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A star is born!

August 2013

We recently had the privilege of having a charming work experience high school student with us for a week this summer.

When 15 year old Hope phoned in and asked to speak with Kevin our MD, he was so impressed that she had called in person to inquire about a placement that he agreed immediately!   So, we organised a week full of event, website and marketing administration for Hope, then asked her to write a short blog about it:

“My experience at KDM was amazing! I’ve always wanted to be an event manager so this just made me even surer that is what I want to do.

When KDM agreed to let me do a week of work experience with them I was overjoyed. On my first day everyone introduced themselves and made me feel like I was an actual part of the work team. They gave me my own desk and made sure I felt comfortable to ask them if I needed help with anything.

One of the best parts of the week was when I got asked to order some fancy dress products which meant that I got to browse the web to choose the products as well as ringing up the supplier to see if the products were available.

There was never a dull day, all week I was occupied with something to do from looking at venues to taking photos of some of the table theming props”

If she is anything to go by, it’s very encouraging to know that there are young people as motivated, capable and personable as Hope that will be entering the workplace in the near future.

In fact, she was so great that we asked her to come in to help us finish a stock control catalogue project for a second week. We hope (!) to see more of Hope if she decides to pursue a career in events as she was a delight to work with.

Big Dreams!

August 2013

2013 is the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s inspirational ‘I have a dream’ speech that changed the world as we know it. Whilst most of us won’t need to have such incredible vision for our corporate events, we do all have goals and objectives that we aspire to achieve. So here are our top 3 tips for helping turn your event visions into reality.   

1)      Set measurable event objectives. So often we can plough straight ahead into the logistics and detail of an event without stopping to clearly identify what makes the event a necessary business activity and what success will look like. Defining exactly why you want to hold the event and what has to happen as a direct result helps to avoid burning budget and time. Once the objectives have been defined, setting related targets and ways to measure them should be straightforward – the less complicated the better! Very often, an entire brief can change as a result of pausing to consider the desired outcomes of an event. For example, we recently spoke with a client who wanted to run their annual conference at a business style venue with a full day of presentations, sit down 3 course dinner and a comedian. When they stopped to consider that they had 20% less budget than last year and the event needed to be an opportunity for the guests to network, share best practise ideas and take latest business developments  back to their departments they realised they needed to redesign their format.  The final event was a relaxed country house affair, exclusive meeting spaces, shorter presentations and lots of networking opportunities during drinks and a BBQ dinner on the terrace. Their event results? Total costs came in £1000 under budget and they achieved scores of 90% (against targets of 85%) rating the event content, format and application back in the workplace.

2)      Think like your audience. We can all fall into the trap of organising the style of event that we would like, the food we like, the entertainment we like, the venues we like…you get the picture! Finding out what the audience appreciates makes all the difference to the success of an event. For example considering the age range of your attendees is an obvious start. People are retiring much later in life, the demographic of the workplace is changing and so the entertainment you offer may need to reflect a more travelled, experienced delegate. Understanding your guests will go a long way in delivering the professional, memorable event you need. You could also avoid making mistakes such as the occasion our client booked dancing ‘Santa’s Elves’ for their Christmas dinner. Unfortunately, the elves were very scantily clad girls and the audience was employees and their partners!

3)      Dream big and then scale down. I’m not suggesting you go crazy imagining you can achieve a Blenheim Palace backdrop, Take That as your after dinner band and Cartier gift bags for a budget of £100 per person! But thinking of the very best style, atmosphere and feel for your audience (an unrestricted budget wish list if you like) helps to take the barriers off thinking to explore unlimited possibilities. That way, you can imagine an effect that you’d like to have on your audience … then discover the best way to achieve it with the available budget. Remember, your guests won’t know that you imagined flying them on a private jet to Barbados  to enjoy the amazing Crop Festival … but they will appreciate the VIP Concorde Flight invitations, airport styled check in at pre-dinner drinks,  Coral Reef themed bar with rum cocktails, ‘beach’ dressed dining areas, seafood BBQ and Rio style costume parade. (Before you think I’m hopelessly out of date, Barbados’ airport is home to Alpha Echo, one of BA’s old Concorde aircrafts, and it’s been turned into an all-singing, all-dancing visitor attraction!)

Hopefully these pointers will help you achieve all your goals when you’re planning your next event. But, if you’d also like a little more specific assistance then we’d love to hear from you!

Author: Nicky Wrighte, Commercial Director at KDM Events

Time to Celebrate – An unusual summer event!

June 2013

On 5th June we delivered an unusual summer event for a key pet nutrition client. They were so happy that it’s only right to begin this blog with their feedback:

‘The afternoon event went really well, we can’t wait to get the films back … yesterday evening went absolutely great. The magician and mind-reader were amazing – great choices they really added another dimension. The photo booth went down a storm as we knew it would, pictures were being uploaded to Facebook straight away!! LOL. The band were really great getting everyone on the dance floor straight away with their lovely mix of music… ‘

Naturally when a company hits a milestone they want to celebrate, even more so when they have two milestones in the same year which is why they chose KDM to organise the whole day and create a memorable event for them!

The initial brief was simple; a flexible afternoon teambuild activity & evening entertainment during which long lasting mementos would be created. Pitching against 3 other companies our team put our heads together to create a bespoke solution based around our ‘Animation Innovation’ team event (Wallace and Gromit style film making) followed by a summer BBQ party with film screening. This proved to be a winning combination that ticked all the client’s boxes.

The event took place on site at their office and research centre in Leicester in a lovely Marquee with an open side so staff could enjoy the June weather (which thankfully was perfect!) The Animation Innovation hit four key requirements: Involvement of all guests – everyone had a specific role during the production of the films in addition to participating in outdoor challenges. Celebrating the company history – each animated short film depicted a key milestone in the company’s success. Creating something of a lasting value – each of the animations created were designed to be utilised by the client following the event. Allowing staff to perform their work duties –the flexibility of the event allowed guests to come & go so that they could still carry out their critical pet care responsibilities. There was an amazing buzz in the Marquee all afternoon, all guests got stuck into the event; some guests were still working on their projects after home time!

In the evening, our Marquee was transformed to create a celebratory summer ball atmosphere with vibrant lighting, balloons & complimentary table dressing to reflect the company colours. Staff were joined by their partners to be greeted with a classic summer drink of Pimms & Lemonade and entertained by our brilliant mix ‘n’ entertainers – Magician, Caricaturist & Mind Reader.

After the big screen premier of the animations and the ‘WAFTAs’ had been awarded guests enjoyed a traditional Hog Roast & buffet including a dessert of Mars Cheesecake (a little slice of heaven). Once all the guests were full an informal Wii competition took place; it was a close call on the Dance Stage as they all had ‘moves like Jagger’.

Whilst an amazing local live band were playing guests also enjoyed the unique experience of our Photo Studio, allowing groups of 10-15 people to create their own special memories as a reminder of this amazing celebration with a 6×4 photo to take away with them from a variety of backgrounds including two personalised to the client.

All in all, a perfect day to remember with 20 films to use for their future events…watch this space!

KDM’s Total Events Service

June 2013

A lower cost, saving of time and a greater management of risk were the end results when our Hewlett Packard client chose to work with one supplier. One supplier can beat two or even three!

When we took a call in early April from the head of an EMEA Sales team at Hewlett Packard, the client was focused on his goal to improve his team’s communication and working styles – and wanted to hear ideas of how KDM could help via a team building product. However with the client’s time at a great premium, a tight budget and only 5 weeks to go before the event, it soon became clear that a more valuable solution to the client was to place the organisation of the entire meeting into our hands.

Hence the following day, we sent a shortlist of venues that suited budget, location & meeting requirements – along with a suggested format and itinerary for the full 48 hours on site to include a mixture of presentations, business content and outcome focused team-build activities.

The client selected Easthampstead Park (Wokingham) to host the meeting combined with our Crystal Maze and Country sports events. A keenly negotiated venue rate and specific programme of activities that dovetailed with the business content delivered an extremely successful event that resulted in the client having his “…objectives fully met and within budget!”

KDM provide a total event management service. By working with one supplier the end result is a lower cost, a saving of your time and a greater management of risk when organising conferences and meetings. So if you want to keep your business objectives in sight whilst achieving the best value and results possible then call us on 01782 646300 to discuss your event needs.

 

Posted in Team Building Blog

A bunch of cast offs?

February 2013

Fittingly, it was a rainy cold February Monday afternoon when we stepped into the training room to embark upon a voyage into the unknown with our latest team event ‘Cast Away’ – a tabletop based strategy and communication challenge.

We endured the usual comments about our team – “they look like a scurvy crew, I don’t fancy your chances of survival with that mangy bunch of pirates” however we gathered our courage and set to the task at hand. Apparently, the ship we were travelling on had been shipwrecked and we were washed up on an unknown shore with no map, no food or water and basically no clue. Each team member was given a written set of different thoughts and ideas about the situation and having memorised (or taken notes of) the pertinent facts, we had to navigate as a team through the unfolding terrain represented on the tabletop with colourful location squares. Planning, timescales and understanding priorities were key as each decision we made revealed more ‘squares’ of our location and either rewarded us with supplies, information or things that made us die. Apparently, there are a lot of things that can kill you when you’re a cast away.

Gladly, after the 90 minutes we all made it out alive (sort of) with the following insights:
•    Assumption is a dangerous business! Useless information may not be so unimportant after all.
•    Sharing is important if you want to do well in life (my Mum would be proud)
•    Not knowing all the answers when you have to make a decision is quite scary
•    Clear communication is definitely an art
•    Losing your crew in a poisonous swamp and dying is surprisingly heart breaking…
•    But surviving a shipwreck and being rescued is surprisingly rewarding! In fact there were actually shouts of “We made it! Go KDM crew!”
Needless to say, we all thought this was a brilliant way to improve communication and team work within our group! Now that we are safely back on dry land please send us a message in a bottle (or an email if you prefer) to talk about this for your next team experience!

 

Posted in Team Building Blog

KDM Movember Results 2012

November 2012

Well at the start of the month they were as smooth as silk (at least above the lip) and now they’re as butch as bananas. Admittedly whilst Darran’s effort looks quite credible a little bit of assistance from a felt tip pen shows that the camera does indeed lie – meaning Craig is the winner winning a night out with the boys with all expenses paid – by him!

Well done boys – we’re looking forward to hearing how much you raised when you’ve finished collecting and KDM will double your money!

Don’t miss your chance to win an IPod Shuffle!

November 2012

Have you entered our Christmas Carol Competition to win an IPod Shuffle?

All you have to do is take a tune from a Christmas Carol and rewrite the words. Please send your entries to competitions@kdmevents.com. There’s not long left!

Sarah Fitz gets her man

November 2012

After years of keeping him waiting our Venues and Agents Team Account Director Sarah Fitz finally said ‘I Do’ and just two weeks ago Lucky Jim finally got his girl. The happy couple went off on an eagerly awaited honeymoon in the USA and blew into New York just as Super Storm Sandy blew in from the other direction! Sandy soon realised that she’d met her match and moved on leaving Sarah and Jim to have a fabulous holiday and a truly amazing experience. Congratulations to you both from all your friends here at KDM.

KDM boys Motivated for ‘Movember’

November 2012

The KDM event crew need few excuses to party, play poker and pretend to be little boys again and so the forthcoming arrival of November once again gave them the ideal opportunity to let their hair down in an effort to outdo the girls’ efforts on ‘Wear it Pink’ day. Mind you as we are constantly reminded women get on with it whereas us blokes take forever which possibly explains why ‘Wear it Pink’ takes 24 hours whereas Movember takes 30 days!

Well here is the ‘before’ shot with the guys being shown just what’s expected of them!!

Careful with the emails!!

October 2012

Can you remember the good old days when postman Pat used to amble down your drive with the morning’s eagerly awaited post? Now, courtesy of the internet  it’s at you all the time.

Now the widows of Nigerian millionaires offering to share their fortunes with you  and Canadian Pharmaceutical vendors suggesting you need some help in the bedroom department is one thing but when you and your beloved decide to celebrate your nuptials you don’t want your big day spoilt do you?

Unfortunately an email sent to the wrong person and – oops! For the full story click here.

 


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