Grip was founded in 2016 as a networking app for professionals to use at trade show events. Since then, we’ve evolved into the first market engagement platform for Event Organisers to create virtual, hybrid and live event experiences via a single solution.
Today we work with 12 out of 20 of the leading Event Organisers in the world, to connect professionals to create quality connections through our leading AI software.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
I’ve been in the events industry for a long time. I started attending them as a teenager with my father who was a tulip grower in the Netherlands. When I moved to London to work in events full-time I realised just how valuable industry events were, in that they provide the urgency to facilitate good business connections and the best return of time for organisers and attendees.
Grip was borne out of a need to make networking at these kinds of events as efficient as possible – both in terms of not wasting time and effort attempting to arrange meetings that may never come into fruition, and to ensure that both parties are interested in the other before the meeting even happens.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
Before the pandemic, Grip mainly catered to live events. However, when the pandemic hit almost a year ago, there was an immediate demand for a service that would allow these events to be hosted virtually, avoiding the need to cancel key events and conferences that are built into marketing strategies for many brands. We pivoted our business model to become the first comprehensive virtual events solution – ensuring key clients could make the transition to a digital event format.
As a result, we’ve grown in size over this period. Our 13 employees in 2019 jumped to 58 by the end of 2020 and we expanded into territories like the US and Dubai. We also recently announced a funding round of $13 million which will help us continue to expand our services.
What can we hope to see from Grip in the future?
We’ll continue to focus on developing the offerings our platform provides, with an emphasis on tools for hybrid formats. We expect event organisers to lean into a more hybrid model as lockdown measures start to ease, generating and hosting in-person and virtual events all year round. We feel companies can’t adequately provide an ‘all-in-one’ solution for running and managing industry events, and instead, our strategy is to stay agile so we can adapt to changing needs of event organisers.
Along with investing in the talent within Grip, we’ve also hired across our leadership team to ensure we have the structure in place to deliver product commitments to our clients and to invest back into our business. Such developments and additional expertise will help to future-proof the platform for the return of in-person events, combined with virtual offerings.