Healthy connections in a digital world.

Blackmores transforms its approach to virtual events, amping up participation with Adobe Connect.

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Established

1932

Employees: 1,400
Sydney, Australia
www.blackmores.com.au

 

Sydney, Australia
www.webqem.com

1.3K

Employees trained across Australia, New Zealand and Asia through virtual sessions

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Objectives

Effectively communicate with groups when face-to-face meetings aren’t possible

Implement a versatile virtual collaboration solution with experience customisation for various use cases

Support staff and stakeholders around the world by offering flexible solutions during a pandemic

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Results

Reduced costs of training and events by eliminating travel

Trained 1,300 staff across Australia, New Zealand and Asia through virtual sessions

Achieved greater attendance and diversity at events by removing barriers to participation

Promotes collaboration and communication between participants with virtual breakout rooms

Maurice Blackmore strongly believed in a holistic view of health based in nature — a radical approach in 1932. Today the company that he founded, Blackmores, is one of the most trusted names in natural health. The company promotes physical health through its wide selection of natural multivitamins and supplements. But Blackmores understands that is just one part of wellness. The company demonstrates an equally strong commitment to causes that promote a healthy planet, strong communities and happy employees.

 

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world, it caused major changes for Blackmores and its staff. While demand for health products rose sharply, the temporary closure of retail shops and delays across the supply chain made it challenging for Blackmores to fulfill customer needs. Lockdown orders also affected business operations, as many employees were asked to start working from home and stop travelling between global offices.

Rising to communications challenges during the pandemic

For Blackmores, these changes meant that it was more important than ever to find effective ways for employees and stakeholders to engage with each other across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Blackmores asked partner webqem, a full-service digital agency, for an easy-to-use, yet advanced video conferencing solution that would help it to reach people around the world. webqem recommended Adobe Connect .

 

“Adobe Connect is much more than just a video conferencing solution,” says Spokesperson, Title at webqem. “It has so many flexible pods that Blackmores can create any type of virtual experience that it needs to keep people easily connected and highly engaged, which will continue to benefit the global company even after the pandemic ends.”

 

[webqem: If needed, please provider further details about the benefits of Adobe Connect for Blackmores and webqem’s role in introducing/implementing Connect.]


“We considered everything stakeholders told us about what they wanted to achieve and what they wanted their sessions to look like. With its rich functionality, Adobe Connect was clearly the best solution to meet all of those diverse needs.”

 
Gill McEwen

Group Director of Education, Blackmores Institute


Engaging participants in virtual sessions

Blackmores initially started using Adobe Connect for simple video meetings, but once it saw how well the solution performed, it worked with webqem to quickly scale out the Adobe Connect service and reach more people virtually. Blackmores now uses Adobe Connect for corporate training and development, multimarket conferences, employee onboarding and graduation ceremonies for healthcare professionals who have completed Blackmores Institute natural health certifications. In X months, the company delivered training to 1,300 staff across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

 

[webqem: If appropriate, provide details about Adobe Connect integrations with Blackmores learning platforms?]

 

The primary reason for the success of Adobe Connect at Blackmores was its rich, wide range of features and tools. By combining different types of tools and layouts together, the company can create any number of ways for participants to engage with the virtual rooms, whether it’s an employee meeting or training aimed at providing pharmacists with information for Blackmores Institute Complementary Medicine Education certification (CMEd).

 

“We considered everything stakeholders told us about what they wanted to achieve and what they wanted their sessions to look like,” says Gill McEwen, Group Director of Education at Blackmores Institute. “With its rich functionality, Adobe Connect was clearly the best solution to meet all of those diverse needs.”

Using customised pods to add interaction to meetings

The feature used most at Blackmores is the chat tool. Participants can ask for clarification, respond to questions from presenters or even just message amongst themselves to network and build stronger relationships. The Q&A feature and ability to place multiple chat pods with named headers on the stage creates an even more focused chat environment with structured conversations around specific questions and topics.

 

Breakout rooms add another element to communication by providing separate chat, screen-sharing and whiteboard functionality for smaller groups in each session. Blackmores uses breakout rooms to discuss multiple topics at once or create group activities during training sessions, which can be brought back to the main session for broad discussions. Breakout rooms enable hands-on engagement rather than instructor-led monologues, making virtual sessions just as productive and inspiring as in-person sessions.

 

Adobe Connect also provides multiple ways for presenters to deliver material. In addition to live video conferencing or shared screens, Blackmores can upload videos and create polls and questionnaires ahead of time and play them during sessions. Whiteboards allow presenters to write and draw in real time or even brainstorm with participants. These integrated tools engage participants further in virtual meetings, helping them to continue to connect and learn even while participants are oceans apart.


“Adobe Connect has transformed the way Blackmores engages with staff, customers and stakeholders, building a strong community that extends beyond borders.”

 
Spokesperson

Title, webqem


Changing the way Blackmores works online

Blackmores originally implemented Adobe Connect as a way to continue doing business during a global pandemic. But the company soon realised that online events offer unique perks that will continue to benefit the company long after restrictions on travel and in-person meetings are lifted.

 

[webqem/Blackmores: In the paragraph below, the first sentence mentions greatly increased attendance at a virtual conference (vs. typical in-person attendance). Can a number or percentage be added there to demonstrate how much attendance increased?] 

 

When Blackmores held a virtual conference, attendance skyrocketed compared to typical in-person events. People didn’t have to worry about travel, time or costs of attendance, leading to much higher participation. The attendees also came from much more diverse backgrounds in terms of roles or locations. The diversity ultimately led to a much more successful conference, with Blackmores expanding its knowledge base and improving networking across multiple markets.

 

Blackmores also broke down internal meeting siloes by switching to virtual sessions. Blackmores teams in Australia switched from local face-to-face team meetings to a national planning day held every other month. This unified meeting allows teams all over Australia to align expectations and better understand business priorities on a national level.

 

Virtual versions of events such as conferences, training and graduation ceremonies have been so successful that Blackmores will likely not go back to in-person events. Moving online saves Blackmores a huge amount of travel costs and eliminates the need to rent event space. But just as importantly, virtual sessions benefit employees, who can connect with a wider group of peers and spend less time travelling to events away from their homes and families.

 

“Adobe Connect has transformed the way that Blackmores engages with staff, customers and stakeholders, building a strong community that extends beyond borders,” says Spokesperson, Title at webqem.

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