Glisser CEO Mike Piddock: Forget the Hybrid. Just Call Them Events
Mike Piddock, founder and CEO of Glisser, gets a kick out of watching soccer – or football, as they call it in his native United Kingdom. He’ll go to a few matches per year, but prefers to experience most of the season from the confines of his couch watching the television.
He is hardly unique in this pattern. There are costs, convenience and comfort that factor into when to make the plunge to go to the stadium.
It is Piddock’s belief that the same sorts of decisions sports fans make annually will become the norm for event attendees. Yes, some gatherings will be can’t-miss events. But a computer screen will just have to do more often than not.
Glisser’s software platform is designed for companies and organizations mapping out their future. He is loath to use the terms, “hybrid,” “virtual” and “in-real-life” when pondering the industry’s next steps. “In two years, we won't talk about virtual events or hybrid events or physical events. It will just be called an event,” he said, sounding almost relieved.
Perhaps it’s such forward-thinking ideas like this that have convinced the likes of massive companies like Informa, Pfizer, KPMG, Facebook, Uber to sign on as Glisser’s clients.
Partnering with such heavyweights gives Piddock an insightful look into how business will be done. That’s what makes this next statement so eye-opening.
“I’ve spoken to two of the largest companies of the world recently and their meeting strategy is virtual first,” he said. “I think a lot of things will stay more virtual than maybe we expect for the future.”
To meet those needs, Glisser has been developing its software. Initially known for its innovative slide technology, it evolved to add multiple video platforms before ultimately creating its own solution for planners to achieve their goals for each event. “We’re designing as event planners rather than as tech people,” he added.
Piddock is one of many who points to a year-round connectivity with the audience. “You’re part of something that builds up to an event, the event is the centerpiece and then you continue to engage with that brand or company,” said Piddock, describing the “Holy Grail” of events.
By moving toward hybrid as an end-goal as soon as the pandemic struck, Glisser seems positioned to remain ahead of the curve in scoring goals with technology. “It opens the door for planners to take a few more risks and try a few things more creatively,” he said of going hybrid.