Pivot To Virtual (Event Notes Pt. 4)

In part 4 of our notes from the EventMB #pivottovirtual virtual summit, Mike Piddock (CEO, Glisser) covers "Using Apps for Online Event Engagement."

Glisser, March 25, 2020

Part 4: Using Apps for Online Event Engagement

Mike Piddock

Founder and CEO, Glisser




  • My first message is regarding the role that event planners play. You have the right skills- transferrable skills in these circumstances. You are project managers who are creative, and organizers who get stuff done.
  • Creating and managing virtual events is something that you can achieve even though [61% of event planners] have not done this before.
  • People are looking for guidance and leadership, for information, and virtual events are the tool through which we can do that. We bring communities together.

[Note: For event “apps,” that can mean software in general or web apps that can run quickly on any browser.]

What platform/technology should you be using?

  • The market has transitioned into virtual needs. (100% of our enquiries right now are for virtual capabilities.)
  • The fundamental place you must start is, “Why am I running this event in the first place? What is the objective?”
  • Events mostly fall into these following categories: Communications or Teaching, Networking, Sales and Promotion, and Branding. The weight of where your objective falls into one of those four helps you determine which virtual platform to use.

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 10.05.14 PM

  • In the virtual environment, we can concentrate on these key messages (and not the side issues like staging and sets).

Primary Considerations:

  • Is it a B2B or B2C event?
  • To what extent is your event simple, or more complex? That is the most fundamental measure. What is the volume? What is the interaction? This too will help you determine what app to use. Zoom and GoToWebinar have benefits, but at some stage they can become a bit clunky depending on the scale and interactivity of your presentation.
  • At the other end of the complexity spectrum, there are applications that create an enormous amount of creative opportunity, innovative concepts like 3D trade booths, networking opportunities and virtual sales environments through tools that try and replicate the in-room experience in a virtual environment. Depending on your live event, that might be the appropriate solution to transfer your live product online.
  • For smaller events, there can be a compromise between the two, to visualize and brand in a successful manner, while providing the security you need, and monetize the content.


Key message: Find the right technology fit for your objectives and goals.


A few additional considerations when designing the event:

  • "Live" is fundamental. Recording is good, but if it’s not live, is it really a gathering?
  • Engagement. Polls, Q&A, and interaction: we have to work hard to keep people in the room. The point of us all being here is that we can all engage and collaborate.
  • Human, friendly conversation – as we are split up and divided without physical connection, it’s hard to maintain that humanity. Show leadership and expertise, but be able to be physically seen while doing that.

20200317-pivottovirtual-slide4-1(Chris Shipton, Live Illustration Ltd.)

Regarding technical challenges:

  • The potential to scale your event is off that charts, you’re no longer confined by the room in which you’re running the sessions, they can be as big as your possible audience.
  • Event design – again, you have fewer constraints as far as moving people around, you don’t have to miss the beginning or end of sessions, people can dip in and out.
  • Challenge the old way of doing things. Move on and redesign the way that we are working.

Where is it going? Final points:

  • When we return to a more “normal” environment, people will have learned a lot form using these technologies.
  • “Upskilled”: #EventProfs will recognize that they can run and monetize a virtual audience.
  • After the current situation, an increase in hybrid meetings will be the new standard.


Read #PivotToVirtual Event Notes: Pt. 1 | Pt. 2&3 | Pt. 4 | Pt. 5&6

Watch "Pivot to Virtual – a Two-Hour Special Online Event" on demand from EventMB .

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