At the start of 2020, there weren’t many of us around. By us, I mean all-in-one virtual and hybrid event platforms, but even we didn’t start out like that.
Fast forward to just before the world was forced online by a global pandemic and our data-centric software had already evolved to provide a high performance hybrid and virtual event platform.
A year on and here at Glisser, we don’t feel so alone anymore. The technology landscape for virtual events has flourished and there’s now more than 300 competing tools and solutions that allow people to connect online in different ways.
How do we know this? No, we haven’t been counting-up all the newcomers into this space (we’ve been far too busy staging client events) but fortunately, we know a crew of agency buccaneers that has.
PIRATEx is a platform-agnostic events agency, which has been mapping the ‘EventTech’ landscape for online experiences.
According to the agency’s swashbuckling content pirate, Natalie Novick, what started out as a list of software solutions for internal client use, quickly mushroomed into a data-base that was being updated regularly.
She tells Glisser: “It’s the pirate ethos to share the loot so we decided to go public with it and publish an EventTech directory. It lives on our website and gets updated once-a-week.
“Someone from PIRATEx has tried, tested or used all 300+ listings to gauge how each solution can fit the differing needs of a client. Some offer more immersive environments such as virtual worlds whilst others maximise on efficiency or AI-enabled match-making. By having an excellent understanding of how different technologies can serve different event objectives, we’ve been able to help clients navigate this increasingly complex landscape.”
PIRATEx has segmented the tools and solutions for online experiences into nine categories - All in One Platforms, Video Conferencing, Event Management, Collaboration, Event Marketing, Streaming, Engagement, Ticketing and Networking.
Glisser is listed in the All in One Platforms section since we bring together an all-purpose, entirely customizable, virtual venue with a suite of tools to track engagement in real-time and unify the event experience for all attendees, wherever they are.
“What stands out about Glisser for me,” teases Natalie, “is its commitment to the industry as a whole. It’s a buyer’s market out there now and undeniably there are similarities in much of the available technologies. Those platforms who build relationships both with agencies, clients and the industry as a whole will be the ones who will ultimately rise to the top over the coming years.”
Talking of the future, we asked Natalie how she saw virtual events fit into the overall event marketing mix once in-person live activity returns.
She tells us: “Virtual event technology is now firmly part of the marketing technology world. As a result, digital event elements will remain important. You can optimise for reach, content delivery and engagement with digital, which far exceeds what’s possible with live. Where it becomes complicated is how to blend the two disciplines together and what to do with concepts that work in a live environment, which don’t necessarily translate into virtual.
“I believe we’ll see continued consolidation as more of the all-in-one solutions buy-up smaller, compatible software add-ons. We may also see virtual meetings platforms targeting niche sectors such as medical and pharmaceutical. What’s certain however is that attendee expectations around what a virtual event should look like and how it should perform will continue to escalate.”
It’s those consumer demands that will ultimately drive the event revolution. Glisser is determined to be leading the charge.
To check out PIRATEx’s EventTech Directory for Online Experiences, scream ‘Avast me hearties’ and ‘land ahoy’ and then click here.