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Wychwood Park – KDM’s Venue of the Month

February 2020

The Big Interview – Wychwood Park  

This February it is all about our Venue of the Month, Wychwood Park. This week we interviewed their Sales Manager, Lorna Thompson to answer those burning questions.

Hotel entrance with venue of the month announcement sticker

Set in the beautiful Cheshire countryside and surrounded by landscaped gardens, Wychwood Park is a stylish and modern conference venue and hotel. Located close to the town of Crewe, with easy access to Junction 16 of the M6, and Crewe train station. The hotel has direct rail links to Manchester, Birmingham and London, so is ideally placed for all types of events and leisure breaks.

Can you start by telling us a little about yourself, your background and career highlights

I started in the Hospitality Industry 19 years ago. I loved the industry instantly and could see this was where I wanted my career path to be. Originally I started in front of house, working in the Bars and Restaurant and then took the leap and moved into Sales. Starting as a Diary Co-ordinator and working my way up to Sales Office Manager.

What next I asked myself?! So I took another leap moving into proactive sales and fell in love with the job! Starting off as a Sales Executive and working up the ladder again – all the time gaining more and more experience and training to lead me to where I am now.

 

As the Sales Manager at the Wychwood Park Hotel, what are your key challenges and objectives

I think a huge challenge for us here has been the transition that the hotel has gone through and possibly very confusing time for customers. That being said we are now embarking on such an exciting chapter here at the hotel. We are owned by Mokan Hotels who have fully supported the huge investment and refurbishment we have recently undergone this has enabled us to step into 2020 with a fantastic new product for our customers to experience, Additionally we are managed by Legacy Hotels & Resorts again who are instrumental in supporting and managing the transition the hotel has undergone.

The objective now is to raise awareness and ensure our customers know we are so much more than just a Hotel / Conference Centre – we have our PGA Standard Golf Course and Claret Jug Brasserie, Fantastic Function Rooms, Training Rooms, Bar, Restaurant and 113 Bedrooms – including the completion of 2 brand new Suites.

Mirrored bar area with tall blue stoolsBright and colourful dining area with pendant lighting Beautiful live edge wooden table surrounded by chairs in a meeting room at Wychwood

What do you enjoy most about your role at the Wychwood Park Hotel

In my role as Sales Manager, I get to work with a vast amount of clients. I build relationships and support with their specific requirements. I like to think as their Account Manager I develop that relationship from being a supplier to becoming an advisor for them. Should they have any external requirements for meetings, training and events I am the first person they think of to talk too.
Every day is different – I could be speaking with a client about a series of training events for their company and the next discussing Company Celebration and Kick-Off Events.

 

What is your favourite feature of the venue

Having had the £3.2 Million Refurbishment every part of the venue is now fantastic. However for me personally, I think the main feature I love is our Atrium. The area has been transformed. We now have a luxurious, warm welcoming open lounge that has a huge WOW factor for guests arrival. Whether you are checking in, arriving for a Conference / Event or relaxing and enjoying refreshments this central area now feels like the heart of the hotel.

 

When it comes to helping corporate clients bring their events to life, where do you begin

The key for me is finding out the things that make the difference – what is important to the client?  What’s going to make the difference for them and ultimately make their life easier running this event? How can we take this pressure off and exceed their expectations?

 

What would you consider makes a great hotel?

My colleagues – we pride ourselves in investing in the team. We drive them to develop great relationships with customers and understand their needs. We spend a lot of time understanding what makes our customers tick. What are those little things that make their event run easier and what is going to make the difference for the customer.

 

What can we expect to see from Wychwood Hotel in the next 12 months

Who knows?! With our brand new product, both our owners and management company have big plans…  All I would say is watch this space. This is an exciting time here with a New Decade and New Hotel, the sky’s the limit.

 

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

New Decade New Hotel! With a £3.2 Million Refurbishment, the hotel is completely different that you just have to experience it. With flexible training space, fabulous new bar and restaurant we have combined both modern, slick and practical event space with luxury and sophistication. A WOW factor for any training, conference or event you may have.

 

Female with short dark blonde hair smiles.

Lorna Thompson – Sales Manager 

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

How to improve communication in a team?

February 2020

How-to-improve-communication-in-a-team

One of the biggest and best contributing factors to a successful team is communication. Without it, misunderstandings arise, deadlines are missed and most (if not all) of the group end up demotivated and left with a bad taste in their mouth. And it doesn’t take a genius to surmise that when this happens productivity takes a significant dip, and goals are left unfulfilled.
Once in this vicious cycle, where communication is scarce or even non-existent, failure to intervene and promote more effective communication between colleagues can lead to an irreparable breakdown. Of course, no one wants this to happen. So, to help you improve communication within your team, we’ve put together some handy, actionable tips…

Encourage Feedback & Contributions

When members of a team feel they cannot voice their ideas, concerns, or challenges, progress inevitably grinds to a halt. To avoid this, it’s important to build trust among team members by actively encouraging them to share what they are thinking and feeling regularly. For the team this can be achieved with well-structured team meetings, where an agenda is fleshed out and each member is invited to contribute their thoughts and ideas.

Further to this, as a leader, you should have an ‘open-door’ policy that encourages team members to ask questions or voice concerns at any time. By making yourself accessible, and not punishing those who do, you build trust and remove perceived barriers.

In terms of feedback both given and received, this should be constructive, clear, and detailed with actionable points. No one likes to feel as though they are being personally attacked, and if the feedback is too critical without being constructive it can be deeply demotivating.

Define Goals & Roles

All teams need to know what they are aiming to achieve, why and how they are expected to achieve it before they can work effectively. That means being very clear when it comes to defining expectations, assigning roles and delegating tasks.

Throughout the duration of a project, you should have regular check-ins to ensure everyone is on track. Holding a forum or team meeting to monitor progress periodically serves to make sure everyone is on the same page. Without these kinds of touch points, others may start to think that their colleagues aren’t pulling their weight or doing certain tasks in the right way, which can lead to resentment and demotivation.

Boost Morale & Develop Skills

If you find your team isn’t communicating effectively, it may be time to work on developing their team-building, problem-solving and communication skills. This can be done in a variety of ways through team building activities or team bonding events.

Team building activities can take many forms. It can be as simple as getting the team together to enjoy a meal, or more structured. For example, at KDM Events we offer a whole range of team building activities that are specifically designed to help develop certain skills in a group. These include treasure hunts, escape rooms, and outdoor pursuits.

Framing team building against the backdrop of a fun, relaxed, informal activity can work to help others let down their guard and breakdown any barriers that may have resulted from poor communication in the workplace.

Capitalise On Individual Strengths

In a team, everyone brings their own unique perspective and skillset to the table. As a leader, you should capitalise on the strengths of everyone in the group by delegating tasks based on them. Of course, there will probably always be tasks no one particularly loves doing but you should be balanced and fair in your distribution of roles and listen when someone makes a suggestion that may make things easier.

As well as this, each team member should be praised and rewarded when appropriate. Apparent favouritism can make others feel hard done by and lead to a breakdown in communication and motivation. Instead, build a balanced and fair method of recognising and rewarding excellent work and be consistent in your execution of it.

Improving Communication Within A Team

Half of the battle to improve communication within a team is recognising and addressing it. When left to fester, a breakdown in communication will only worsen and cause people to isolate themselves off from the wider team. Not only is this damaging to morale, it halts productivity and prevents teams from fulfilling their potential.

If you would like to organise team building activities for your team that help to build communication skills, problem-solving and working together, we can help. Simply contact us today to speak to one of our Event Managers, who will help you plan your activity from start to finish.

Posted in Team Building Blog

Team Building Vs Team Bonding

February 2020


Team Bonding

Team building vs team bonding – What’s the difference? Is there even a difference at all? In this article, we’ll explore both terms to help you understand how each can be used to help build more energetic, positive and successful teams.

Team Building

Team building is a phrase we’ve all heard of. They are skills focused activities where participants work together to achieve a common goal. This can take many different forms. For example, an Escape Room where teams must follow instructions and communicate effectively to solve a series of puzzles in order to escape a locked room within a set time. Or a treasure hunt, where co-workers solve clues against the clock to reach a certain destination before an opposing team.

Whatever the set-up, team building activities encourage participants to utilise their existing skills and apply them in tandem with others. Usually, the aim of these is to develop communication and problem-solving skills within the group, both of which are key to a winning team.

The idea is that, following a team building experience or exercise, colleagues work better together in the workplace, applying what they have learned about themselves (and each other!) to professional tasks for improved synergy, agility and performance.

Team Bonding

Team bonding is perhaps a phrase that’s not used as often. But it’s likely that you have participated in, and even organised, team bonding. Team bonding is all about strengthening inter-personal relationships within a team. Simply, making sure everyone gets along and knows one another!

In the ordinary working week, this could take the form of having lunch together, after work drinks, or going out for a meal. Team bonding can also be more structured, too. Such as a day out together, conference or team celebration.

All these social activities present the opportunity for colleagues to get to know one another better outside of work situations. This is particularly effective for high-pressure and high-performing workplaces, as team members can blow off steam and talk about common interests outside of work that bring them together.

Typically, team bonding is less about building different skills and more about helping team members get to know one another better. It is no less important though, as a team that gets along is likely to be more productive.

Which is more effective: team building or team bonding?

The answer to this question depends on your goals for the team and the current dynamics within it.

If you have a team that socialises well together but doesn’t necessarily work well in certain situations, it could be a team building activity that is needed to help create synergy and motivate them towards a common goal.

Alternatively, if your team has well-developed problem-solving skills but they don’t gel well on a personal level, team bonding may be a more appropriate route to take.
In some cases, it could be that both are needed in some shape of form to achieve balance and improve performance.

Are team building and team bonding very different?

Not necessarily. In fact, many team building activities offer the opportunity for colleagues to get to know one another in a more relaxed and fun environment. At KDM Events, we create our team building activities with a range of goals in mind. We want teams to build on their current interactions, be energised, and develop their problem solving and communication skills. But we also want them to have fun and get to know each other, too!

Team building activities can be followed up with a social activity as well, which allows for team bonding. In fact, this can be doubly effective as they will be relaxed around each other, full of energy and feeling positive about the whole experience.

Team building vs team bonding

In short, team building aims to develop a group of colleagues on a professional level with certain skills in mind. While team bonding is all about getting to know each other in a less formal setting. Of course, it goes without saying that both should be fun and stimulating with the aim of participants leaving motivated and energised.

If you would like further information about team building activities and events from KDM, give us a call and speak to one of our Event Managers. For enquiries in London and the South, call 0208 404 0034. For Midlands and the North, call: 01782 646 300.

Posted in Team Building Blog

What Makes a Successful Team?

February 2020

Successful Team

“What makes a good team?” Businesses of all sizes have asked us that question time and time again so to help you to create a fantastic team dynamic within your work space, we’ve put together a list of the top 8 qualities which make up a successful team.

People in every workplace talk about building the perfect team but few truly understand how to develop an effective team. If each member of the team shares the same common goal and trusts one another, collectively you can achieve fantastic results. What’s more, coming into work can feel like pure joy! Suddenly work no longer feels like “work”, instead you find yourself feeling energised in the morning, ready for the challenges that lie ahead! As Steve Jobs once said, “Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.”

If employees do not gel well together however, problems can arise such as conflict, poor organisation and missed targets – to name but a few!

8 Qualities That Make for a Successful Team 

So, what can teams do to ensure that they work in harmony, driving the company forward whilst also creating a positive working environment? Below we’ve summarised some of the key qualities and characteristics that a successful team possesses…

  • Communication

Communication is the foundation of any strong team. No matter what the size of the team, it’s hugely important that each member feels comfortable in sharing thoughts, opinions and ideas with other members. What’s more, it’s also important to take the time to actively listen to one another. Without this, wires can become crossed leading to poor results and a negative atmosphere.

  • Trust

Like communication, trusting one another sits at the core of any great team. Without it, it can be difficult to work collaboratively, hindering productivity due to individuals avoiding risks, avoiding change or simply protecting their own personal interests. A lack of trust can also result in an unwillingness to speak openly and to share ideas, leading to a lack of innovation, creativity and expression. In short, if your team members trust one another, they’re more likely to communicate effectively and work together strongly.

As David Brent once said, “Trust people and they’ll be true to you. Treat them greatly, and they will show themselves to be great.”

  • Goals are clear

A well-performing team understands the goals set and is committed to making them happen. Clear direction and agreement on expectations, accountability and outcomes are essential for creating an effective team. Not only does this create a sense of stability within the workplace, it also ensures that everyone understands the task at hand from the very beginning.

  • Contributions are Valued

Building on establishing clear goals and expectations, it’s also hugely important that each member of the team contributes their fair share of the workload, understanding what is expected of them and where they fit in. Through this, employees can gain a sense of belonging within the wider team and can also take pride in their achievements.

  • Conflict is Managed

A little conflict is good occasionally as it shows that each member of the team is truly passionate about the task at hand and the end goal – it also allows room for growth. Managing this conflict in a healthy and constructive way however is hugely important, especially for leaders. The key goal is to manage and deal with any conflict quickly and directly, working with the key individuals involved to come to a positive resolution. It’s also hugely important that leaders differentiate between what is perceived as a challenge and what could be classed as criticisms.

  • Diversity is Celebrated

Perhaps the most exciting thing about working in a team is the opportunity to work with so many unique people. It’s this diversity that can transform a great team into an exceptional team. Every person is different, bringing varied experiences, knowledge and insights to the table. Through diversity, teams can possess a wide set of strengths and skills which can open a world of creative ideas and insights.

  • Good Leadership

A strong leader is a key component within any effective team. But what makes a good leader we hear you ask? A strong leader is trusted by the rest of the team. They’re drive team development, motivation and are open to feedback. Delegation is also crucial, sharing tasks and responsibilities with the wider team to create a sense of belonging, trust and purpose for others.

  • It’s not “all work and no play!”

Introducing a bit of fun and enjoyment into the daily 9-to-5 is hugely important for improving and maintaining a team’s morale. Teams who work well together tend to enjoy one another’s company, often socialising outside of work and within the workspace, this can make for a relaxed, positive environment which is a win for all involved!

Take Your Team to The Next Level

The 8 points listed above are just some of the key factors involved in creating a well-performing team. If you’re looking to take your team to the next level, why not check out our extensive range of team building activities? Voted the “Best Event Provider” for 2017, 2018 and 2019, we are renowned for delivering high quality team building days out at venues across the UK. You can also contact us directly with any questions!

Posted in Team Building Blog

How To Build Confidence in Your Team

February 2020

Building Confidence

There are many facets to managing a team effectively, and one of these involves building confidence in your team members. If you can motivate, inspire and boost self-esteem across the team you manage, in tandem with an effective structure you have all the ingredients required to really fly.

When it comes to confidence and self-esteem, it really doesn’t matter how talented your team is. If they have no self-belief, or lack confidence, they’ll naturally struggle to reach their full potential and it will forever be an obstacle standing in the way of them and success. Teams who lack confidence may struggle with other areas of effective team work too, like asking for help, taking the initiative, thinking creatively, or challenging themselves to try something new.

If you’re wondering how you can build confidence in your team, then we’ve put together a few suggestions to get you started. The benefit of trying a few of the tips below is that not only will your employees feel empowered and believe in themselves, they’ll also be more inclined to push boundaries, think outside the box and innovate. All of which are hugely positive qualities for a team to possess!

Promote A Growth Mindset

Mindset is key to building confidence. When a person has a ‘fixed mindset,’ they believe that their qualities, intelligence and creative ability are fixed traits, and therefore cannot be changed. In a fixed mindset, people may not be motivated to develop or improve, believing that this is not possible. On the other hand, a growth mindset equips people with the belief that they have the power to grow and change over time. Therefore, they’re more likely to push themselves to succeed.

As a leader, it’s possible to help team members develop a growth mindset and promote confidence. This can be achieved through delivering constructive feedback that focuses on next steps, encouraging the sharing of ideas to foster innovation, and pushing people outside of their comfort zones.

With a growth mindset, failures aren’t the end of the world. In fact, they’re an opportunity to evolve. And new challenges are to be relished and tackled with aplomb rather than feared. With a bit of work, fostering a culture that centres around a growth mindset may take a bit of time and effort, but the change in your team members has the potential to be transformative.

Take A Positive Stance

When a leader exudes confidence, even when the chips are down and results aren’t entirely as expected, the rest of the team feels confident too. Of course, you can’t gloss over the fact that things aren’t working when they aren’t. But if you approach poor performance with a positive mindset, this trickles down through the ranks too.

A leader who freaks out when the going gets tough only passes this panic on to their team. The result? A whole department filled with headless chickens and no clear plan. The leader who gets in front of the team, readjusts or reaffirms the strategy and demonstrates confidence in subordinates will be rewarded with trust and, most likely, improved performance.

Offer More Training Opportunities

If a team member feels as though they don’t have enough knowledge or experience to complete a job, their confidence will naturally suffer. Problems that grow from this will only serve to knock them down further and shake their ability to do the job.

Offering training opportunities and allocating time for research and development benefits teams in several ways. First, it demonstrates to employees that you are willing to invest in them and want to give them more opportunities. Second, it builds their skills and gives them the confidence they need to do the job – and do it well. Third, it upskills your workforce, giving you more opportunities to delegate tasks and show team members that you trust them and have confidence in their ability.

Delegate Tasks Little by Little

Delegation is a powerful tool for instilling confidence in your team. It also provides room for team members to grow while maintaining productivity. By delegating tasks little by little you can gradually build on the responsibility you give to them without overwhelming them from the off. It’s important for this to happen over a length of time though, as throwing someone into the deep end if they lack confidence may have the opposite effect!

Build on Failure

We all hate the word failure. But it’s an important part of success. In order to grow, we need to fail and learn from that failure. As a leader, if you foster an environment that makes your team scared of failure, they’ll never have the confidence to grow. Instead, they will stay in their comfort zones, doing the same things repeatedly, never volunteering themselves for anything outside of their remit.

When you let your team know that it’s OK to make mistakes, if you learn and grow from them, they’ll feel more confident in owning their roles and innovating. So, the next time something doesn’t quite go to plan, be mindful of your results. Take time to assess the situation and performance of your team and understand what support they need to move forwards positively.

Confidence Breeds Confidence

It’s important to remember that if you show confidence in your team, they will be confident in themselves too. This paired with training, opportunities for more responsibility, praise and constructive feedback will go great lengths in inspiring your team and giving them the confidence to perform to their full potential with your unconditional backing.

If you would like further support with growing confidence amongst your team, contact us today to find out more about our team building days out. All our activities are created in-house by our event technology and development team and we’re constantly coming up with new and exciting ideas.

Posted in Team Building Blog

5 Winning Ingredients for Building A High Performing Team

February 2020

Recipe for a Winning Team

Overseeing and managing a team that constantly hits targets and seamlessly overcomes challenges is the stuff that dreams are made of. But these types of teams aren’t born out of a mysterious alchemy. Neither are they simply a happy accident of good synergy.

High performing teams are made. While working as a team may be built into the fabric of our humanity, so is conflict, fear, thirst for power and all manner of things that can sabotage the performance of a group of people. With that in mind, it’s important to consider a whole range of factors when building and nurturing a team.

In this article you’ll find the 5 ingredients that are required to create high performing teams, with a few tips and tricks along the way to help bring them to the groups that you oversee.

Present Solid Objectives and Clear Expectations

Have you ever been asked to do a task and not really understood why you were doing it? How did that make you feel? Confused? Left in the dark? Demotivated?

The same happens when you kick off team working without presenting a solid objective or defining roles and expectations. So, when getting started, it’s imperative to lead with your best foot forward by taking the time to bring the team together and make it clear what the mission is.

To do this, you should do the following:

  • Make it clear what the team are there to do and why they are doing it
  • Define goals, timelines, anticipated outcomes, and processes
  • Establish clear expectations that are in line with the objectives
  • Ensure appropriate support is in place should any problems arise

In the first instance your overall goal is to ensure that everyone in the team understands what they are doing, why they are doing it, who they are doing it with, how they will be supported and how they will measure their success.

Making this information accessible and clear ensures that each person understands their role and contribution, values it, and knows how to go about doing it.

Gain Commitment

Once objectives and expectations are established, then comes gaining commitment from team members. When you have everyone singing from the same hymn sheet, things work better – so this is an important step in the process.

The best way to do this is to ensure that each team member understands the importance of the overall objectives and how they fit into the puzzle. When people feel undervalued, they will underperform. To avoid this, take great care to be sure that each person holds a role that serves a tangible purpose and fits in with their own career expectations.

Individuals should feel challenged and excited by the part they are playing. They should be given ample opportunities to grow and develop as time goes by. And they should understand how they will be rewarded or recognised for their contributions.

The way this is achieved may look different across organisations. Indeed, it may even differ from role to role or in departments. For example, sales teams may be driven by monetary gain and therefore find themselves motivated by bonus schemes. Other team members may find their passions are ignited when they are given more responsibility or the chance to be creative in their role.

Getting this right comes down to knowing what makes people tick. Personal development plans are a great way to drill down into the motivations and inner workings of your team to get a good understanding of what empowers them to overachieve.

Promote Independence

Does your team have the freedom and empowerment necessary to take ownership of their individual objectives? Do they understand the part they play in accountability and have confidence in their problem-solving ability? Finally, are they able to understand what decisions they are free to make within their remit?

High performing teams own their individual roles and make a conscious effort to ensure their actions feed into the overall objectives of the project. And the confidence and knowledge to achieve this level of independence springs from strong and clear leadership.

Once again, robust personal development plans for team members will help them to embark on a journey to confident independence. But it is also important to instill in team members that, while they are expected to fulfill the expectations of a role to the best of their ability, there is still support available to them if they find themselves stuck. No man (or woman) is an island after all. And leaving people to founder and fail not only risks the confidence of an individual but the performance of the team.

Encourage Collaboration & Creativity

Collaboration is a cornerstone of any high performing team. When individuals can work together effectively, they can make almost anything happen. So, promoting collaboration is an important aspect of creating a high performing team.

Collaboration often feeds into better (and quicker!) problem solving, process improvement and communication.

To kick off collaborative working it’s important for the team to establish rules of conduct in areas such as conflict resolution, decision making and meeting management. This will help with working together effectively and promote creative thinking within the group that falls within established boundaries.

As well as this, celebrating creativity breeds it. Teams should take the approach that no suggestion is ‘wrong’ or ‘ridiculous’, rather every suggestion has the potential to add value when it is shared openly. This method of working fosters a community where people are open to sharing their ideas and confident in their ability to problem solve.

Encourage Accountability and Communication

Communication is everything within a team. Without it, the wheels will simply fall off and the whole project will come grinding to a halt.

Establishing effective communication starts with creating a culture of accountability. If members of your team can confidently take responsibility for their actions without fear of reprisal you instill an open and encouraging ethos that sees everyone performing to the best of their ability.

When team members aren’t accountable for their actions, time is normally consumed by finger pointing or downright avoidance of issues. This is not healthy for a team and can be damaging to any workplace. With that in mind, create a team that feels responsible and accountable for their achievements. Reward and recognise individuals and groups consistently. And, finally, when mistakes or problems arise turn the focus not to dressing someone down but problem solving.

Remember, communication is a two-way street and it is down to those at the top to lead by example. So, ensure that you are modelling the type of behaviour you would expect from team members and take steps to establish a method for teams to give feedback and receive honest, constructive feedback in return.

Build Better Teams with KDM Events

From rewarding your team to helping address areas for development, team building activities from KDM Events can help with all the steps listed above. From outdoor events focused on problem solving and communication to indoor activities geared toward fostering creativity and innovation, our menu of focused, structured team building events are just the thing to get groups thinking outside the box and working together.

To find out more about our events, and how we can help you to build a winning team, contact us today. Our dedicated Event Managers have a wealth of experience in creating amazing, effective events for team development in all industries and areas.

Posted in Team Building Blog

Tips for Choosing the Right Team Building Activity

January 2020

Outdoor Activity

Before you go about choosing a team building activity, it’s important to know and understand the areas your team needs to focus on and improve. In some respects, it’s kind of like going to the doctor. When you have an illness you don’t just visit your GP, say “I’m ill” and get handed some generic ‘illness’ tablets. Instead, you explain your symptoms to the medical practitioner who then reviews them and recommends the best course of action.

This analogy is perfect for choosing the right team building event or activity because it focuses on diagnosis of the problem first. That is to say, before you make any decisions or commitments you should look to understand what’s not working and the best way to address it.

Diagnosing Team Problems

Before you even think about choosing a team building activity, it’s important to first evaluate the team as it is now. Are there any issues that need tackling? If so, how are they affecting individuals and their capacity to work together?

If you do identify problems in your team, it’s vital to determine what the root cause is and how far reaching the consequences are. While it may not be the whole solution, a team building event that is designed to build on strengths whilst tackling any weaknesses may be the perfect springboard from which to start addressing these issues.

If you find that there are no major issues… First, congratulations! If you have a fantastic team working under you that is firing on all cylinders your main concern will be keeping that momentum going and pushing for better performance. In these instances, you may look at team building activities to promote and develop internal communications, or even just as a way of rewarding your team.

Team building events and activities work most effectively when they are integrated into a program focused on team development in the workplace. It is not merely a single event that takes place off-site but part of an ongoing process. As such, it’s important to choose an activity that aligns with your overall goals and objectives in order to see a return on your investment in the long-term.

Things to Consider When Planning A Team Building Event

To help you effectively plan your next team building activity, we’ve put together a short list of things to consider before you get stuck in. Taking into account all of these considerations will ensure that your chosen team building activity is well-planned and in-line with what you are looking to achieve.

  • Will the event help facilitate the change you want?
  • Will all team members be involved in the event?
  • Do you anticipate any resistance to team building activities?
  • Is the activity inclusive?
  • Do you have the time, budget and a suitable venue for the event?
  • What are the risks? (If you are using an external company for team building, always ask for the Risk Assessment and ensure that adequate Public Liability Insurance is in place.)
  • Will all members of the team be treated equally and with respect throughout the event? Remember to consider cultural differences and ensure that fun is not had at the expense of others.
  • Will the event generate an overall feeling of positivity or might it expose fears or generate a sense of failure in some participants?
  • How will you manage conflict and feedback constructively?
  • Is your team onboard with the activity? It is usually better to involve your team in the decision-making process rather than leave it to one individual to decide.

Should Team Building Be Indoors or Outdoors?

There was a time when team building seemed to only involve mud, rain and misery for all but the enthusiastic outdoor types. But times have changed, and it’s important to make your team building activities fun and inclusive for your team. In our modern world, team building events are now more heavily focused on delivering the overall objective of the activity in a light-hearted and fun atmosphere.

So, if you’re considering whether your team building event should be held outdoors or indoors, then it’s totally down to you and the participants. Outdoor events and activities are still very popular (and effective, too), however now they are more thought based and modifiable for all types of abilities.

What matters is that you consider sensitively the needs, limitations and abilities of colleagues in order to select the most appropriate activity. Also, if you plump for an outdoor activity then choose an event that is modifiable (or still fun and achievable) if the Great British weather rears its ugly, unpredictable head! Failing to do this could result in the underlying message of your activity being lost as participants simply try and stay warm and dry!

There is an element of seasonality that will affect your decision to choose either an indoor or outdoor event. Outdoor events invariably take place in the summer months, while indoor events can be carried out at any time of year. Indoor activities also fit more seamlessly in between meetings or conference sessions, which is something to consider if you’re planning team building around a bigger event.

Make Time for A Post Activity Review

If you don’t review or evaluate the effectiveness of team building activities, it can be difficult to see if they have made a difference. With that in mind, always plan to reflect on events such as this to better understand your return on investment and next steps.

It could be that your next team building event is a real eye opener in terms of what support your employees need. If that is the case, really drill down into what worked and what didn’t and use this to inform your plan moving forward.

Planning a team building event? Speak to Our Team Today!

If you’re looking to plan a team building event for your business or department, please contact us. We are experts in team building no matter your goals and can provide dedicated support and help in getting you on the right track.

As one of the UK’s leading team building event providers, we have a wealth of industry experience to share with you and our Event Managers can help you to host a fun and engaging event that builds the skills of your team whilst helping to address areas for development. For more information regarding our team building activities, please contact us today.

Posted in Team Building Blog

30th Anniversary – The Big Interview

January 2020

Two company directors pictured in celebration of our 30th year
 

 

Since establishing in 1990, KDM has grown from just 2 employees to now having over 25. We have provided over 17,000 events over the last 30 years totalling well over 500,000 attendees! Pretty impressive when you consider almost 1% of the population have taken part in a KDM event! Today, KDM has built up an impressive client base including venue and agent partnerships. Successfully establishing ourselves as an award-winning and leading supplier to the event industry

In recognition of this momentous occasion, we have both our Director Kevin Davies and Managing Director Brad Davies in this month’s Big Interview hot seat. We took some time to sit down and talk to them both and get their perspective on KDM’s 30th Anniversary and what it means to them. 

 

How did KDM Events come about? What inspired you to create the company?

KEV. I was a bank manager and decided I wanted to do something different and took the opportunity of a re-structuring to leave. Whilst choosing my time to leave I was baby-sitting a branch and stumbled upon a customer who was providing some driving activities. I was intrigued and went along to see what he actually did. The industry was in its infancy and I could see that a more professional approach might be successful. So we went into partnership but went our own separate ways some 18 months later.

 

What was KDM’s first event?

KEV. It was 30 July 1990 – we took an insurance company client to Brocket Hall for a multi-activity day – a lovely sunny day with Clays, Archery, Hovercraft, Quad-bikes and grass carts against the lovely backdrop of the house. And all followed by a tour around Lord Brocket’s Ferrari collection – before it got … erm, ‘stolen’!

 

What does the 30th anniversary mean to you?

KEV. I originally gave the business 5 years before it would fade – and I’m delighted I was wrong. Although we have evolved and spread our reach over the years to keep ahead of the competition. I just feel pride that the amazing team we have here are such a close-knit bunch who are committed to each other and our values and are clearly focused on giving our clients great events. That Brad has taken over the reins allowing me to keep involved and step back is a fantastic bonus. I look forward to watching him and the team grow KDM as an even stronger force in the industry.

BRAD. I still vividly remember being highly embarrassed at primary school, when for reasons that I can’t remember my Dad came into school to give a demonstration of a hovercraft in action on the playing fields! Showing my advancing years, that must have been in the 1st year or two of KDM… so it’s amazing that the business has grown & thrived so much since those early days, and of course, a sense of pride that I’m lucky enough to now work in & carry on the family business.

 

What has driven KDM success?

KEV. Our people and their commitment to being straight forward and doing things properly. Our integrity, customer service, transparency and planning to make sure we get it right every time.

BRAD. Undoubtedly the whole team at KDM has been key to this, not many people get to truly enjoy & have a passion for their job – hence having people with a real passion for events, and a commitment to delivering great experiences to all of our clients has been integral to this. This has, in turn, led to our reputation as always being a highly professional & trustworthy company, which is hard-earned over 30 years with all the peaks & troughs that occur in the economy & the wider world over such a period.  

 

What is next for KDM?

KEV.  …. over to Brad for the answer to that one!

BRAD. Onwards & upwards… we aim to continue to be the supplier of choice to the industry for team building, evening & themed events – but also evolve as a trusted partner of all of our clients’ event needs, from serious conferences to informative roadshows to big Summer & Christmas parties. Speaking of which, we shall, of course, be celebrating our 30th anniversary with a big party this July!

 

During the year we will be making a number of significant announcements as we continue to strive to be a leader of excellence within the industry. Keep your eyes peeled for exciting news such as exclusive offers, brand new events to 2020 and much more. 

 

Kayleigh Fyfe 

9th January 2020

Posted in Team Building Blog

Charity Trolley Dash for Trussell Trust

December 2019

Welcome to the 4th annual KDM Trolley Dash

Last week KDM organised a Charity Trolley Dash, helping to support the Trussell Trust. For anyone that doesn’t know, the Trussell Trust is your local charity food bank organisation. Instead of sending out Cards and Presents we decided to support the work of the Trussell Trust by donating to our local food bank.

 

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Why the Trussell Trust?

We have so many food lovers in our office and we are often inundated with treats with lots of leftovers! On reflection we all admit that we often take for granted how lucky we all are, this is what triggered the idea to help support our local food bank. What better way to do this than organise a KDM trolley dash.

The all-important rules!

To say we are a competitive bunch is an understatement!  The rules are crucially important to keep everyone in order and keep things fair. Heading over the road to our local supermarket, we split into teams, fill our trollies with the pre-approved lists and then it’s the race against the clock to see who can get closest to their budget spend in the quickest time!

And the results are in….

We all made our way back to the office, as we all eagerly await the results with a mince pie. Kathy our Director announced the winning team, which was Sarah, Jacci and me! ( I promise it wasn’t a fix 😁) The all-important bottles of fizz were handed out and we all reflected on the importance of supporting local charities.

four ladies with shopping trolley and Christmas hat

Jamaica (Photo-bombing), Jacci, Sarah and me.

KDM’s Charity Events

We offer a wide range of indoor and outdoor team building events, event management services evening events and much more. We also created our Charity event, known as the ‘’Charity Bargain Hunt’’.  Clients can give something back to their chosen charity whilst still keeping the focus on working towards a team focused team event.

KDM Charity Bargain Hunt

Our Charity Bargain Hunt works by setting a series of ‘hotspots’ on your tablet based around the local area. We try and relate the questions to the area, making the event as interesting and informative as possible. With the focus of the event on charity, we will have arranged in advance with a local hospice for example, what items would make a real difference to their work. We write the event accordingly with hotspots set to send the teams to various shops once they have answered questions correctly.

To sum up, we all had great fun organising and taking part in the annual trolley dash. Why not focus your next team event on your company’s chosen charity. Contact your dedicated event manager today to find out more

Heres to next year!!

 

Jess Gallimore

16th December 2019

Meet the Team – Agents and Venue

November 2019

We’re your dedicated agents and venues team…….get to know us more!

 

SARAH FITZGERALD   |   Account Director 

t: 01782 647017 e: sarah.fitzgerald@kdmevents.com

After joining KDM in 2003 as a shy and quiet Sales Co-ordinator Sarah quickly found her [sometimes very loud] voice managing our Venue and Agent partnerships. She is now an Account Director developing new and existing client relationships and being the first port of the call for any venue query that arises. What Sarah doesn’t know about venues…. we don’t think there is anything actually! Sarah dreams of owning her very own stately home with a Bollinger cellar (and one for Budweiser too!)

What things make your day better?

Random fancy dress moments……and a can of Red Bull!

What’s your favourite place in the world and why?

Looe in Cornwall, my spiritual home ….. sand, sea and lots of pubs!

 

 

CHARLOTTE BOARD   |   Account Manager 

t: 01782 647009 e: charlotte.board@kdmevents.com

 

Charlotte joined KDM in 2014 with a Diploma in International Event & Wedding Planning and spent most her time travelling between London and New York City. Charlotte joined KDM as an Account Executive before being promoted to Account Manager and then into her current role of Agent & Venue Development. She is a huge fan of Unicorns, Country Music and is a keen songwriter – one of her songs made it to number 3 on the iTunes country music charts! In her spare time she can be found gigging, songwriting and planning holidays to the USA whilst dreaming of making her millions to buy her very own New York Manhattan townhouse!!! Hopefully, we are all invited …

What are you most afraid of?

Penguins and Prison! Maybe I have a problem with the letter P?! I have never broken the law and never will because being confined to a cell terrifies me. I think I like my freedom too much! Penguins are just a phobia that I have had since I was a child. They are extremely strange animals.  

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Stubborn, dedicated, dreamer!

 

 

KAYLEIGH FYFE   |   Account Manager 

t: 01782 647004 e: kayleigh.fyfe@kdmevents.com

 

Kayleigh came to KDM with lots of solid experience working in fundraisers, festivals and most recently building an impressive sales record in private hire venues. Now with a degree in Event Management under her belt, Kayleigh is using her keen skills to work with our Agent and Venue partners in looking after their client event requirements. Being able to confidently advise, quote and organise the best solutions, Kayleigh is proving to be a strong member of our helpful sales team. Outside of KDM life, Kayleigh spends her precious spare time (not that she has that much!) with her partner and young children, Isaac and Ezrah, whilst ‘attempting’ to complete her MSc in Digital Marketing.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

I use to be a performer and spent much of my time Stilt Walking or Angle Grinding.

What Skill would you like to learn?

I would love to learn another language. I think either Spanish or Mandarin

 

CLAIRE TARALA   |   Account Manager 

t: 01782 647010 e: claire.tarala@kdmevents.com

Having an HND in Travel & Tourism Management and working as a travel agent specialising in Santa’s Lapland and wildlife holidays (aww), Claire then made the switch to corporate events in 2007. After gaining bags of experience in venue finding, key account management and organising large conferences she joined KDM as an Account Manager looking after client, agent and venue sales.  She enjoys nothing more than having fun with her husband and son, going walking, cycling and camping. Apparently one day soon she would also like to learn how to play the drums…so along with our other KDM musicians, singers and songwriters, we foresee a possible KDM band on the horizon!

If you could be in any other occupation other than the one you are in now, what would it be?

Palaeontologist – it would be cool to discover a new dinosaur! I would call it the Clairesaurous.

What things make your day better?

Caffeine, sunshine and cuddles from my husband and son

 

 

JAMAICA RIDGE   |   Account Executive 

t: 01782 647006 e: jamiaca.ridge@kdmevents.com

KDM were really pleased to welcome Jamaica in her first full-time Events Industry role after graduating from Manchester University with a BA Hons degree in Events Management. And because she managed to jam in hospitality experience by working as a Holiday Rep in Bulgaria and in UK 4* Hotels during her studies it was an easy step into the role of Venues Co-ordinator here at KDM. Supporting our Direct sales team, she makes sure that our clients get the best options in venue sourcing with pricing, proposals and site visits. Making her popular with all our other food and drink appreciating staff, Jamaica also likes lots of food and drinks with friends at the weekend. Which apparently keeps her really busy!

If you could be invisible for one day what would you do?

Thinking about it … I would probably follow my dog! I would love to see what he gets up to when I’m not around. 

What do you feel most proud of?

The only person in my immediate family to get a degree – and work in the related industry.

 

 

Want to meet the rest of the KDM team? Click Here 

Posted in Team Building Blog

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