Meet the speaker: Tim Groot

Tim is the founder & CEO of Grip, the leading market engagement platform for event organisers to create world-class virtual, hybrid and in-person events. Before starting Grip in 2014, he worked as an Account Manager for the digital product development agency, Nodes, and graduated with a BBA in International Management from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

  • How long have you worked in the events industry and what keeps you interested in it?

    I started working at trade shows when I was 18, working in sales at Chelsea Flower Show. The idea that millions of connections now happen on Grip and these valuable connections drive new business contacts and spark new opportunities is what gets me up in the morning.

  • Best (and worst?) moments working in the events industry?

    The best moment was seeing 150 tables at Money 20/20 all filled up with people having meetings–all scheduled through our platform. We facilitated 15,000+ meetings over three days which was incredible.

    The beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 was nerve-wracking. So many unknowns and changes happening so quickly made a significant impact. I think we did well by being open and transparent to our team and adapting rapidly to virtual events, but it was an intense experience for sure!

  • What was the last event on which you worked?

    I’m closely involved in the current Grip Event Series that we’re having next month. We have three events that are short 1-hour experiences on the Grip platform. I’m interviewing two great speakers from the industry for each session and combining that with our speed networking feature. I also spoke recently about how we need to break down barriers for exhibiting at events which was a tremendous and impoårtant discussion.

  • From your experience, what’s the best way to utilise tech at an event?

    I met one of my now best friends using Grip at a tech event called Slush in Helsinki. Without our platform, I would never have met her. Event technology has the power to facilitate a connection that can change someone’s life forever. In my opinion, that’s the most valuable thing that event technology can achieve.

  • We all learn from our mistakes! What was the biggest lesson you learned from a mistake since being in the industry?

    Stay focused on the core. Events are creative experiences. We can get carried away by the bells and whistles, but I think it’s super important to focus on the customer and make sure that whatever we’re doing genuinely moves the needle forward in their experience.

  • What are you most looking forward to at Event Tech Live?

    Seeing thousands of people connect and engage with incredible speakers and content. I think that’s going to be super exciting to see.

  • What do events, such as ETL, mean to you?

    Ecosystem events such as ETL facilitate four months of meetings in 4 days. They are a critical driver of innovation in the industry and empower us all to move forward faster.

  • What can our delegates expect to take away from your session at ETL?

    At Grip, we’re fortunate enough to work with incredible ecosystem events such as SaaStr, TechCrunch, Money 20/20 and many others. There is a lot that organisers can learn from those brands, mainly because they are much more than just content. What makes them ecosystem events is that they connect entire industries and move markets forward faster. 

    We’ve researched and uncovered fascinating data on creating ecosystem event experiences–and that it doesn’t necessarily mean doing a huge 3-day virtual conference. But instead, it’s more event series and focused experiences that cover a more specific topic. This insight is vital for organisers today because while many are looking at Hybrid, I think they’ll need a year-round virtual engagement strategy beyond any form of hybrid events to be successful in the future.

  • Which one piece of tech couldn’t you live without?

    My MacBook Pro with the new M1 chip is awesome. Such a step forward from the previous MacBooks.

  • Most pointless tech you have purchased?

    I’m not much of a gadget person in general except for when it comes to DJ equipment. Since my teenage years, I’ve had so much that I, most of the time, just sold again! We’ve all got our weak spots, and DJ equipment is certainly mine, haha!

Join Tim for his session: The Future of Event Success: New Research on Organizing Ecosystem Defining Events at ETL US & Canada on June 9th on the Smart Stage – Book your ticket here