A Chat with Mike Piddock, Founder and CEO at Company Event Experience Platform: Glisser

Glisser is a technology platform that enables companies to power unique event experiences for their customers, partners, investors and employees, in-person, online, and in-between. It allows event planners to take an audience-centric approach to every event – from small client seminars to their biggest conference of the year.

Glisser combines an all-purpose virtual venue with a suite of tools to unify the event experience for in-person and online attendees.
 
 
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How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
Glisser was set up to solve a problem I had as a CMO. Like many other B2B companies, we dedicated a significant amount of our budget to events, yet they were always the hardest channel to measure. As the marketing landscape evolved to become very data-driven, events seemed to get left behind, and we judged their success on loose feedback or intangible perceived effectiveness.

I set up Glisser to solve this. We used audience smart devices as a tool to turn attendees into active participants in the events – voting, asking questions, sharing content – and then used their interactions to measure engagement levels. Glisser both improves the attendee experience and gathers valuable data and audience insights for the company running the event.
 

 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
Pre-pandemic, virtual events and hybrid events (blending in-person audiences with remote audiences) made up a fairly small part of our workload, but they were happening. Clients were extending the reach of their events to delegates that couldn’t travel, or were communicating to globally dispersed teams in an interactive way. However, by February 2020 we could see the COVID tsunami heading our way so pivoted our whole business into the virtual space.

Our developers started building features aligned with the emerging needs of home-based attendees, and we rapidly integrated more and more video platforms to meet customer demand. After the initial changes, we then set about defining a long-term strategy for the business to ensure our success as we emerge from lockdown – and that is one based around “hybrid events”.
 

What can we hope to see from Glisser in the future?

 
In April 2020 we asked ourselves, “What happens to events after COVID?”, and it was clear the recovery would be slower than expected, and that physical events with an added virtual component (i.e. hybrid) would be the end game. With this foresight, everything we’ve developed is designed to be optimised for both in-room and virtual attendees, and we intend to continue with this in mind.

We’re also seeing our clients become far more knowledgeable about what they actually want from virtual and hybrid events – what works and what doesn’t work – and they drive our roadmap alongside us. Aligned with our original vision, this new era of events no longer sits in isolation away from more measurable channels, but is now generating the sort of data that gets marketers excited.

Our job is to increase audience engagement, maintain audience interest, and integrate our audience insights into other marketing technologies – and that’s what we’re doing right now.