing and property management services, supported by the company’s legal, finance, HR, client relations, and marketing departments. The company has enjoyed stellar success in 2015, having won the prestigious Estates Gazette Property Company of the Year – Industrial and Distribution award for the second year running.

The brief: For Prologis, the summer of 2015 presented the ideal opportunity for staff to take stock of what they’d achieved and to learn a little more about working with people from other parts of the business.  A dedicated team building event would enable employees to get actively involved in fresh learning challenges and form a better understanding of their colleagues that could be taken back to the workplace.

Julie Bunce of Prologis said: “We also knew that the team would relish taking on a challenge that would take us out of the comfort zone”.

KDM’s response

We customised our indoor collaborative team build event, Crystal Maze, to enable half of the activity to take place out-of-doors. We also introduced a professional facilitator, who talked-through the learning points whilst the event was happening and explained how these could be applied in the workplace.  A key part of the bonding process came from switching teams around throughout the event.  This meant that participants got to work with different members of the group – which they thought was a great (and challenging) experience.

In the evening an outdoor barbecue allowed the teams to relax and review the day’s activity – which then continued over traditional pub games, such as darts, air hockey and skittles.  Newly-formed friendships were reinforced as colleagues from different parts of the business celebrated their achievements together.

Client feedback

Julie Bunce of Prologis said: “We’d worked with KDM in the past organising Christmas parties, so we knew how professional they were. This event was a really good demonstration of the value that professional event organisers can offer.  The team worked really hard on the day to move part of the event outside, so we were able to take advantage of some great weather and the professional facilitator was really intuitive – switching teams when needed and making the collaborative learning process fun and entertaining.  KDM proved brilliantly that they know how to run creative events and I’d thoroughly recommend their services to anyone, in fact, we’re already looking forward to the next one.”

CMaze

One Big Happy Family

November 2015

A routine review of our event files for 2015 has revealed a marked rise in the number of employee engagement events as the year has progressed.  We’ve received a record number of requests from corporate event planners looking to organise team bonding events and family fun days.

The emerging picture shows a renewed emphasis on company values.  We’re seeing a direct correlation between this more inclusive corporate event format, and a desire amongst companies to retain top talent.

Whatever their industry sector, companies are reacting to a highly competitive marketplace in recruitment terms, by heavily investing  in their workforces.  Many of our clients are asking for energising and stimulating events that reward loyalty and hard work – and in some cases also focus on the importance of family support.

Take, for example, a booking we have recently taken from a major food brand – for an event that will involve employees’ children participating in the creation of a themed mosaic, which will ultimately be displayed in the company’s offices.

There’s also a noticeable trend for our clients to hold such events at their company’s office site. This reflects the 21st Century work model that blurs the boundaries between office and home.  Extending  one step beyond the traditional team-bonding initiatives, these events create the opportunity for family friendships to be forged.

Among the high-energy themes that are perennially popular for corporate family events are School Sports Day, inflatable tournaments, It’s a Knockout and Country Sports.  And for 2016 we’re looking forward to staging several Olympian Challenges.  We are also seeing a lot of interest in with circus skills-themed activities and craft workshops.

Here at KDM, the increased demand for employee engagement events has been reflected in a need to strengthen and support our own teams – resulting in a recruitment drive of our own.  We’re delighted to welcome Account Executive Kate Janev, joining our Agents and Venues sales team and Mehreen Shabbir, Sales Administrator.  Also recently joined to bolster our event crew is Event Manager Ewan Miller.  And we’re still looking for further great staff to join what is rapidly turning into one big happy family!

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Point S Celebrates the Fourth of July – Case Study

November 2015

KDM transformed a Grade II conference centre in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside into the setting for a Fourth of July corporate party, ensuring the perfect balance between business networking and having fun.

About our client: Point S is well on its way to becoming one of the automotive sector’s go-to brands for tyres – favoured by consumers and fleet operators alike.  Over its forty-year history, the company has become established as one of Europe’s leading suppliers of tyres, wheels and car service with an ever-increasing global footprint.  In just five years, over 200 independently-owned centres have joined its UK network, benefitting from the brand’s values and commitment to customer service.

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The Brief: With a network of independent service centres that spans the country, opportunities for relationship-building are taken seriously and Point S places great value on the annual summer party organised for the company’s staff and partners.

Raising the star-spangled banner

The party date was set for July 4th, making the theme of Independence Day an easy choice, and the chosen venue was dedicated conference centre Ashorne Hill in Warwickshire.  But when it came to making the Stars and Stripes event really come to life, the venue’s manager suggested that Point S should consult a professional event organiser. Enter KDM.

Delighting the guests

We overlayed the Fourth of July theming through of all the venue’s event areas – Bar, Restaurant and Foyer – with customised table dressings, painted backdrops and giant props such as Stars and Stripes flags.  KDM provided indoor and outdoor themed games and entertainers, including a caricaturist who delighted the guests with his impromptu sketches.

To help the 130 guests recognise staff, both from Point S HQ and the event’s sponsor, Apollo, KDM’s graphics department designed bespoke ‘Wanted’ posters showing photos of key individuals. These were displayed around the venue.  To maintain the American theming throughout the event, we sourced contemporary country music and created a playlist.  With the partying in full flow,  a country band and disco provided live entertainment until 1.00am.

Client feedback

Sam Simpson from Point S, who was responsible for the event said: “Right from the start KDM were great to work with, Garry was great and had everything organised and all the guys with him were so lovely and helpful and did a great job.  Also, Clive the Caricaturist was fantastic and he mingled around with people early on which went down really well. It was excellent and the props etc. were great.  I can’t wait now for our next one and I will definitely be contacting you again.”

Wanted poster


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