Corporate Events Meetings & Conferences
At KDM we help you make the most of your budgets, deliver the best quality experiences for your delegates and keep your business objectives firmly at the forefront of your events, meetings and conferences.
If you are looking for a reliable, creative and cost effective event management partner to help you gain better value, better results and always keep your business objectives in sight then we are the people for you ... so click the buttons to discover more.
First a Word of Caution
The best policy is to decide whether you wish to source the venue yourself or use a meeting planner. If you wish to use a venue finding agency choose to work with the one you feel will give you best service and then be open and trust them. Only then can they give you the service you should expect.
If you have the time or if organising meetings, conferences, corporate entertainment and team building events is your job then researching, visiting and finding the right venue yourself can be rewarding. If however like most organisers, organising the conference is a task given to them in addition to their other roles then it has the potential to be a time-consuming and stressful time.
If you use a good agency they will save you a lot of time and effort, as they will:
Know the venues in your chosen area well
Know whether the price you are being quoted is the best available
Know the quality of service at your prospective venues
Know the suppliers to use for your audio-visual, presentation and teambuilding requirements.
And the cost? Usually none!! And why? - because they are paid a commission from the venue.
We visit an average of five venues each day
We know the venues because we have worked closely with them for twenty years
Our staff have visited the venues and keep in close contact with them
We know who can give you the best deals.
We know the best suppliers.
Please contact KDM and we will source the perfect venue to suit your requirements and budget whatever your needs.
Most venues will hold a provisional booking for a client to enable them to consider their options. The length of time will vary from two days to two weeks, largely depending upon the time of year. Few venues will hold provisional bookings indefinitely. Increasingly venues will release your provisional booking if another client is prepared to confirm before you have made up your mind.
First Option Bookings
This is where you have the venue on provisional hold above other clients. Usually venues will contact you if they have a second enquiry for the date that you have on hold, or if they are not kept updated with progress of the booking.
Second Option Bookings
This is where another client already has the venue on hold at the time of your enquiry and you put them on hold as well. Usually we would only do this if this were the venue of choice. We would normally ask the venue to chase the first option booking in an attempt to gain first option status.
When is the venue confirmed? In the majority of cases the venue will be confirmed on completion of a confirmation form or provisional contract. At the time of contract there is flexibility with numbers final numbers are generally required seven days prior to the event.
Different venues differ and the contract will stipulate any charges in the event of a cancellation. Usually the lead-time of the cancellation will dictate what costs will be incurred.
Who is coming? Does anyone need to be upgraded to a luxury room? Is there a pecking order in which you want rooms to be allocated? (The Chairman tends to get upset when he discovers that the Marketing Assistant has a better room than he does!)
Does anyone need a non-smoking room? Is everyone based on single occupancy? Are the people in double rooms couples? Does there need to be internet access in the room?
Final Itinerary and Timings
Sounds simple but timings can cause issues. Is the room layout remaining the same throughout the day? Is lunch being provided in the same room? Are you having private dining or any activities in the room? All of the times need to be known so that turnaround times and coffee breaks can be correctly timetabled.
Who Pays for What?
Is the company or the delegate paying for any extras? In part this will depend upon what is included within the rate quoted but wines, bar bills, newspapers, laundry and mini-bars will still need to be considered. Items to be paid by the company will go on the company’s main account and other items on individual or room accounts.
You need to stipulate what goes on the Main account and who has authority to charge items to it. Some companies will have a bar limit after which point the main organiser can be contacted regarding the next decision. Unless you want to gaze in horror at the company's bill the following day always appoint the finance director or a teetotaller for this task!
Depending on your schedule there may need to be an exclusive check in desk for your company not only will this speed up you check in times but it will also give a specific area for your delegates to head towards. You may also need other signage directing your delegates to a certain conference room.
This always requires careful thought and planning, particularly if delegates are responsible for their own bar tabs and extras. Even just forty delegates queuing to register and have their credit cards swiped can cause friction and a delayed start to your meeting.
Again requires some thought, particularly if your conference continues on the last day as the venue will invariably need the rooms cleared by 10.00 am. Arrangements will need to be made to store baggage and for individual guests to pay their room bills.
At KDM we provide a comprehensive meeting and conference management service as part of the whole event planning process for your event, covering everything from venue finding and hire, event management, delegate registration, audio visual production and entertainment. We endeavour to deliver a programme that meets your objectives and takes the burden out of organising your conference or meeting.
From our office in Richmond, Surrey KDM have worked closely with their clients in London and the South-East for over twenty years. Our knowledge and experience of the venue opportunities available in the Greater London area helps our clients by providing exciting solutions to their meeting, conference and event management requirements.
From our base in Staffordshire, KDM have worked in the Midlands and the North West for over twenty years and know both regions and their hotels and conference centres well. For further information on what we can offer you in the Midlands and the North West please call and speak to us.
A Project Manager and a supporting Account Executive are allocated to your event although at times some or all of the other members of the KDM team will be involved to lend additional support and expertise to ensure that your event runs smoothly.
Your Project Manager will consult with you on your event, arranging planning and site meetings where needed in order to offer advice and solutions for every aspect necessary to deliver a successful event. Once the solutions have been discussed and agreed then your Project Manager will lead the KDM team to ensure that they are all delivered efficiently.
Rather than bill you at different rates for the involvement of different people we charge a flat fee to cover the costs of your Project Manager and Account Executive and this also includes the contribution of any other necessary people from the KDM team.
This means that a total management fee for your meeting or conference will be agreed beforehand and is calculated on the total number of hours needed to organise all the elements of your booking, based on your final requirements. By agreeing this fee beforehand you avoid being billed for any surprise hours at the end of the project.
If your requirements for the event management change as the project progresses, we will quote an additional fee based upon the number of extra hours needed to ensure the smooth delivery of the changes
Choosing your Meeting or Conference Venue
If you already have a location for your event, we will assess the venue and advise on any potential breakout, main conference and dining space issues. Should your principal venue not have sufficient facilities we can source and book any additional venues which may be required. If you have not already selected the venue for your conference or meeting, then we can help source and negotiate a venue to obtain the best package and facilities for your needs. We work at hundreds of venues around the UK every year so we’re well equipped to find the right location for your event.
All the essential detail involved in your venue booking can be time consuming yet hugely important to ensure that your event runs smoothly. Before the event we can help you to discuss and agree:
Menus, refreshment breaks, wine orders and bar tabs.
Accounting arrangements and payment of delegate extras.
Layouts of the main conference room, the breakout rooms and the dining areas.
Delegate registration, check-in and check-out to ensure that any unnecessary queuing is eliminated.
Luggage transfers to delegates’ rooms.
Bedroom allocations and rooming lists.
Access timings for any suppliers to allow for loading/unloading and set-up.
After the event, we can even check the invoicing by the venue and agree any corrections before the bill is forwarded to you.
Once you have your ideal conference or meeting venue, we normally recommend our clients to contract directly with the venue. However, if you would prefer us to handle the contracts and payments on your behalf we charge a nominal fee to cover our handling and finance costs.
The overall messages conveyed by your event are uppermost in our thinking so we will work with you to prepare your Creative Concept design & delivery. This can cover some or all of the areas below:
Theme, Music and Logo
Creative input into the image, feel and presentation of your event achieved with:
Music (including any copyright licenses).
Graphic Design of Conference Images and Logos.
Theming and dressing of the conference rooms and venue areas.
Themed PowerPoint templates for your presenters.
Before, during or after … video footage to enhance or commemorate your event is a powerful way to deliver a lasting impression.
Our studio can help to film, edit and produce:
Themed opening and closing conference videos.
Video and 3D Graphic ‘stings’ (short animated sequences that form either a logo, graphic or image)
Vox Pops and Video diaries (Relevant pre-event opinion interviews or experiences)
A closing video sequence or commemorative DVD filmed during the conference.
Communicating your message before the meeting or conference can be just as important as communicating your message during the conference. Ensuring that you have maximum attendance and your delegates arrive at the right place, on time and stay engaged throughout the event is of course paramount.
KDM can help in this including:
Delegate invitations and event ‘Teaser’ campaigns.
Conference Packs and Gift Bags.
Event websites to develop awareness, generate enthusiasm and communicate pre-event information.
On-line registration to collate all delegate details including responses to invitations, dietary requirements, allergies and access requirements.
Preparation of table plans and name badges.
Short Icebreaker and Energiser activities.
Focused activities designed to allow delegates to experience the event messages.
Facilitation and training elements.
Post event Follow-Up Questionnaires.
Technical expertise, creativity and excellent equipment are key to providing the right platforms where your speakers can seamlessly deliver your critical business content. Our Audio Visual solutions are as simple or as creative as the event demands so please ask us if you would like help in any of the following areas:
Design and supply of AV requirements in both the main conference room and the break-out areas - including staging, projection, sound, lighting, set design, live filming, all pre-event liaison and set-up day.
Delivering all conference video, music and presentations in a ‘show’ format.
Coordinating conference presentation rehearsals.
Coordinating speakers and presenters and their requirements at the event.
Preparing and reformatting slides and presentations for your speakers.
Recommending solutions and presentational aids to help deliver your messages.
Booking and managing external speakers and hosts.
Delegate interaction tools e.g. keypads, message boards, Q&A sessions.
During the live event your Project Manager will be working onsite assisted by a suitable team to:
Manage the correct movement of delegates around the venue/s and sessions in accordance with the conference schedule.
Co-ordinate with venue contacts on site to ensure their efficient delivery of check ins, refreshment breaks, meals, main conference room set ups, break out rooms and check outs.
Liaise with the speakers/presenters to ensure that they have the correct AV support and run to time.
Manage suppliers to ensure they are set up on time, in the correct areas and have everything necessary in order to deliver their product.
Manage any delegate transfers necessary.
Foresee potential difficulties and resolve them promptly and efficiently.
Accommodate any changes and requests satisfactorily.
Are you looking for a hotel or a venue or do you need to plan a meeting or conference? Whether you are organising a daytime meeting for twenty people, planning a conference for five hundred people or an event for ten guests we can help you find the venue you need. Whether it be in a part of the country with which you are familiar or one with which you are not our experience and knowledge will ensure that you get the best deal on offer - without the quality of service you have a right to expect being compromised.
We work closely with hundreds of hotels and venues throughout the country including purpose built conference centres, private country residences, country house hotels, unusual and original venues and stately homes. To many we are a preferred supplier of corporate events, team building and corporate entertainment through a relationship built over many years but at all we know what will work on site, which ones will give you an event to remember and which ones will give you an event you wish to forget.
In addition to ensuring that your event is an event to remember, whatever your venue or conference centre requirements we are here to make sure that everything runs smoothly, without a hitch, within budget and on time.
At KDM we understand that the hotel, conference centre or site chosen for your conference, meeting or corporate event is paramount in the event planning process. Whilst one setting may be ideal for one group or occasion it may not be best suited for another. Every company's requirement for corporate events is different and unique. Whether you require a country house hotel with extensive grounds for activity days, a small boutique hotel to host a themed party for clients or a showground for a large family fun day, with 20 years experience in the marketplace KDM can search, select and book the perfect location for your event.
Researching and contacting a lot of venues to find both the right venue to suit your budget and brief - with availability on your chosen dates - is time consuming and can lead to an information overload in view of the complexities of the different charging rates quoted. We will condense our research into one document and include only the information that you need - not pages of jargon!
We research and visit and work at venues literally every day. This enables us to keep up to date with issues such as refurbishments, room capacities and dimensions, service standards, special offers and facilities; it also enables to undertake site surveys of activity areas for tem building both inside and out.
Our venue knowledge stems from constant visits to venues through our conference bookings and events. However, our clients also give us unbiased feedback regarding venue standards, service, food, facilities and much more. This enables us to propose to you venues that we know can offer you the service you need to run your successful event.
Please refer to our recommended venues to view just some of the conference centres, hotels, stately homes and unusual venues we regularly work with and can recommend to you for the full spectrum of corporate events. It just takes a quick call to EMC and we will source the perfect venue to suit your requirements and budget - whatever your needs.
The type and style of venue you choose for your meeting or conference will be dictated by budget, location and the number of your guests. Different types of property suit different types of corporate event and what might be suitable for a product launch might not be appropriate for a sales conference. The different types of conference and meeting venues include:
Conference centres either tend to be purpose built or specifically converted and upgraded and are focussed upon providing facilities for companys’ off site meetings, conferences, team building and training courses. They tend to be very busy during the week and offer leisure breaks and weddings at weekends to fill their rooms.
They are designed for flexibility and are geared up to be able to turn rooms around quickly between conference layout and dining and the evening’s corporate entertainment, and can quickly turn a conference room into a room for private dining. Whiteboards, screens, video projectors and flipcharts and are readily available on site and are often, but not always, included within the price.
Speed check-in desks and breakout rooms will be regularly requested and available. Unless private dining is specifically requested dining is usually in the restaurant along with delegates from other companies. The bars are again public areas again unless private space is booked.
Conference centres vary enormously in quality and character and always have a good mix of conference rooms, syndicate rooms and bedrooms and are increasingly becoming Adept at handling all sorts of conferences, team building, corporate entertainment and a wide range of corporate events including company days, away days and corporate hospitality.
Hotels invariably aim for a mix of residential and conference and corporate hospitality business and their bias tends to be towards bedrooms rather than meeting space. The mix varies considerably between properties but a conference requiring a relatively large number of breakout or syndicate rooms might not suit a venue’s business mix if it utilises all of their conference space but leaves them with a relatively large number of bedrooms to fill. With few exceptions all are geared towards dealing with meetings and conferences and can offer similar facilities to a conference centre
Country House Hotels
These will usually be a little more restricted in terms of meeting space and the amount of onsite accommodation. They tend to be properties with character that have been tastefully converted. They are very popular for Company Fun Days, corporate hospitality, smaller senior level meetings and rewards and incentives.
Stately Homes, Unusual and Exclusive Use Venues
They tend to be best suited for day meetings and events – such as product launches and corporate away days - as few offer accommodation although there are exceptions. What they do offer however is style and exclusivity as they are often only available on an exclusive use basis.
Vat - Inclusive or Exclusive?
Depending on what your enquiry involves, each venue might quote rates in different ways. Some venues may quote exclusive of VAT. Others will quote a VAT-inclusive price. Within a VAT inclusive price there will invariably be a zero-rated element for room hire (if the rooms primary function is for a meeting or conference rather than catering).
This rate is for accommodation only. When quoted room only, you need to be aware that there is an additional charge for breakfast, normally between £12 and £15 per head.
Bed and Breakfast (B&B)
This rate is based on double or single occupancy. This can be two people in a twin room, two people in a double room, one person in a single or one person in a double. State, when making your enquiry, if you require a double bed for one person as the rate often differs from a single bedded room. Also check whether the breakfast is continental times or full English. What time is breakfast served in the morning?
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast (DBB)
This rate is as above, but also includes dinner in the restaurant. Within the rate, the client will have a certain allowance for food in the venues restaurant. Any amount in excess of this allowance will be charged to the client separately. If it is a rate quoted for a party of guests there will invariably be a separate charge for private dining.
24 Hour Delegate Rate (24HR)
The basic rate normally includes 2 servings of tea and coffee (one in the morning and one on the afternoon), conference room hire, 2-course hot and cold buffet lunch, 3-course evening meal, accommodation and breakfast.
Each venue has its own package - some include unlimited refreshments, screen, flipchart, projector, syndicate room(s), Danish pastries and more. Private dining and the use of an outside area might be subject to a separate facility fee. As with most headline rates costs vary a good agent will know which venues are most cost effective for your specific requirements.
Day Delegate Rate (DDR)
This rate normally includes 2 servings of tea and coffee (one in the morning and one on the afternoon), conference room hire and a 2-course hot and cold buffet lunch. As with the 24 Hour Rate, this package will differ with each venue.
This is the published rate and is negotiable, although the extent will vary according to the time of year, the day of the week, the number in the party in relation to the venue size and confirmed bookings for the time of the booking.
Activity Site Hire
This charge can sometimes be included in a delegate package, but more often than not, the venue will make some form of charge. This can be per head or a fixed amount. Some venues do not charge for using their grounds dependent upon the nature of the event and the value of the booking.
Always find out where the site is in relation to the venue as it can often involve a walk of up to 10 minutes, in which case you may need transport and toilet facilities. Many venues cannot accommodate certain events so will have contact with a nearby farmer or landowner.
There are many different ways a venue can quote for a private dinner. Some may include it within a 24hr delegate rate, whereas some might charge a supplement. If you are not staying overnight, dinner costs will be quoted with a starting price per head as there will be range of menu options and prices. Many venues will include private room hire within this per capita cost based on a minimum number of guests. Make sure this is explained when enquiring.
Syndicate Room Hire
Syndicate rooms differ in size and price. Some venues may include one or more syndicate rooms within a 24hr or Day Delegate rate, this will normally hold up to 10 people, boardroom style.
Creative lighting, colour, design and the imaginative use of digital media will impact positively upon your audience’s senses and emotions and applied in the right way will help to create a special atmosphere to bring a meeting, conference, company party or corporate event to life.
Our experience and the use of the latest production and lighting techniques, combined with our creativity and technical experience will produce an original, breathtaking setting for a memorable occasion.
For meetings, conferences, award ceremonies and company parties we can devise tailor-made production, presentation and lighting solutions with a high level of creativity and service - and when the project stretches even our capabilities we know and work regularly with the best specialists in the industry.
Whether it be a conference or a meeting, elements from Country Sports, Inflatables, 'It's a Knockout' and School Sports Days can all be used as a breakout session to make up part of a successful conference and meeting and will be created to suit your guests, the weather and season. KDM have been responsible for the event management of corporate events and company away days for twenty years and we still organise over four hundred corporate events every year for conference breaks, rewards, company away days and team building events to help our clients enhance their internal communications, incentivise their staff and create effective networking opportunities to build customer and staff relations.
If you want to reward your staff, boost morale or incentivise your clients we can help - KDM's event management of a wide range of varied interactive team building activities and corporate events are an excellent vehicle to help you achieve your goals, business objectives and communicate key messages to your people.
Whether you have already chosen your venue or would like some advise in identifying one to suit your needs, we work regularly at a wide range of venues throughout the UK and know what can be done at most locations - helping you to plan a corporate event which will get the best value out of the facilities available.
Call KDM for ideas and costs on the conference, meeting and breakout options available.
Conferences and meetings with an overnight stay frequently take the opportunity to use the evening for either corporate entertainment or an awards ceremony to celebrate the success of your top performers. EMC have a range of proven event ideas which will make your evening go with a swing.
Why not bring to life the conclusion of your day with a themed event which will help to reinforce your message or just to help delegates to relax and unwind. Whether you extend the business goals and objectives of your conference and modify them into a fun but team based quiz, game show or murder mystery or you extend the focus of the event with an after dinner speaker, KDM have an array of options for every requirement.
Event management from KDM is flexible to suit your specific needs. Conference and meeting management and planning can range from identifying and booking the conference venue and delivering an uplifting team building session at the start of a departmental meeting, to full event management where KDM coordinate and organise everything from venue selection and delegate travel to set design and event production. At KDM we have the knowledge, experience and the depth of staff to ensure that your conference or meeting is handled smoothly and efficiently from start to finish – and always with a close eye on your budget and our commitment to a personal high quality service.
The event management services KDM are able to provide include venue finding and negotiation, venue liaison, logistics, delegate registration and the identification and booking of suitable speakers. At the event itself we will, after having taken your brief and worked with you in developing the concept and ideas we will plan every aspect of the event with you and event manage this for you from start to conclusion.
KDM are able to offer a flexible approach and aim to help you address many of the complexities of organising a successful event. We always work closely with clients to generate positive, effective and measurable results and we endeavour to deliver a programme that meets your objectives and takes the burden out of event management.
Corporate Away Days and Activity Days make a really exciting option for incentives and rewards or just to break the ice. KDM can provide a complete hospitality package and manage the entire event, complete with flags, bunting, and mini-marquees, leaving you and your guests free to relax and have fun. Whether it's a conference team building break or a day's corporate hospitality KDM's corporate events are designed to motivate your guests into action without pushing them over the top! Tuition from our professional, full time instructors is in a relaxed style with the emphasis strongly on your guests gaining as much 'hands on' experience as possible.
Rewarding your staff shows belief in your team and appreciation for the work that they do. Staff away days and incentives create a greater feeling of achievement within the team and of course help perpetuate that all-important competitive momentum for the future.
KDM have twenty years of experience in away days and corporate events; often an away day is a unique experience combining a mix of travel, adventure and excitement. It may be a day or an evening activity or it may simply be an evening of good food, entertainment and fun; our evening corporate events and Themed Party Nights are perfect examples.
At KDM we can event manage every detail for you, and we will work very hard to squeeze the very best from your budget. Whatever your needs, please contact us and we will create a corporate event that your staff will really appreciate and you will be proud to have initiated.
A Company Fun Day is whatever you want it to be; from a simple barbeque with one or two activities to an exclusive venue with marquees, acts, a range of differing catering options and myriad activity options to make your corporate event exclusive.
Do you need us to source the location and event manage your day? We have long standing relationships with venues and hotels throughout the country and can negotiate excellent rates on your behalf as part of your Company Fun Day quote.
Once you've chosen your location and decide upon the style of your event, you can choose from a whole host of differing and exciting activities to keep your guests occupied. To make it a little easier we suggest activities under the three headings: Family Fun Land (Children and Adults), Children's Chuckle Zone (Children only) and Grown-Ups Games World (strictly Grown-Ups only!).
By choosing KDM for the event management of your corporate event you can rest assured that your guests will have the best possible time together. The pressure is off for the day as everyone meets to relax, say 'hello' and concentrate on enjoying themselves.
Company Fun Days also work as an effective team building event with employees joining together in light hearted competitive activities, building relationships and having a brilliant time. By its very nature, your event can be as big or as small as you need, for as many or as few guests as you wish to invite. There are a wide variety of events to choose from to suit every age and taste and of course we will even organise the venue and catering. In fact we can event manage every element of your Company Event - leaving you free to make the most of your day.
Above all, a Company Fun Day can provide an all too rare chance for a whole company to come together in an informal and enjoyable day.
Whilst in the current economic climate holding a conference in Europe might be perceived by some as an extravagance, face to face communication will always remain as an essential business tool to effectively deliver a message and for a company which trades on the international stage a European conference is a necessity to bring delegates from across the globe together.
Here at KDM we have the experience and knowledge of sourcing and booking venues in European locations, letting you concentrate on the messages within your meeting or conference.
Please note: This is our understanding of the law and is for guidance only as we specialise in Corporate Events rather than VAT and Tax! We would recommend therefore that you speak to your accountant to clarify the situation.
Not all elements of an event are subject to VAT as venues can opt whether or not they charge VAT on zero ratred and exempt supplies they provide. In addition if you are using a coach to get to or from the venue to your corporate event location the coach company's services are zero rated for VAT.
Christmas Party Allowance
Remember the Christmas Party Allopwance is not what it says on the tin – Christmas can come more than once a year in the eyes of the tax man!
The technical wording:
This applies to an annual party or similar annual function(s) provided for and available to all employees, or available to all employees at a particular location.
1. Where in the tax year only one annual party or similar annual function to which this section applies is provided for the employer's employees, or the employees in question, no liability to income tax arises in respect of its provision if the cost per head of the party or function does not exceed £150.
2. Where in the tax year two or more such parties or functions are so provided, no liability to income tax arises in respect of the provision of one or more of them ("the exempt party or parties") if the cost per head of the exempt party or parties does not exceed £150 or £150 in aggregate.
3. For the purposes of this section, the cost per head of a party or function is the total cost of providing:
a) the party or function, and
b) any transport or accommodation incidentally provided for persons attending it (whether or not they are the employer's employees)
- divided by the number of those persons.
4. That total cost includes any value added tax on the expenses incurred in providing the party, function, transport or accommodation.
As long as everyone from an office or area is invited, up to £150 per person attending, can be spent on a ‘team building’ event(s) each year. This is not then liable for income tax as a benefit in kind for the employee and the input VAT can be reclaimed by the employer. The £150 is, unfortunately, inclusive of VAT.
Beware though - if the ‘event’ is deemed to be a reward, incentive or bonus the employee is liable to tax as a benefit in kind and the employer would not be able to reclaim the input VAT.
The cost of providing training is of course fully allowable and the input VAT element can be reclaimed.