SXSW selects Grip as the event technology partner for its first in-person event since 2019

For the first time since the pandemic started, South by Southwest® Conference and Festivals (SXSW®) is going back to in-person events, selecting Grip, the AI-powered event, networking and matchmaking platform as its event technology partner.

Dahlia El Gazzar

This year’s SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas (11 - 20 March 2022) is a hybrid event focused on connecting people from all over the world, bringing together a diverse range of forward-thinking exhibitors – from promising startups to established industry leaders.  These connections will be facilitated by the Grip platform, which is being used at the Creative Industries Expo, Wellness Expo, XR Experience and Flatstock 77 exhibitions. Grip will make it easier for thousands of attendees, 500 exhibitors and hundreds of sponsors to connect with each other.  

Whether it’s a Back to the Future DeLorean, anti gravity space cafe or Mr Robot experience, the sponsor activations and exhibitions at SXSW will result in a range of remarkable, branded experiential showcases. They will help spark conference conversations, giving attendees unexpected discovery opportunities that SXSW is known for. Grip’s AI-powered recommendations will help participants discover new services, products and experiences. It will also enable them to navigate the Expos and schedule meetings, either virtually or in-person using a mobile app. 

“SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together,” said Justin Bankston, Chief Technical Officer at SXSW. “That’s why we selected Grip. We wanted a technology partner that has a proven track record connecting conference participants so they discover more and walk away with an amazing, valuable event experience. There hasn’t been an in-person SXSW in either 2020 or 2021 so we wanted an event app that delivers more value to our in-person and virtual participants than ever before. We’re reinventing SXSW for 2022, and technologies like Grip help us with that mission.”

“Partnering with SXSW is a dream come true,” explained Tim Groot, Co-founder and CEO of Grip. “It’s one of the world’s best events and I’m proud we're providing our AI-powered technology to power moments of connection at the event. Our platform will be instrumental in helping attendees, exhibitors and sponsors connect with each other.”

Tyler Conley, Vice President Of Business Development, said: “This win underscores our further expansion into the North American market. The Grip platform has now become the leading choice for large conferences, trade shows in North America, such as Money20/20 USA and Shoptalk.”  

Connections between attendees, sponsors and exhibitors will be facilitated by Grip’s award-winning artificial intelligence algorithms. Its recommendation engine will provide instant matches for all participants based on their profiles, areas of interest and products they viewed via the SXSW Expo app. As they interact with sponsors and exhibitor’s products or staff, the AI will learn and make more personalised recommendations.  All this will lead to an intensity of connections and meetings never seen before at the conference.

Grip’s platform will help participants to:

  • Discover relevant products and exhibitors via listings in the branded mobile app
  • Exchange contact details by scanning badges via the app
  • Connect and schedule meetings with attendees, exhibitors and sponsors both virtually and in-person, on-site
  • Navigate the Expo, finding relevant exhibitors and available locations to have meetings, using the fully-interactive venue floor plan 
  • Manage meeting schedules inside the app
  • View analytics on intent so exhibitors and sponsors can understand which attendees are interested in their products and services 
  • Exhibitors will be able to build a lead funnel from the interaction they have with attendees. They can then share these with their sales team and export them, better enabling them to track sales performance and follow up

SXSW Event Tech Meet Up

On 13 March (4pm), at the Hilton Austin Hotel in Austin, Texas, Grip will be sponsoring the Event Tech Meet Up. It is open to registrants who are interested in event technology and innovation. The session will be the chance to meet industry professionals to discuss current trends in event technology both virtually and in-person.


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