Today we are delighted to announce our $13 million (USD) in series A funding to turn our vision of creating a single platform for virtual, hybrid, and live events into a reality.
At Grip, above all else, we believe in the power of organizing events that bring people together to discover, engage and connect to move markets forward.
While 2020 was a significant change to many in the event industry, it has functioned as a catalyst for how we see the future; organizers should serve the markets they operate in through a wide variety of event types.
It’s no longer enough to organize a trade show once a year. Neither will it be enough to manage a series of virtual events.
The future is a single Market Engagement Platform on which organizers can create a range of experiences that can be monetized through access, exposure, and contact.
Revenue generation from virtual events is not just important; it’s vital.
Organizers have seen a change in the revenue generated from virtual events compared to in-person events. This has resulted in tremendous pressure on our clients to find new and better ways to generate revenue from the virtual, hybrid, and live events that will be of vital importance in 2021.
Personally, it has resulted in a double feeling for me in 2020. I’m proud of the many new team members who have joined Grip in the past year, but what I want to achieve in 2021 is to provide ways to keep hundreds of thousands of jobs secured in the event industry.
This mainly comes down to how value can be captured and monetized on Grip. We believe the future is in capturing value at every stage, from exposure to leads and meetings. Organizers have shown perseverance and ingenuity in finding new ways to do this. Through product showcases, sponsored virtual events, hosted buyer events, virtual exhibitor booths, and many other ways, all of which we’re going to be talking about a lot more in the coming weeks and months.
On the product side, we’re going to scale those initiatives in 2021 and make them easier to execute, which will enable organizers to achieve the revenue they want to see.
Hybrid is only part of the puzzle; the future is omnichannel.
“Events Everywhere” is the motto of the future. The organizer that will win won’t just create “Hybrid Events” but instead be omnichannel, combining various event types across virtual, hybrid, and live to deliver value to their community all year round.
We’re noticing organizers that make waves by following this method already, serving a single market with a regular webinar series or an exhibitor product showcase that delivers more deals than any in-person event. We see them create virtual event days with unprecedented attendance and hosted meeting programs with thousands of high-quality meetings – all on the Grip Market Engagement Platform.
All-in-One is All-in-None
Event technology is challenging to design, and the depth and complexity of some of the systems are astronomical. We’re seeing many taking an approach of thinking they can ‘do it all,’ resulting in cumbersome systems that slow down the pace of innovation.
While they’ll create a light-touch experience for a specific type of event or experience, they will not be able to innovate effectively in a particular domain and truly solve the hard problem that we believe is the key to solving: bringing professionals together.
My fundamental belief is that it will result in platforms that are not good enough to capture the imagination of exhibitors, sponsors, attendees, and any other event participants. It will stifle innovation, locking organizers into solutions that are difficult to integrate with while not achieving the organizer’s interests or the communities they serve.
Artificial Intelligence Will Enable Better and More Events
Year-on-year, we see that positively-rated meetings increase an average of 40% for repeat events on Grip. Data and the intelligence derived from the engagement on the Grip platform are continuing to result in new heights in the number of interactions between event participants.
Our leading AI-Powered matchmaking engine will continue to give organizers unprecedented quality in the event experience while providing new levels of insight into what topics drive interest and the experiences that could be created in the future.
We look forward to continuing working with our existing clients and welcoming new ones on our journey to empowering engaging event experiences that move markets forward.
Finally, I would like to thank our clients, partners, and team for working with us to achieve this incredible milestone. And as they say, this is just the beginning!
Founder & CEO – Grip