Posts Tagged ‘Conference Management Company’

How To Plan Your Next Corporate Event

February 2019

Important questions you should ask before you start the event planning process

WHY

Let’s talk event objectives

When it comes to corporate event planning the logical place to start is by asking yourself WHY. Why are you or the company holding this event? Is your goal to acquire new sales leads or maintain current client relationships? Do you want to reward the sales team for a record-breaking year? Are you celebrating a company milestone or looking to improve internal relationships? Defining your event goals and objectives will shape much of what is to follow in the event planning process

WHO 

Define your events target audience

How well you know your audience can make or break your event. Job Role, Nationality, Age Range, and Gender are all important questions to ask in order to define and optimise each element of the event. These factors will influence many of the choices you make. The aim is to design an event that will not only meet your objectives but also attract and retain the interest of your guests.

WHAT 

Make your corporate event, one to remember

Are you rewarding employees with a fun experiential event?  Do you need to gather the team to learn new strategies and techniques to boost company productivity? Whatever the reason, you will need to have activities that will engage your audience and are aligned with the event goals. There is a large variety of options to consider. Peripheral entertainment, immersive décor, guest speakers or introducing team building activities are all crowd-pleasers.

Keeping your guests engaged with quality activities is imperative. This will have a direct impact on the outcome of the event and whether or not you meet your event objectives. Keep in mind your audience when choosing your activities, for example pairing a creative marketing group with a tabletop, strategy team build may not be the right choice.

WHEN 

Save the date 

When choosing the date for your upcoming corporate event make sure that you consider meetings and events at your workplace. Certain times of the year will be more popular than others. Christmas is obviously a very popular time for events, but festive events are so often left until the last minute. Planning ahead is essential when availability is at a premium.

Are you considering an open invite event? If so, it is imperative that once you have a proposed date, that you check not only your calendar but the industry calendar and events in the surrounding area. Significant events can affect your attendance as well as the logistics of an event.

WHERE 

Location, Location, Location 

Location, decor and ambience will set the tone for your corporate event and plays an important role in the overall experience. However, as well as ticking off the aesthetics, you need to consider other logistical elements before settling on your final venue. The venue needs to be easily accessible and convenient for delegates, event management and suppliers alike. Consideration needs to be made for local traffic. Does transportation need to be provided?  What parking options are available?

You need to factor in the number of people attending and whether the venue can comfortably accommodate guests in your desired layout. The activities you have planned for the event will also impact on the space required. A room which can hold 250 guests for an informal cocktail event may not be suitable for a team building activity for the same numbers.

BUDGET

Money Talks

Arguably the most important question to ask yourself is what budget do you have to with work with? This will ultimately define the What, When and Where of your event. When preparing the budget, you will need to incorporate estimates for all of the key elements such as venue, A/V equipment, catering and entertainment. Consideration should also be given for venue décor, seating, additional event staff and fees. Detailing these estimates will help create a realistic cost overview. Sit down with your accountant or financial team to determine what is reasonable for this event.

 

Starting this process can be quite daunting but considering these key elements is a great start to your event planning journey.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your next corporate event, contact your dedicated KDM Event Planner today.


Sweet Success Conference Event Management

November 2017

Following a number of successful Olympic themed conference events, our client, one of the world’s largest snack companies, asked us to organise and manage their upcoming Annual Field Sales Conference.

The Hilton Birmingham Metropole hosted the 2-day event for 350 field sales staff and the main objective was to launch their bold and bright new branding, the sales team had high expectations and the organisers were excited for the big reveal so our event dressing had to have the wow factor.

To deliver the maximum visual impact we designed a bespoke AV set with curved boards to reflect the logo, company coloured staging and amazing micro LED tiles which both changed colour and allowed their new branding with animation to flow over the whole set.

KDM event management staff were on-site throughout to manage the event and ensure the organisers could concentrate on their live business content, we even helped to accommodate some last minute content changes, just another day at the office for a KDM Event Manager!

During registration, we took control of 350 field sales laptops, chargers & bags which were all updated and PAT tested during the stay – the feedback from this element was that it was the smoothest turnaround they had ever had.

Then with a very short window of time, our event management team ensured that the main room was transformed to an atmospheric purple paradise for the awards dinner where guests entered to dressed tables complete with silver candelabras and branded linens.

The after-dinner awards ceremony saw a 350 strong audience in fancy dress applauding a Gorilla, Superman & ‘Dorothy’ picking up company awards, this is where our photo studio came into its own with guests coming back for more photo opportunities. It’s the only time you will ever see Marilyn Monroe, The Pink Ladies, Minnie Mouse & Mario together!

Finally, the following day saw the conference event wrap up with group rotations each hosted by a KDM event management team member to ensure no-one got lost! And using our interactive handsets through the conference also allowed the company to gain feedback throughout the event to ensure it successfully met all of their objectives.

The overall feedback, any events company would be proud of and we certainly: – “Very positive, well structured, well planned even with the adverse weather affecting timings, I’m not an event organiser so appreciated the support/advice/guidance provided by Caroline and her team. We’ve had lots of feedback on how well it was organised, the content was great and it was very engaging. The evening looked great and the photo studio was a favourite! Thank you for your support at all times – It was a pretty slick operation!”


What Went Wrong? Pre-problem Solving For An Issue Free Conference Event

October 2017

One of our long standing clients in the motor insurance sector recently asked us to deliver their annual company-wide conference. As always, the event was a great success, and while we love writing about how well our conferences and team building events go, we also analyse each and every one of them to make sure we’re learning from every possible outcome, whether it happens or not.

Capturing issues early and engineering workarounds before the event is one of the ways we really add value for our clients. After all, post-conference 20-20 hindsight won’t help you have a perfect event.

So, what would have gone wrong on this particular day?

Itinerary timings – speakers know their allocated timings and yet so often enthusiasm means a presentation runs over – and strangely the average is 10 minutes! This could result in missed comfort breaks, teambuilding activities running behind, a late lunch and a restless and hungry audience. With the co-operation of the client organiser we built in extended timings for refreshments and lunch beforehand and as we always recommend leaving detailed timings off the delegate itineraries – when the inevitable happened – the time was regained without impacting the audience’s experience.

Exhibition – With this being the first year that our client had organised an exhibition as part of the itinerary, the list of internal exhibitors was extensive, the IT requirements were varied but the budget was very limited! Many of the exhibitors would bring their own laptops, tablets and projectors to hook up to our plasma screens and knowing how complicated hooking up incompatible devices with the wrong cables can be we produced an ‘IT cables’ guide which allowed the exhibitors to see the names, pictures and descriptions of the cables available to them onsite. Not one exhibitor arrived without the right adapters so were all able to display their content and of course, we had spare cables in stock just in case!

AV Autocue – as the speaker itinerary developed and more hosts became involved for each different section, it became obvious that the number of people wanting to use the autocue system would not allow time between each speaker to manually set the autocue glass height to suit them. With only a few weeks to go, we addressed this by switching to an electric glass system to allow us to reset the height remotely between presenters, avoid unsightly delays between sessions and allow each speaker to see their script – a rather critical essential!

But like any event organiser knows, there are some things that you just can’t plan for! Such was the case when after rehearsal, changes were needed to slides in EVERY presentation. Fortunately, over the years our team has learnt to be ready for anything so powered by coffee and sugar we worked into the small hours to complete the changes.

Great event planning really is one of the major keys to any successful conference or exhibition event and avoiding potential problems on the day. But when the unavoidable happens, a flexible expert event management team on the day is worth their weight in gold!

Get in touch with us if you’d like your next team building or conference event to be taken care of by an Events Company who will look for the potential issues during planning.


Winning Applause From Conference Delegates: An Event Management How To

October 2017

So you’ve booked the conference venue, all the speakers are lined up and you’ve issued invitations to attendees. Your conference is off the starting blocks and you can heave a big sigh of relief. But the next consideration could determine the make-or-break of your event’s success. The value of the event will be largely measured on the satisfaction recorded by its attendees.

One of the biggest challenges of a conference organiser is to shape the agenda in such a way as to keep the audience engaged and enthused throughout the day. Here are a few tips to ensure no yawns, no empty seats and a large round of applause at the end.

Variety is the spice of life: if you’ve ever had to sit through a full day of PowerPoint presentations, with no opportunity to actively participate, and just the most cursory Q&A component, you’ll know how dull and uninspiring the experience can be. Small wonder that attendees emerge tired and grumpy, having learned little and enjoyed less. And yet it’s easy at the drawing board stage, to suggest an agenda with rich and varied content. Of course, you’ll need presentations, but why not build in an engaging team building activity such as a treasure hunt, a workshop or even an exhibition, one or two interactive sessions along with an ice breaker should break the day up comfortably, helping conference delegates maintain concentration.

Short and sweet: 20 minutes is probably the longest period that any of us can maintain active concentration. After that, the mind wanders, thoughts turn to lunch or the brain gently slides into neutral. Speakers are understandably keen to share their insights in great detail but research shows that delegates actually appreciate shorter and more concise presentations with the opportunity to submit their own questions and comments. Whenever possible, ask speakers from the outset to bear these two points in mind when planning their content.

Ask your Events Company how best to achieve the longest period of engagement.

We’ve been in Events Management for over 20 years and audience engagement technology has evolved massively in that time. We are finding that conference delegates love to be involved in two-way dialogue instead of being passive listeners, and the latest conference apps allow questions and comments to be submitted from the floor. We’ve recently developed our own event apps, which enable members of the audience to put live questions and comment to speakers as part of interactive business sessions. The great bonus is that group conclusions can be reached on the day and feedback obtained while delegates are still experiencing the event.

Active learning: Once the key conference messages have been conveyed in the meeting room, why not reinforce them via a team building activity? We all assimilate information in different ways, so the inclusion of quizzes or challenges can help to ensure understanding in an interactive, entertaining way.

Icebreakers: Energy levels tend to slump immediately after lunch, so we recommend that our clients energize their delegates and get the oxygen flowing. A quick 10-minute ice-breaker works wonders before the start of the first-afternoon presentation. Not only will your delegates thank you, but their memory recall of that first session will be so much stronger.

Controlling the clock: In a perfect event management world, speakers would religiously stick to the timetable but it’s not unusual for sessions to either finish early or over-run. And in every event organiser’s memory, there are instances where speakers had to pull out on the day. So it’s a good idea to plan for the worst and ensure your agenda has built-in flexibility. This way you’ll be able to adjust the length of refreshment breaks to either catch up from the over-runs or fill-in some unexpected free time.

Give us a break: Research has shown that conference delegates really appreciate the opportunity to network with other attendees or catch up on their e-mails, so it’s not a good idea to pack the agenda too tightly. And if you do get a last minute speaker cancellation, what may seem like a crisis to you could turn out to be a welcome gap for them.

Bright eyed and sharp-witted: Conference venues used to provide stodgy traditional meals but in recent years there has been a revolution in menu design. But if you feel the options are lacklustre, don’t be afraid to ask for healthy alternatives, such as fresh fruit smoothies and raw vegetable canapés. That way your delegates will be saved the mid-afternoon blood-sugar crashes which are so detrimental to concentration and problem-solving.

And for overnight events, late-night alcohol binges can be a disaster for attendance levels on subsequent mornings, so the inclusion of a coffee bar as an alternative option may yield dividends. Guests really appreciate the extra choice and will be far more alert the following morning.

Our clients have found that putting themselves in the delegates’ shoes and imagining what would create an inspiring, upbeat day for them, is the best way of ensuring enthusiastic feedback at the end of the event. You want your delegates to go home happy, and so do we!

Speak to us if you need some help planning your next conference or team building away day.


KDM Super Heroes Conference Management

March 2014

One of the world’s largest chocolate snacks companies again asked us to organise and event manage their Field Sales Super Heroes themed Conference for 2014…but with a few new twists and challenges!

1)      Their budget was reduced by 40%!
Of course the client still needed to re-create a similar atmosphere to the same high standard following the great feedback from our 2013 event. We quickly got creative with the AV, theming and entertainment for the 2 day conference to meet the client’s new budget with the elements below:

  • We calculated the amount of KDM pre-event assistance needed for PowerPoint presentation re-formatting and on-site management the day before the event. With our assistance, the client was then able to allocate to their internal resources responsibility for handling these areas.
  • The AV specification was re-worked dramatically to give a completely different feel, allowing for a more intimate setting by reducing the amount of equipment and technicians.
  • By using a multi skilled team of event staff we were able to provide the additional games for the evening entertainment at a very small nominal fee.
  • And branded personalisation of two digital Photo Studio backgrounds was completed by our KDM graphics team at no extra charge.

2)      The venue space was much smaller

But the number of guests and itinerary were still the same! We arranged a bespoke AV set to suit the room layout; including a main stage simply with the printed company logo as the backdrop and two 50” plasmas either side. Two large projector screens were also placed on either side to ensure good visibility for all delegates which overcame the room being long, thin and a tight squeeze for the numbers.

3)      The itinerary timings were a challenge, with no breathing room for enthusiastic speakers running over…However, the first presenter over ran by one hour! So with some quick amendments to breaks and other presenters’ times we managed to get the times back to the original itinerary by lunch time.  KDM Events managed the full conference providing on-site support throughout registration, syndicate rotations & main room presentations.

By preparing all the centre pieces beforehand, we managed to transform the room into a Super Hero themed dinner space in only 90 minutes. We incorporated the corporate colours of red & purple along with a bespoke ‘exploding’ centre piece featuring a comic strip themed graphic in a tall lily vase. Back by popular demand we also provided our Photo Studio with themed company backgrounds including T-Rex, Space Invasions and an Action Movie Explosion partnered by giant games including Test your Strength to complement the theme.

Day Two was full of presentations, rotations and a filming activity – leaving no time for editing or handovers. KDM provided a Camera Technician and cameras for each group during their 45 minute Hollywood taster. We then premiered the top 5 films after lunch through the AV set and PA system before handing all the videos to the client on the day.

The conclusion? The feedback received was great, with the organiser commenting that it was seamless once again, especially taking into account the entire budget, time and space challenges. Both our client and KDM were Super Heroes on this event!

Get in touch with us if you’d more information on how we can help you with your next event.

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