Posts Tagged ‘Team Building Events’

High Energy Injection – Team Building & Conference Event Management

August 2017

The Finance division of a global construction machinery giant initially approached KDM with a view to putting together a team building activity event, which would be a key element of its annual company conference.

The conference would be exclusively for the Finance division staff, with a lot of the content structured around the company’s varied product range. The organisers were hoping to squeeze a hefty agenda into a very tight timeframe, and after the day’s business sessions the participants would attend a reception followed by an awards evening. For the Midlands – based company, the Mere Golf Resort and Spa hotel offered the ideal event location.

Having discovered that KDM are in fact a full-service Events Company providing not only team building activities & entertainment, but also event management & conference production, our client expanded our brief somewhat in order lighten their own event planning burden.

While our event manager worked closely with the client during the planning phase, we picked up new tasks to assist with event production including full event management & support for the day’s programme to ensure the smooth running of the events. We devised a bespoke 30-minute Family Fortunes – style ice-breaker focussed team building session in the afternoon, involving questions based on the company’s products – teams answered 19 specially-prepared questions on screen, using table buzzers and added sound effects contributed to the competitive atmosphere.

For the conference as a whole KDM provided full AV support, including set and stage, audio, video and lighting.

Any fatigue felt by the 82 delegates at the end of their day of business sessions was soon dispelled by our evening entertainment in the shape of nine-piece soul and latin band, which injected high energy into a very lively evening drinks reception.

For the awards dinner, the venue was transformed with a vibrant turquoise and orange theme, continuing the buzz of the preceding upbeat reception. As well as colour-wash lighting around the room, we provided specially designed table centres that continued the flamboyant theme.

In addition to assisting with conference event management, KDM provided AV support for the awards dinner, as well as music to accompany the presentations for each of the winning categories.

Speaking after the event our client said: “Conference went very well, everything was brilliant, band provided were amazing – table dressing and room looked great.”


When in Rome

April 2017

April found the KDM Events team packing our bags as we were invited to organise a team event at the newly opened Hotel Eden in Rome.

We were asked by our clients to organise a two-day team event that provided activities dealing with teamwork and transformation, whilst also being fun and innovative. The team event was being held at the newly restored Hotel Eden located in the city of Rome as part of their ‘People Forum’. The forum was organised for the client’s internal team of Heads of Department.

Pleased to be invited to organise this team event, we packed everything we needed for the two-day event into large suitcases and flew to Rome to deliver an animation team building activity and a beatbox energiser.

So what did the two-day event consist of?

Across the two-day team event, the KDM team delivered our Animation Innovation team build activity and our Beat Box workshop to 40 members of the client’s team.

The Animation Innovation activity is designed to encourage team building through creativity. Through an introduction to Stop Motion Animation techniques, the team members were given the opportunity to use new ways of communication to show their ideas as they created, produced and edited their own animation.

Alongside the animation activity, we also provided a beatboxing workshop. The client’s team were introduced to the techniques and skills needed to beatbox. Beat Box is a great energiser as it allows all members of the team to be involved as they work together to see what can be achieved together using only mouth, voice and lips. With their newly learnt skills and having been allocated different percussion sections, teams successfully worked together to create a musical memory.

And the feedback?

Our client delighted us with a very short email ending with this sign off “All was amazing!”


Corporate Team Building Event: The Crystal Mazed Mobile Experience

September 2016

We’ve all been there! It’s your annual Conference and Company Party, you’ve spent the day discussing how brilliantly you all performed last year (which is why you’re here getting treated like royalty in this fabulous location) and finding out about the great new ideas the Company is going to be moving forward with.

Cue, team building activity to cement the great working relationships you’ve built and generate new levels of company values and trust. The day’s enjoyable and team spirit is at an all-time high, and you know what to expect from the team building event ahead… or do you?

This team were very pleasantly surprised to learn upon arrival at the outdoor activity field, that this year, their team building event was to be quite the new experience!

Following the high-profile launch of Central London’s The Crystal Maze Experience, the Event Organisers had sourced KDM’s The Crystal Mazed Mobile Experience to come to them, all of the problem solving, time pressure and cash grabbing frenzy of the classic TV show was right here at their annual conference to set the fun, competitive tone of the day and re-energise the team ready for an evening of corporate entertainment.

The success of The Crystal Mazed comes down to the way it was designed & developed, to be completely mobile. Very few delegates expect to leave their conference room and find the Aztec, Medieval & Industrial / Futuristic Zones set up on it’s doorstep with a custom built Cash Grabber providing the finale to outdo all finales!

Following on from their day navigating the maze to arrive in the Cash Grabber catching as many golden tickets as possible in 60 seconds, the excited team had some lovely feedback about the event to share:

“Last week went great – everyone loved it so thank you so much for it all . . .”

“Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the events last Thursday. They LOVED Crystal Mazed, they really liked that it was a mix of physical & mental activities & they loved the cash grabber finale (apart from Ann, she got disqualified!) ”

It’s not surprising The Crystal Mazed has become so popular, it’s been all over the UK in recent weeks including appearances at Cranage Hall in Cheshire, Burnham Beeches Hotel in Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, Birmingham even down to Surrey.

If you’re looking for a unique and exciting mobile team building event like the Crystal Mazed, get in touch with us for more information.

The Crystal Mazed Mobile Experience Team Building Activity Load the cannon!

The Crystal Mazed Mobile Team Building Activity Experience for Corporate Team Building Events

Enter the Futuristic Zone

The Crystal Mazed Mobile Experience Team Building Activity

Cash grabber finale!

The Kings Guard

The Kings Guard


Team-up in the Sunshine – Case Study

December 2015

KDM made it possible for Prologis staff to celebrate the 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


The Happiness Factor

September 2015

Who’d have thought five years ago that employee wellbeing would one day be the focus of  boardroom concern?  Now that the fiercest threats of economic gloom are receding, global corporations like Google and Starbucks are leading the way in addressing the cost to their business of  stress-related sick-leave and high employee turnover.  It’s beginning to dawn on the business world that companies literally can’t afford to have unhappy, unwell staff.

But while these multi-million dollar global brands are at the forefront, many smaller companies have a long way to go in addressing workplace stress.  Although businesses are finally back in expansion mode, organisational leaders are slow to invest in new people to share the load. They are not ensuring that working conditions will keep staff feeling motivated and fulfilled.  Instead, people are expected to do increasingly more in less time.  The numbers of over-stretched staff working under unmanageable pressure are climbing.

One factor that might help to reverse this trend, is the acceptance that employee happiness has a measureable impact on business. Economists at the University of Warwick conducted research amongst 700 participants and found that their productivity increased by around 12% after being given happiness-inducing treats.  Trying the experiment in reverse, subjects who had good reason to feel unhappy (such as those going through bereavement or divorce) had significantly poorer performance levels.

Increasing employee productivity is a critical goal in many businesses, and the 12% improvement will go straight to the bottom line.

And while we’re focusing on that bottom line, let’s not forget that unhappy staff are likely to leave.  It’s well documented that costs related to directly replacing an employee can be as high as 50–60% of the employee’s annual salary, but the total cost of turnover can reach as high as 90–200%  when you factor-in the value of the knowledge they take away with them (especially if they take it to a competitor!).

So strategies to increase employee motivation and reduce turnover should be viewed by employers as an essential financial investment.

But how do you make your staff happy?  Motivational strategies used to be based on money: in the form of bonuses and salary rises, but psychologists have proved that beyond a certain comfort level financial incentives become progressively ineffective.  Other factors such as peer-group recognition, a sense of community and social interaction all play their part in making people want to give of their best at work.

Clearly HR leaders need to consider a whole raft of initiatives that will make employees feel cared-for.  In addition to the bonuses, rewards and training programmes these should include experiences both inside and outside the workplace that leave a positive emotional impact.  Organisational stress-busting programmes can include lunchtime tai-chi, yoga or massage; or one day a year charity fundraiser bake-offs or bike rides.

We’ve discovered that the most noticeable (and measurable!) improvements in staff motivation occur when a company’s board publicly champions wellbeing as a pillar of its business strategy,  allocating resources to sponsor and support these initiatives.  Social interaction and a sense of community can be fostered through a carefully planned schedule of events throughout the year.

So if the annual Christmas party is your company’s only opportunity for staff to have fun together, maybe it’s time for a rethink. Especially as fun activities and motivational games can be incorporated into many internal events that have a business objective.

Corporate wellbeing is a truly sound investment and should be a part of every business strategy – no matter how small or large.  If we compare that to the cost of maintaining an emotionally sick workforce it’s a no-brainer!


Who Says Fun Can’t Produce Measurable ROI?

April 2015

KDM Bigger PictureIMG_5787

Now that corporate Britain is setting its sights on growth again, bosses face the challenge of hiring and keeping the best people – the very people whose enthusiasm and ambition will shift company performance into a higher gear.  At the same time there’s a lot of work still to be done to dispel the lingering uncertainties over job security that stalked the corridors during those lean recessionary years.

All of which has brought Motivation back to the top of the HR agenda.  At KDM we’re receiving a lot of enquiries for social-style internal events, on top of the purely business-focused activity that has characterised our order book in recent years. We’re already seeing more requests for team events, engagement activity and incentive experiences, as well as a resurgence in demand for family fun days.

But we’re also hearing that some CEO’s are pretty dismissive about fun-style corporate activities. They are questioning the benefit of purely social events as contribution to corporate performance and dismissing them as an unnecessary luxury because the outcomes, and therefore the return on investment from such events, are difficult to quantify.

To KDM, this viewpoint misses the bigger picture.  Companies that are committed to raising and sustaining levels of motivation amongst their workforce need to apply a strategic approach to their internal events.  It’s absolutely true that a one-off party or anniversary celebration is a blip in the calendar that has the same effect on company-wide motivation as a crash diet has to sustained weight loss. The feel-good factor fades as soon as ‘real life’ returns.

And, as with any other business strategy, the starting point must be a measurable objective. This could very easily be that of reduction in staff turnover. Experts estimate that it costs around twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement, so reducing churn is already a critical goal in all companies.

We’ve been helping some of our clients to devise a calendar of motivational activity – which can include anything from quiz nights to on-site massage sessions.  Using current staff turnover figures as a baseline, it’s easy to monitor churn over a period of a year.  Further metrics can be supplied from annual employee well being surveys, examining such factors as how valued employees feel, to what degree they are proud to be working for their company and to what extent they would recommend their employers to job seekers.  The statistics enable you to progressively measure the effects of a long-term motivational strategy.

So making staff feel appreciated, recognising the important role that all of our families play in our daily lives, and creating an occasion to thank employees and their loved ones for continued support, turns out to be a sound business investment with measurable return, after all.

Brad Davies, Account Director


Will Team Events Help with Business Goals?

January 2015

Can you use team events to help reach your business goals? Absolutely!

We were asked an interesting question by a client last year “Have you got an event that will help my team achieve their new sales targets? We think we need to do some team building?” After delving further into the specifics of the team and their industry they were able to work with them to design a series of team events that met the motivation and training needs of the team members – enabling them to meet their sales targets in 2014.

However even when you don’t set a specific programme of events, any participative activities should have a very positive impact on your delegates and consequently your business in a number of subtle ways:

Improved team performance

When the energy of your delegates is directed towards a united purpose, your team will feel a sense of togetherness that translates fluidly back into the workplace when working together towards common business goals.

Improved individual performance

Activities enable people to experience winning and achieving in a way that their normal work might not. Learning something new and different liberates the mind – facing a challenge, meeting it and mastering it helps build confidence which can contribute to success in the workplace.

Forging stronger bonds and lines of communication across your business

Your team-building event will act as a catalyst so that your guests will connect better with one other. Few people feel comfortable with making the extra effort to chat with colleagues they don’t know, so a shared experience and something interesting to talk about facilitates better networking.

Greater business implementations back in the workplace

Adding interaction to your meeting means that participants will remember and gain more from the experience, enabling your delegates to implement more from your key messages back in the workplace.

Creation of relevant new business ideas

Team building events create excellent forums to promote lively discussion and debate around your key messages, often resulting in innovative new business outputs.

Higher ROO

Simply getting people together is expensive, so making the most of the time you have with your delegates greatly improves your overall return on objectives. By investing in a team activity that aligns with your business messages, the likelihood of your guests retaining and implementing new knowledge and communicating with colleagues increases dramatically.

Forms cohesiveness and a can-do culture

People often enjoy events which include new non-work activities, especially when bosses and superiors take part in the same teams as their junior staff, which also helps cohesiveness.

Develops mutual respect

Everyone is different. Taking part in new challenges and activities outside of the work situation illustrates people’s different strengths and working style preferences. Mutual respect develops when people see skills and attributes in others that they didn’t know existed.

The solutions you might need will depend on the specifics of your team dynamics and business goals. And as with any business activity, clear measureable objectives should be set beforehand so that success can be measured. But team events are an essential part of motivating, rewarding and training staff – it’s definitely money well invested when you have clear set goals in view!


Taxi for Caroline!

November 2013

When a client tells us they have a short lead in booking, it usually means we have a few weeks or at the very least a week…

It was a rainy day last Tuesday when an email enquiry for a team building activity suitable for an international group in London landed in my inbox. I immediately thought that our new GPS Black Cab Challenge would be perfect. We’d just set up a great deal with a family run cab company and we were excited to be able to begin working with them so I called the client to share my thoughts about how this would be an excellent activity for the group – the combination of the iconic Black Cabs and historical points of interest within the capital city makes for an exciting and unique tour of London. Guests have the opportunity to visit a number of key locations such as Westminster & Whitehall, the Square Mile of the City, St Pauls, Soho, Southbank, Kensington Gardens & Hyde Park in a short amount of time. Plus you get chauffeured around the city door to door and don’t get too rained on!

The client was delighted with the idea, but then dropped the bombshell – “and so we’d like this event on Thursday” I gulped and replied “This Thursday? In 2 days?”

Fortunately, I was able to quickly speak to Garry one of our Event Managers here on site to check the availability of staff and GPS tablets. Next, our cab company sprang into action (thank you Helen!) to check the drivers for us and so within 90 minutes the entire event was confirmed and organised with time to spare!

Feedback from the client was that it was a ‘Great teambuilding event, and run really professionally at very short notice.’

A happy end to the rainy week! So if anyone else has any last minute bookings – bring ’em on!

Caroline
Account Manager (and speed booker extraordinaire)

GPS 9GPS 16GPS 14GPS 8

 

 

 


Zero Tolerance

August 2013

KDM ZH3

Pitted head to head in 2 teams, our office staff faced certain humiliation when we recently completed our event training for our newest event ‘Zero Hour’. Given a catalogue of 50 different challenges ranging from mental conundrums to physical dexterity challenges, we raced against the clock to successfully complete as many as we could before the timer ran out. Each task had a different difficulty level and points available for beating it, so choosing which tasks to tackle became increasingly important as things become more frenzied whilst on-screen clock counted down ever closer to the Zero deadline!

Highlights of the competition came when Sarah and Nicky had to ‘headbang’ nodding dog style to record 200 steps with a pedometer … and managed to look as though they had just been discharged from A&E. Plus the moment where one team momentarily gave up competing in order to doggedly complete their lego house roof… awww.

Amazingly, cheating was kept to a minimum because the tasks kept everyone so focused that there was no time for sabotage! Whilst I don’t think any of us will be entering The Cube anytime soon, we all had serious amounts of fun and learnt that good time management, staying calm under pressure and knowing your team’s strengths/weaknesses are definite requirements if you want to come out a winner!

For more information about Zero Hour check out our video here and get in touch for a detailed quote.

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KDM ZH2 KDM ZH1


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



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