Posts Tagged ‘Events Management Company’

Self Awareness and Perception Create Realities

February 2015

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Not the title of a new mystic self help article (you may be relieved or disappointed to know) but rather an observation of just how different personalities interact in the workplace. How we understand ourselves and those around us really does build or erode successful working relationships … read our full PA Life article here www.kdmevents.co.uk/palifejanfeb2015expert.pdf

Article used with kind permission of PA Life . To read the full Jan/Feb 15 issue see http://www.palife.co.uk/magazine/janfeb2015/PA-Life_JanFeb2015.html.


9 Knockout Venue Dressing Tips

June 2014

Some venues are fabulous inside and out; others need a little help to create a setting that will truly  wow your guests.  Our in-house theming expert, Kathy Davies shares some valuable venue-dressing tips. 

Whether you are hosting a formal reception, a product launch or a party, choice of venue is the first and most important decision to be taken, and factors such as budget, size, location and timing will narrow your choice dramatically.  So once all of those boxes have been ticked you may still be left with the challenge of transforming the event space into a stunning environment.

kathy

How much should you spend?

Top-line expenditure will be on room hire, catering and possibly transport, but it’s important right from the outset to safeguard some budget for dressing the space.  We suggest that the absolute minimum sum required to dress a venue would be £1,000.

Venue assistance 

Don’t forget that the venue will almost certainly have some decor resource at its disposal, so a conversation while you are still at venue-selection stage will reveal what is available in-house.  With a little timely negotiation it will be possible to have such elements as table centrepieces and coloured chair covers and tie-backs included within your overall hire cost.

Working within the space

For a large scale project with a decor budget of over £1,000 you will have several spaces to work with and some traffic flow considerations.  Factor-in the importance of allowing room to position some large props to create a stunning first impression.  And be very careful not to end up with a lot of guests crammed in a tight space for the drinks reception.  Not only is the effect claustrophobic, but the wow factor of your gorgeous decor will be sadly missed in the crush.

Eye-catchers

Sometimes organisers have the opposite problem – a large space that won’t be filled by the expected number of guests.  The natural response would be to fill up every area of empty space, but in fact if you create just a few key focal points, your guests’ eyes will be drawn to these and they won’t notice the empty corners.  We find that putting a lot of focus on a dramatically themed doorway or walkway between reception and dining rooms confers more visual impact than a collection of smaller props strategically positioned around the room.

Themed settings

If you have the space and the budget to work with large set pieces, avoid the temptation to park them at equal distances around the room.  Instead group them in pockets.  By siting props together you automatically create a themed setting, which will have the affect of attracting guest to cluster together and form natural conversation groups.

Screen drama

Events that incorporate AV production provide an added opportunity to amplify and dramatise the decor or theme at little or no extra cost.  On-screen visuals add colour, movement and of course messaging to grab your guests’ attention, while supporting the overall theming. Plasma screens and projection are a great way of injecting a ‘live action’ feel to the event, while adding light and extra focal points.

Star-spangled venues

If your budget allows you to really go to town on decor, imagine silk drapes falling from a central spot on the ceiling, bathed in coloured LED lighting.  Corporate branding or event theme can be projected by lights which sweep around the room, spotlighting your giant props and set pieces of scenery as they go. Tables are the key areas of focus in a dining room, so invest in some fabulous LED-lit centrepieces.  Entrance doorways are also prime areas for dramatic treatment, and these can be framed with swathes of fabric, with spot lighting to guide your guests into the adjoining room, or special prop archways leading the eye to a glittering carpeted runway beyond.

The centre of attention

We can’t always have free rein when it comes to decor spend, but  it’s still possible to achieve a stunning effect on a modest budget. If you are decorating a room that will be largely populated by dinner tables, it’s probably a waste of money in any case to decorate the walls with props or other solid objects.  Far better to dress the tables themselves to create maximum visual impact.  Again, those  self-lit themed centrepieces will steal the show, supported by stylish linens and colour-themed chair covers. And shining colour washes of light up the walls will, in itself, transform a non-descript room into a magical space.

Creativity on a tight budget

Occasionally there’s no option but to theme your event on a shoestring, and for such occasions there’s still scope to inject some sparkle into the proceedings – via novelty elements such as colour-themed cocktails, or cupcakes that have been branded with corporate logos or messaging.

No matter what your budget, the secret to gaining maximum mileage in dressing the venue is to  make sure that styling and theming your event are included in the action plan from the earliest  planning stage. It’s amazing how far your money will stretch with some creative thinking and clever resourcing from the outset.

Kathy


App, App and Away!

April 2014

Making for a more interactive and user friendly personalised experience, the first outing of our brand new KDM event app for game shows was a great success in March.

10 teams worked hard to outwit one another in their branded company Mega Quiz held at Ettington Chase, Stratford. Using the pre-installed app on hand-held tablets, the teams were able to interact with the on screen visuals, video and questions to send in their team answers. Guests racked their collective brains to summon up the answers to a list of crazy questions such as:

  • True or False? Duelling is legal in Japan as long as both parties are registered organ donors.
  • Sport: In Greyhound racing what colour vest do dogs running from trap two always wear?
  • Rogues Gallery: Which 2 celebrities are mashed together in this picture? (see below)

Working on a secure & fast Wi-Fi network (installed by us!) the app worked smoothly allowing the guests to submit their answers and clock up their team scores! By the end of the night though, as usual only one team was celebrating and enjoying the winner’s prize of champagne!

With further developments in the pipeline we are upgrading all of our evening and team events throughout 2014 to enable use of the apps in conjunction with hand-held tablets. Get in touch to find out more about how these new apps will work on your events!

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Animation Explosion!

January 2014

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Here at KDM we pride ourselves on looking at something, even if it’s working, and asking whether it could be done better. Consequently, our Animation Innovation event was great, but now it’s new and improved!

Previously guests were provided with cameras and laptops to create their Wallace and Gromit style animations, meaning saving , transferring and uploading all the images between the 2 pieces of kit. Now, following heavy investment, teams are provided with touchscreen tablets and tripods. This clever use of one piece of equipment means production of the animations is slicker, less techie and far more accessible for all your delegates. The images, taken using the tablet’s camera, can be immediately edited using the film software..and your animations come to life!

Now teams can focus on their creative animations rather than the different pieces of technology involved, making the event even more enjoyable. And as they say, the proof is in the pudding – we provided three Animation Innovation events with the new amendments in the same week just before Christmas. (and 2 on the same day!)

CLICK HERE  to see the teams’ very entertaining results and contact us if you’d like to know more for your next team event.


Expanding Plans for 2014

January 2014

We hope that you had a fabulous Christmas and New Year and that 2014 is looking as exciting for you as it is for us! With so many things coming up this year we thought that we would give you a glimpse of what we are up to.

New Event App

Following months of reviewing code and pulling out his (already sparse) hair, our MD Kevin has created a great interactive event app. Designed in-house the app is completely unique to KDM and will be a great addition to many of our events. It is slick, highly reliable and great fun! It will enable us to provide live Q&A and event feedback for your events, personalised quizzes and game show rounds both easily and cost-effectively. We will be rolling the app out over the next month so ask for it on an event near you soon!

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Vans

We imagine that breaking down on the way to your event because we are travelling in a rusty old van would be really bad! Bad for us and bad for you! Cunningly, we have always avoided scenarios like this by continually investing in repairs and improvements to our equipment. Recently, this has seen us add two brand new vans to our fleet. The additional vans:

  • Enable us to respond to an increased demand for events on the same day.
  • Are also larger – enabling us to hold a greater capacity of the equipment. So, we don’t have to send two vans on your event which is cheaper for you and better for the environment.

What’s more, our Event Staff are sure to enjoy the plush comfy seats whilst travelling the country delivering events from Inverness to Eastbourne!

And finally… New Staff

A survey by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), reported by the Telegraph, advises that 20% of workers will be on the lookout for a new job in 2014. This is great for us as we looking to recruit two new sales team members to continue the steady growth we achieved last year. We have been inundated with applications and first interviews will begin soon. But if you are one of the talented 20% looking for a new challenge in 2014, there’s still time and we’d love to hear from you so don’t be shy. Details can be found at TotalJobs KDM Events

 


Breaking Records?

December 2013

We needed new ideas for 2013! This was the third year our client had chosen us to provide the team event at their annual staff convention for 165 delegates at Best Western Rockingham Forest.

Having provided brilliant pub games and simulator competitions for the last 2 years, KDM was tasked with suggesting new ideas for 2013’s event. It had to be a fun activity which would have a wide appeal and be accessible – enjoyed and understood by guests whose first language is not English. With 165 guests participating in 2 hours the challenges also had to be easy to understand and quick to take part in.

So our creative team took inspiration from the challenges in our range of existing events to deliver a bespoke ‘Worlds Records’ event involving 12 all-new activities designed to allow the company to set their own world records! Paper planes, chopsticks, superman pants and beer mats have never been so much fun!

The activities were mixed to ensure there was a wide appeal to guests with different skill sets and so the event on Monday saw the teams taking part in memorable challenges such as:

FLIPPIN HECK – How many beer mats can you flip using one hand without spilling them everywhere?

HIGH FLYER – How far can you fly a paper aeroplane you have made yourself?

THIS SUCKS – Move ping pong balls from one container to another using a straw in the fastest time possible!

PEA IN A BOTTLE – Drop a pea from a height into a Champagne bottle in 5 or fewer attempts!

CHOP CHOP – How many jelly beans can you pick up with chopsticks?

THAT’S PANTS – How many pairs of pants you can put on (over your clothes)?

Points were racked up by each member of the team attempting to set a new ‘World Record’, noted and assisted by our enthusiastic event staff. Coloured lanyards helped the teams to coordinate their efforts and attempt to break as many records as possible to accumulate the highest score.

12 individuals went proudly home with specially designed  “KDM World Record Holder”  certificates whilst the overall winning team celebrated with medals.

But most importantly our client said that “this year’s event was the best yet!” So having raised the bar again this year we just need to make sure 2014’s event is better still! I’m sure our creative team will come up with something…

Sarah McGregor, Account Manager


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 an 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 demographics 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 aircraft, 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 teambuilding activity & evening entertainment during which long-lasting mementoes 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 lasting value – each of the animations created was 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 premiere 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 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 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.

 



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