Event Awards

We were delighted this week to be shortlisted at the 2022 Digital Event Awards for “Telling Your Story” – and event we produced with the Thalidomide Society and Thalidomide Trust.

In April 2021, the Thalidomide Society and Thalidomide Trust joined forces to merge their annual conferences and host them online for the first time. 

As this was new territory for both organisations, they needed a trusted partner who could guide them through running a successful virtual event whilst being innovative and creative to keep their attendees engaged.


Conference Delegate management Website


Rockitfish worked attentively with the Society’s Events Organiser to create a fun, engaging, and most importantly, accessible online meeting

Thalidomide was widely prescribed to pregnant women during the 1950s and 1960s, which subsequently caused babies to be born with a range of disabilities. The Trust and Society support this unique group of people and use their annual conferences to come together to embed this sense of community and share support. 

Due to Covid 19, this high-risk community felt incredibly isolated, and it was therefore integral to ensure they had a platform to reconnect. 

Rockitfish created a two-day event, which saw 100 of the Trust and Society’s members attend from all over the U.K. Accessibility was a key factor. Attendees had a range of needs to be met and limited knowledge of technology. 

With networking being a key objective, a webinar was out of the question. We wanted to provide a platform that offered networking whilst being user friendly. Zoom’s breakout sessions and Closed Caption technology seemed like the perfect candidate and, understanding the needs of the delegates, Rockitfish’s Project Manager, Matt Green, hosted ‘How To’ sessions in advance of the seminar, as well as Q&A segments to ensure that any technological issues were ironed out pre-event. There was also a British Sign Language interpreter onscreen throughout the event.

This 10-hour seminar was split over two days to avoid screen fatigue, especially for those less familiar with online forums, and the morning sessions were filled with business updates, financial news, as well as information regarding the year’s fundraising campaign. We handled all technical production and event management to ensure the on-screen experience ran seamlessly for our attendees and that the presenters felt comfortable with this new online environment.

On Day One, the business session culminated in a fun interactive quiz hosted by two of the Society’s trustees which was a great ice breaker and chance to have some fun. When breakout rooms were initiated, attendees had the chance to mingle and catch up, whilst magician Lee Smith wandered in and out of each, performing his virtual magic show. Spontaneous Poet, Judge, also wandered across the breakout sessions, creating new poems and spoken word pieces with the members. The day culminated with a performance from British stand-up comedian, Laurence Clark, a disability rights campaigner who was affected by Thalidomide. We were incredibly fortunate that all our entertainers provided their amazing skills at a reduced fee, to help us create this high-class event for the charity. 



Day Two we were able to concentrate more on the weekend’s theme ‘Telling Your Story’. Keynote presentations were given by member Fred Dove, who shared very moving images from his life, especially from his time as a journalist covering the Olympic games. We worked with Fred in advance of the seminar to pre-record his biographical account, and 119 edited the presentation to produce a high-quality video to share on the day. 

Fellow member Sukeshi Thakkar shared her powerful life story live, detailing her upbringing in India, sharing the international viewpoint on disability rights. 

We also hosted a curator from the Science Museum who shared items from the past relating to the Thalidomide scandal, such as early prosthetics and other adaptations that sparked great discussion. 

Many moving personal experiences were shared throughout the weekend and were all beautifully captured by digital graphic artist James The Scribe. He drew all the key elements of the event’s content through live illustration, creating a perfect aide memoir which was shared with all delegates post event. 



Hosting this online event presented lots of challenges but our attention to detail and understanding the unique needs of the organisations’ members together with our passion to go above and beyond for our clients, resulted in this successful inaugural event for the Thalidomide Society and Trust.