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A leading pharmaceutical company looked to SWM Partners to create an internal leadership meeting for 600 of their employees located across the globe, from within the therapy areas of oncology and infectious diseases.

The aim was to provide them with a platform to share ideas and learnings, enhance their leadership skills, and challenge their thinking in a way that would align them all to the company’s vision.


Usually a face-to-face event spanning multiple days, this experience needed to be virtual due to the pandemic. This meant it was important to think creatively and infuse fun, excitement and inspiration into the experience to keep the audience engaged, and ensure learning opportunities were plentiful. This was particularly important given some of these attendees specialise in infectious diseases, and being at the height of a pandemic, this was a very busy time for them.

With people joining from all over the world, we also needed to find ways to connect them in meaningful ways, and cater to their multiple different time zones.


We moved away from the traditional conference call style virtual meeting, and developed an online portal complete with its own event identity, a series of sessions and speakers, and a unique avatar and gamification experience.

The portal housed several 90-minute sessions, which were streamed over a period of six weeks. These featured video stings and transitions, internal personnel from across the globe and from both therapy areas, and two external speakers.

Furthermore, we scheduled these sessions so colleagues across all countries could attend live if possible, to keep everyone together. Content was also made available for viewing on-demand.

We added an element of fun and connection by creating digital avatars to express the personalities of each individual audience member. These bitmoji characters appeared as a mosaic on the event portal’s home page, and were used in a game that invited attendees to discover more about their colleagues as they played along in their own time.

The bespoke virtual event portal approach was very well received. We successfully connected employees from all over the world, and left them feeling inspired and energised, with various positive comments coming through from both the client team and attendees after the event.

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