How hybrid events beat the Beast from the East

You will no doubt be aware of ‘the Beast from the East’ and the impact it created across the UK. If you're from further afield, this was the phrase given to blisteringly cold and wintry conditions that swept the UK late last year.

Tom Dally, March 14, 2018

Geography 101

For our readers from across the pond or further afield, ‘the Beast from the East’ was linked to a sudden stratospheric warming which disrupted the polar vortex above the north pole. Without turning this blog into a geography lesson, the polar vortex is a mass of cold air that sits above the north and south poles which channel air from west to east. Due to an anomaly, caused by an increase in temperature, disrupted the vortex leading to the extremely cold air blowing from east to west. Temperatures were as cold as -8C in places and up to 50cm of snow falling on high ground, bringing much of the UK to a standstill.


With a Glisser office in New York, we couldn't possibly forget that the US has also experienced its fair share of abysmal weather. Recent nor'easters include Winter Storms Riley,  Quinn which included a freak phenomenon know as a thundersnow (yes it's a real occurrence and no its not out of a Marvel film) and most recently Skylar.  As the name suggests, nor'easters derive from strong winds that hit the eastern seaboard due to a counterclockwise rotating cyclonic air mass over the Atlantic. Nor'easters typically are accompanied by heavy rain or snow leading to flooding and blizzards.  

Travel Disruption

With Geography 101 now complete, you might be wondering what this has to do with Glisser LIVE?

We experienced first hand just how disruptive severe weather conditions can be. Whether its due to speakers being unable to attend a conference or employees unable to attend a training session, there is no way around it, when it snows in the UK, we shut down!

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(Picture: Backgrid)

On a side note, a personal highlight of the Beast from the East was a snow clearing train experiencing issues due to the snow...


 With perhaps the greatest timing, Exposure Analytics is launching a new feature to monitor the weather as part of their existing platform. By introducing the weather feature, it enables event organisers and marketers to compare events year on year or day by day. The weather data can then be related in line with footfall and engagement rates, therefore making it easier to analyse the impact weather has on visitor fluctuations at events.

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So now you’re asking yourself how can I get around adverse weather conditions? - funny you should ask because we’ve got the solution...GLISSER LIVE

Virtual & Hybrid Events

In addition to Glisser’s full functionality of slide sharing, interactive features, and in-depth analytics, Glisser LIVE enables presenters to live stream their presentations. This is advantageous if there is a sudden spell of bad weather such as The Beast from the East. Attendees do not have to brave the adverse weather conditions in order to reach the event location. All they have to do is type in the unique URL to stream the presentation creating a virtual event. The result is that you no longer have to physically attend an event and those on the other side of the world can be present whilst also interacting with Glisser’s full feature set. You can also create hybrid events whereby you have some physical attendees and others that virtually attend your event. If you’re interested in finding more about a virtual and hybrid event, be sure to check out our Wisdom of the Crowd case study.

As with many things in life, sometimes you don’t have the budget, time or resources to bring everyone physically together. Glisser LIVE provides the functionality for you to create both virtual and hybrid events whilst saving money on the size of the physical space of the event.



Moreover, most of the time, the weather is not a potential hazard to event professionals (even in sunny old Blighty). Aside from using Glisser LIVE at events, it can also be utilised within a training environment. A recent study found that $450 to $550 billion is lost in lost productivity a year... in the US alone. Keeping employees engaged is therefore critical to businesses. Companies are turning to live streams in an increasing effort to booster employees’ engagement. For example, if you’re hosting an internal on-boarding session for new employees in your London office, but you want your New York and Paris offices to also benefit from the on-boarding session, using a live stream is an ideal way to avoid having to run the same session in each of the three office locations saving time and money.

Forrester Research noted that employees are 75% more likely to watch and retain a video compared to an on-boarding document. When you combine a live stream with Glisser’s full interactive suite, it leads to more engaging and beneficial sessions that a delivered with a human touch. This is especially prevalent in training and meetings. Traditionally, these might be done via a conference call, having to fly employees to one location or simply providing an on-boarding pamphlet. But with Glisser LIVE, companies can slash their travel budgets and provide the opportunity for employees to ask questions, share their thoughts and view content all from their own devices. It, therefore, leads to more efficient training sessions and meetings, within a shorter amount of time.

Once a meeting or training session has been completed, the company is then able to dive into the in-depth analytics. This enables managers to see how each employee engaged with the content. For example, who liked what slide, who asked what questions, and how each team member voted. In addition, as employees are able to write personal notes on their devices, they can then revisit content and disseminate where applicable to their employees that did not attend. This helps to combat information silos, leading to a more informed and cohesive workplace.

The Bottom Line

Glisser LIVE is a unique and powerful tool. Virtual and hybrid events are scalable and affordable, providing both event organisers, and learning and development managers (amongst many more), the opportunity to connect and engage attendees across the world.

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