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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 basket ball 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

Crewe Hall Events Centre Launch - June 08 069

The Bigger Picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FFD Caricaturist Penalty Shoot Out

Childrens Archery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 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 your employees’ families who can play an important yet under-stated role in the performance and support of your staff.

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 were 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 were 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.

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

conference-news

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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

 

 

Posted in Team Building Blog

Team-up in the sunshine – Case Study

December 2015

KDM made it possible for Prologis staff to celebrate 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

Posted in Team Building Blog

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.

point s logo
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 play list.  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 round 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

What can’t be measured can’t be managed

October 2015

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Meeting visitors attending this year’s Office show, has been a rewarding and informative experience for KDM.  PAs, EAs and administrative executives find the show a useful source of contacts and tools that will enhance their working lives, and the Show provided us with a chance to engage with visitors in a seminar environment, where we discussed how they can assist in measuring the positive impact of the events they organise .

Our opening message was that with a little advance planning, conferences, teambuilding days and other corporate communication activities can be measured and evaluated with the same rigour that is applied to other business initiatives.

It has long been known that there’s a huge need to find a way to effectively measure the success of business events.  And from our perspective, the starting point is to be clear on what really constitutes Event Success.  Our own research has revealed that in many cases people at the sharp end of event management have only a general idea of their events’ objectives.  Or, during  the hectic planning process, organisers lose sight of the event’s original purpose – because their focus is directed on the logistical arrangements and delegate communications.

While speaker quality, venue arrangements, and even financial management are critical elements of the event planner’s checklist, they don’t provide the reason to hold an event.  So we encouraged our seminar attendees to identify the leadership team strategy that would have prompted the decision to stage their events in the first place – and to focus on that event’s purpose throughout the planning stage to ensure that its agenda and content would deliver the most effective communication.

Then we introduced the discipline of applying metrics to the planning process.  Having identified the objective of, say, reducing employee turnover, the second key step is to attribute numerical targets to that objective.  A prime parallel exists in the emotive area of dieting.  Nothing much is achieved all the time we are merely saying we’d like to be able to get back into our skinny jeans.  But as soon as we step on the scales, make a note of our starting figure and then set the target of losing so many kilos in so many weeks, we have a plan that enables us to track progress and provide measurable outcomes.

Similarly in the business world, it’s not possible to say how successful an event was in achieving its objectives without having the same kind of metrics in place.  This, we believe, is where so many event organisers trip up.   Very often it’s after the event that people say – “We need to demonstrate ROI” – but without the benchmark figures against which a post-event comparison can be made, it’s too late to conduct any meaningful measurement.

Using tablets with a customised app, our delegates told us how confident they were in measuring the success of the events they organise. We put this question to them at the start of the seminar and then again at the end.  From an unpromising start, we were delighted to see how enthusiastically they had absorbed the seminar content and how confident they were to put their newly-acquired knowledge into practice.

Delegates confirmed to us that measurement had never entered their event evaluation process.  Naturally it’s the ‘owner’ of  the event – the director or senior leadership team that conceived it in the first place – who would be responsible for evaluating its business performance.  But we know that the concept of ‘before-and-after’ numerical comparison is still largely untried amongst corporate event organisers.  The PAs and EAs who attended our seminar will be in the vanguard of championing and executing this discipline.

For KDM it was really gratifying to welcome such an interested and engaged audience (especially as our seminar session had strong competition from the other theatres!).  It was clear that PAs are not only keen to be proactive and make an assertive contribution in their jobs, but also delighted to support their bosses in demonstrating  ROO – the return on objectives for their events.

To be able to demonstrate to the CEO or the Board that the event provided a real return on its objectives, will link the event organiser directly to the overall performance improvement of the business, earning considerable kudos – for the PA and of course their boss – in the process.

KDM cyclists take on Pennine challenge

September 2015

4 numb bums

We are so proud that four members of KDM’s Events Crew – Garry Holford, Toby Jennings, Graeme Seaton and Craig Winsper – have cycled 179 miles over the Pennines to raise funds for Cancer Research.

Their three-day coast-to-coast ride, Hadrian’s Cycleway, took them from Ravenglass in the North West to Tynemouth in the North East, taking in landmarks such as Lanercost Priory, Birdoswald Roman Fort and Haltwistle – the geographical Centre of Britain.

And this from a team that modestly describes itself as The Four Numb Bums: “unfit and unhealthy – with no experience of distance riding”.

Speaking after the ride Garry said: “The first day was blighted by the fact that it rained from the minute we set off to the minute we completed our scheduled 75-mile leg.  Day Two was literally an uphill slog – a 50 mile climb over the Pennines – hard work on the legs. But all in all it was a great success: we sustained no punctures, mechanical mishaps or injuries, and are hugely indebted to our support crew for keeping us fed and cheering us on.”

The guys raised an impressive £3,000 through cash and online donations, and in recognition of their herculean effort, KDM is chipping-in funds to make a grand total of £5,000.

Inspired by their first victory, the Numb Bums are already envisaging their next fundraising challenge!

Four Numb bums sun

Posted in Team Building Blog

Meeting the University Challenge

September 2015

To the casual observer, booking a conference venue must simply be a matter of browsing online or leafing through a directory – and then picking up the phone.  And sometimes it can be that easy.  But quite often it’s a real challenge to match the desired location with a suitable facility that is available at the required time.  Especially when flexibility is not an option.  There are times when even the professionals admit defeat, and the client is left with the uncomfortable prospect of accepting second best or going back to the drawing board to come up with an entirely new plan.

These were the unhappy circumstances that prompted keyword technology provider Grapeshot to contact KDM earlier this year.

Grapeshot is proud of a corporate philosophy that’s based on working hard, loving the work you do and loving the people you are working with.  The company provides an innovative environment where staff are given big problems that they are encouraged to explore and solve.  To further enhance these collaborative working relationships, team-building events are staged throughout the year and the company’s Summer Meeting brings together as many members of its international team as possible.

Reflecting this ideology, Grapeshot’s summer event incorporates a morning meeting and an afternoon of fun.  The company is building an internal reputation for putting on unique summer parties, so the event co-ordinator’s brief was to find a venue that offered both indoor conference facilities for a morning’s team meeting, together with outside space suitable for fun and frolics in the afternoon.

With the company headquartered in Cambridge, the city was the obvious hub for the national and international teams to convene.

At first glance this seemed a simple enough requirement. Cambridge offers a wealth of colleges all with extensive grounds. However, the chosen date happened to be the last day of term and the   universities were still populated by students.  Other event companies drew a blank in pinpointing a suitable venue in the city centre. Beginning to despair, Grapeshot found KDM Events online.

At times like this, a vast venue database compiled over a period of years, coupled with local knowledge and excellent contacts can make all the difference.  We were confident that we could not only secure an appropriate venue but also devise an afternoon of appropriately-themed activities to delight the Grapeshot team.

Our research identified the prestigious Churchill College, part of the University of Cambridge and one of the most forward-thinking academic institutions in the world. Not only can the College offer a comprehensive events and conferencing service within a truly collegiate atmosphere, it also boasts more than 40 acres of parkland featuring a huge range of on-site sporting and recreational facilities.

So with an end-of-term feeling in the air and a whole campus to play in, how could we resist a School Sports Day theme for Grapeshot’s afternoon fun?  Liaising with College staff and outside suppliers we managed and delivered all elements of the day’s agenda, including arranging and co-ordinating old fashioned sports day races, a barbecue, liquid refreshments, first aid provision and prizes.  Not surprisingly the whole day had the effect of stimulating and motivating Grapeshot’s 50-strong employees – converting our sports teams from reluctant competitors to triumphant participants.

Grapeshot was delighted with its Summer Meeting from beginning to end. Gael Norris, Grapeshot HR Business Partner based in the company’s London office was tasked with organising the event and said:

“Our experience of working with KDM Events was outstanding. Not only did they find us a suitable venue where other event companies had failed, the whole process was simple, seamless and delivered within a very reasonable budget. Lyndsey was so accommodating, friendly, flexible and nothing was too much trouble. She handled changes to the plans like the addition of a BBQ professionally and her communication was exemplary. Despite the Grapeshot team’s apprehension about the Sports Day theme, once they got involved in the games they really enjoyed themselves. We will most certainly be using KDM Events for any requirements we have in the future.

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Posted in Team Building Blog

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