Posts Tagged ‘Theme Evening Events’

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!

IMG_1454fix resizedIMG_1486 resizedIMG_1504 resizedMega Quiz Team resized

 

Rogues Gallery 01

 

 


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.


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!



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