Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question for us? Here's a selection of the questions we get asked a lot...
Who are you?

We are expert creative practitioners who help organisations to achieve something different in their business. Our ethos centres around treasuring individuality and diverse perspectives, encouraging creative thinking, innovation and curiosity and the belief that everyone should be allowed to enjoy themselves at work.

How much do you cost?

We are good value, but not cheap. We are confident our charges are competitive, but when you buy services from the Monsters, you are also purchasing access to twenty years’ worth of materials, that are ours to use, and a combined experience of over a hundred years of similar work, geared to, and driving impact and change. We have built a comprehensive library of learning models, exercises and tools and possess the know-how to use them. Many of these are unique to us and you will not find them at regular consultancies, agencies or training companies.

Our costs are calculated using a blend of time, expertise and value. We know that some work is more complex and has a wider impact than other pieces of work. We also know that sometimes there is an element of untangling issues, and managing stakeholders – and we also believe that our clients shouldn’t pay more just because we have taken longer. It is for these reasons we don’t just work on day rates. When we provide you with an initial costing, it will be based on our understanding of that project, and what is required, both in terms of time and level of expertise and experience.

What do you actually DO?

We have four distinct areas, each with their own specialism, but all with a common ethos of doing business differently:

  • Meeting, Workshop and Conference Design and Facilitation
  • HIIT Squad (High Intensity Immersive Training): Team-based workshops and sessions
  • ‘Start with ‘hello’… : Building better connections at work, focusing on building strong and effective working relationships
  • Visual Creations, Artwork & Illustration: Translating business content into engaging, eye-catching visuals

 

Why should I use you?

You should use us if you want to do business differently. We all have a background that isn’t just business; some of us were and are artists, some of us were actors, performers, comedians. That doesn’t make us ‘wacky’. Wacky isn’t that useful in business. But it gives us a unique perspective on people. As artists, we have observed people and considered audiences all our working lives. For the first part as creative artists, now we do it in business as creative practitioners. Oh, and you will enjoy our company, we’re good fun to have around and we are ruthlessly determined to do a good job.

If I wanted you to design an event for me, what sort of thing would you do?

We believe that meetings should be memorable. And in working with you, we aim to do just that. Each conference we run is designed specifically for that client. Whether it be for under a hundred or up to a thousand, we always aim to bring compelling themes, weave business objectives seamlessly through the event and, most of all, enable people to get the most out of being together. We work alongside you to create the most engaging and inspiring way of sharing your messages and work throughout the conference to make sure everyone is involved and the atmosphere is enjoyable, productive and never boring. The effect is long-lasting and the energy palpable.

I just want some fun bringing to this conference – what could you do and how much would it be?

We love having fun, in fact we thrive on it and try to bring fun into all our work with clients. On the other hand, fun for the sake of it can be gimmicky and actually just annoy people rather than engage them. We will always look to combine fun with relevance, creating events which are fun and entertaining but have a clear business message or behavioural outcome. We do have a suite of tried and tested exercises and activities that have been used 100’s of times before, all of which are fun but have a specific message or point to them. Our facilitators are skilled in delivering them; however if it’s just fun you’re after, there may be more suitable suppliers out there than us.

How much does it cost to run a memorable meeting?

We know, from 20 years of running conferences and events all over the world, that one of the key challenges when organising such an event is cost. So how do you ensure that you are spending money in the right areas? Costs can vary massively from conference to conference and so we hope to help you understand how best to approach it for your particular purpose and to ensure that you focus your spend.

For a list of areas to consider and the options that are likely to be open to you, take a look at our article here.

I need to create connection within my team/function. Can you help?

In short, yes! Great business is built on great relationships. We work with employees, teams and leaders to increase their ability to connect. This not only builds and strengthens relationships, but will enable your people to work more effectively with colleagues, team members, customers, suppliers and stakeholders. Our “Start with Hello…” workshops help to build connection with customers, stakeholders, suppliers, with teams, audiences and organisations.

Can you just do an ice breaker?

As part of designing and running a conference or event, we will always focus on setting up the right environment and atmosphere. This is, on occasion, simply allowing people to meet each other and start building relationships. We have a range of exercises we use to do this, but it’s not cost effective for you if we just do a single element of an event.

Can you do a team building day/exercise?

We don’t believe that you can build a team in a day. Similarly, you can’t build a team with just an exercise, but we know what you mean. What you can do, however, is undertake an exercise that demonstrates collaboration and teamwork with our HIIT Squad.

High Intensity Interval Training is a physical regime that involves short bursts of intense activity to boost fitness and stamina. Taking that as our starting point, we have developed our own version of HIIT exercises for teams: High Intensity Immersive Training.

We take a problem that your teams face, related to how people approach or understand the day-to-day running of the business. We translate that challenge into an exercise that mirrors the hand-offs, responsibilities, pressures and dependencies of their work, and involve everyone in it, in an exercise that runs for between 30 minutes and three hours. It allows people to experience for themselves what it’s like to handle the budget, or deliver excellent service, or respond to fast-moving developments… sometimes compressing 18 months of procedure and process into a very active, pressured, but fun session.

It might not make them sweat, or leave with aching muscles, but they will have a better understanding of how their role affects others, and give them an insight into areas where improvements could be made, so the department is leaner, slicker, and fit for purpose.

I already have the conference designed, can you give me a cost for you guys to facilitate it?

The real value comes from the thoughtful and well-considered design where all elements contribute to the overall impact of the event. It is a collaborative process. We are creative people who love to come up with ideas. This is no good if your idea is the one you want to go with regardless. If the event is already designed and locked down, it’s then very difficult for us to help you achieve that, meaning you won’t get the best value from our service.

There are lots of artists, facilitators and designers who do an excellent job of simply following your instructions, but we are not one of them. We aren’t argumentative, but we like to challenge, if we think the challenge will lead to a better, more impactful outcome.

What are the advantages of using you vs. me doing this myself/using internal facilitators?

We would always encourage using internal employees/leaders in conferences and workshops, especially when it comes to delivering key messages. This way, the ownership of the message is very clear and visible, which is critical when building trust. However, for that to have the required results it needs to be well scripted, well-rehearsed, and with a narrative that is thought through, communicated with clarity and can be easily understood and digested. This is where our skills come in. Similarly, to us, facilitation is more than a skill set. It is a way of being. Using humour, inclusivity, opening up often difficult conversations, creating and then unpacking exercises with an emotional lens, is difficult to achieve – especially when you work inside the business in question. Our external and people-led perspective allows us to challenge areas you can’t, question the unquestionable and provide an insight that is likely being missed. Working together is the very best way to achieve the most memorable outcome.

We'd like to do things differently- we don't want the same old, same old- can you help?

Yes. Thank you. We love that question. One of the things that we ask when first working with clients is, ’Have you done change before?’ most of the time the answer is ‘yes’. The next question of course is, ‘did it work? Most of the time the answer is ‘well, yes, mostly, um not that great, in parts…’ you get the picture. Approaching things differently the next time around is a good idea. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. So we would love that challenge of approaching things differently. What will we do that is so different? We don’t know yet? We don’t know what your particular challenge is. But we’ll have great fun taking it on.

How much is an animation?

Animation is one of the most popular services we provide. Organisations appreciate their simplicity, their ability to convey complex messages in an easily-understood way, and their level of consistency, especially when messages need to be cascaded or shared with a wide audience. You will notice that we are not an animation studio and that is not our purpose. We are, first and foremost, engagement specialists, so our animations and films are designed and crafted with engagement in mind. We consider the characters, the storyline, metaphors and visual cues. In the spirit of doing business differently, these are not built from stock images or pre-prepared scripts; our ‘animates’ are always original, bespoke and unique.. In terms of price, you can expect to pay between £6,000 – £10,000 for one of our films. The lower end is for a whiteboard style with artwork created by our art team, or towards the top end, we can combine animation with film footage and special effects. Examples can be found here.

 

Do you do more than whiteboard style animations?

In short, yes, we do. The whiteboard style is by far the most popular because of its simplicity; however, when a different style is required we can use colour, vector graphics and different pen styles. Our skill is in crafting the narrative and supporting artwork and that is what we primarily focus on. Take a look here for more examples.

We have a new strategy/vision. Can you help us communicate it?

Yes- this is one of the most popular questions we are asked! One of our specialisms is creating a visual representation of a narrative, strategy, vision or plan.You know your vision. You know your values. What we do is translate the cold words and interpret them into an engaging and emotionally connected visual that people not only see, but warm to. They contain wit, emotion, humour, and are always concerned with the human connection to the message. We can craft a series of accompanying workshops, leadership or team sessions to help everyone understand what the vision is, and where you’re going.

 

I can create one of those animations myself – why would I pay you to do it?

Technology in this space now is incredible and allows anyone to create animations in a matter of hours. Technology such as this allows you to do that cheaply and easily. Bear in mind, however, that this technology cannot create an engaging narrative or storyline, it can’t advise you on adding humour or wit, it would struggle to come up with amusing characters or metaphors which allow the messages to resonate without explaining all the content. Most of all, you are limited to a library of stock images, whereas, we will hand draw any image you require. How can we put this cheekily? “Just because you can paint by numbers doesn’t make you the next Van Gogh.”

What possible challenges are there working with you?

We are not your typical agency nor your typical consultancy. We don’t call ourselves either of those things for that very reason, but we know this often makes us difficult people to fathom. We don’t fit into the normal mould.

Well we hope that working with us would be a fulfilling and good experience, but our approach and style may not be for everyone. We might ask you to do something that you’re not used to. We might suggest an approach that leaves you feeling uncomfortable. We might come up with a plan that may be deemed too ‘out there’ for your organisation. And that’s ok. We have no desire to take anyone so far out of their comfort zone that they are in the panic zone. But it’s probably best to know that we will definitely challenge the status quo to grasp your particular issue. And take some comfort in the fact that we have been in business a long time; we have a lot of clients who’d be happy to tell you that though we may be called monsters, we’re not that frightening.