How do I upload profiles using a spreadsheet?

Save time when creating multiple profiles by using a spreadsheet template

In this article we'll cover the bulk profile uploader, which is a tool that allows you to quickly add or update profiles in your Grip event, directly from the dashboard. With this tool, you can create/update participants, companies, and items through a spreadsheet file which is automatically generated. All you need to do is copy and paste data into the appropriate fields and upload the file to the dashboard.

We also have a bulk uploader for Sessions, which you can read about here.

In this article, we will cover:

Use cases and information

The uploader was created to give you the ability to quickly create or update profiles in bulk. This feature allows you to take an automatically-generated template, fill it out, and then upload it back into the platform to quickly add data to your event.

Its primary purpose is to add profiles to events, however you can also use it to update profile information or take actions on large numbers of profiles at once - for example adding 50 speakers to a Custom Group in your event.

Using the bulk profile uploader

  1. Select an event, if you haven't already
  2. Navigate to the Data section of the Grip Dashboard
  3. Select the Data Type you want to add or make changes to
  4. In the right-upper corner click on the button "Create [data type name] profiles"
  5. From the drop-down menu pick “Upload in bulk via spreadsheet"

Downloading the right template

Note that if you’ve already downloaded a template, you can skip to the upload step.

The first step is to select the template that's right for your needs. There are two scenarios to account for:

  1. I only want to add profiles to the current event that have already been created.
    1. Choose the simplified template.
  2. I want to add/create brand new profiles or update existing profiles with new information.
    1. Choose the full template.

You can click on the 'Template Fields' dropdown to see a list of the information that is contained within each template.

Here are some important points to consider regarding the upload options available:

  • Unique Email Addresses: Each profile must have a unique email address. This email is used to check for existing records in your Grip application to prevent duplicates.
  • Unique Registration IDs: Registration IDs must be unique within your Grip application. Avoid using special characters like "<>#@()!/\, etc., and spaces.

  • Multiple Events: You can have multiple events within the same Grip application. Profiles may already be added to some events and not others.

Notes on the .CSV file type

The spreadsheet that is downloaded will be a .csv file type, which any spreadsheet software can open. It's important that you do not save the spreadsheet as a different file format after you've added information to it, as you then won't be able to upload it again. Again, the vast majority of spreadsheet software can export or save a spreadsheet as a .csv file.

It's also important that you don't change the layout of the spreadsheet - like removing header rows. This will likely mean that you'll see errors when trying to upload the sheet again, so try to leave the structure the same as when it was downloaded initially. That said, it IS ok to remove some columns if you want to, as long as they're not marked as mandatory, just be sure you don't need them at all.

For issues using CSV files, see our article here.

Once you've downloaded a template, you can move to the next step.

Filling out the upload spreadsheet

On the second step, you'll see that the page is split into two halves. We'll start with the right-hand side, which contains useful information that you might need to complete your template.

Screenshot 2024-07-02 at 15.26.48

Each one of the four tabs is filled with information from your current event, showing available languages, sessions, groups and custom field data. Every table contains a column called "Value to use in spreadsheet", which shows the data that you would need to add to your spreadsheet in order to use this data. To make things as easy as possible, you just need to click on a cell in one of these columns to copy its data, so that you can paste it straight into your spreadsheet.

Here are some examples of actions that would need you to copy and paste this data into your upload spreadsheet:

Setting a profile's preferred language

By copying and pasting a language code from the table into the User preferred language column on your spreadsheet, you can ensure that welcome emails are sent in that language to that participant, before they even log into the platform.

Adding profiles to Sessions

Use the copied value in the columns Add to Session as Speaker (or as Attendee, or Sponsor) to rapidly assign sessions to individual participants. You can add to multiple sessions using a symbol-separated list of values (see Understanding separators below).

See the Special fields section for more examples of this kind of bulk action.

Adding custom profile field data to profiles

To ensure that the information you're uploading matches the information already created in the event, you can click to copy the custom field data for any predefined field. For parent/child profile fields, the full path of each value is copied so that you can copy directly into the spreadsheet.

Uploading your completed spreadsheet

Once you have downloaded and filled out a template, you can begin uploading the spreadsheet back into the Grip platform. The left-hand side of the page contains some useful options and is where you can upload your file.

1. First, pick an upload method:
  • Add and create new profiles (recommended)
    • Adds any profiles with a matching email address to the current event, while updating their information with the data contained in your spreadsheet.
    • Note that changes to basic fields (like Name, Headline, Job Title etc) will reflect in other events in your application, as these fields are shared.
    • Creates new profiles that don't already exist in your Grip application.
    • Skips profiles that are already part of the current event.
  • Add, create and update profiles already in event
    • This is the same as the first option apart from that it also allows you to update profiles that are already in the current event.
    • Useful if you have made a mistake and want to correct information en mass, or if you want to perform a bulk action like adding existing speakers to sessions.

2. Then click Select file to choose the right CSV file on your computer.
3. Lastly, make sure you choose the right separator symbol to match what you've used in the spreadsheet - or ignore if you haven't uploaded multiple values in any field.
4. Click Continue to move to the next step.

Review upload results

    • On the last page, view the number of profiles added/updated successfully and those that failed.
    • If you're happy, click View uploaded profiles to go back to the data types list - note that for large uploads, it will take a little time for the registrations to go through.

Handle failed profiles

    • If you see that some profiles have not uploaded, you can download a report providing  the reasons for failure.
    • Usually this is due to missing required fields or duplicate records. Correct any mistakes on the spreadsheet and then re-upload the file.

Understanding separators

Some fields can handle multiple values at once - like the Add to Groups (by ID) column, or any of your multi-select custom profile fields.

If you want to include multiple things into one cell in a spreadsheet, we need to understand where one value ends and the next begins. With some kinds of data this can be difficult - for example, if your data already has symbols in it, like commas.

The bulk uploaders in Grip allow you to choose a separator from a list of three, so that you can more easily manage multiple values like this:

Screenshot 2024-07-02 at 16.12.03

When filling out your spreadsheet, just make sure you use one of these symbols consistently, wherever you need to input multiple values inside a single spreadsheet cell.

Screenshot 2024-07-02 at 16.53.45

When uploading your completed spreadsheet, make sure you pick the right symbol so we know how to split up these values.

Special Fields

There are a number of special fields that can be used to perform certain functions while profiles are imported or updated. Note that the available fields will depend on the type of data you’re trying to upload. Here's a rundown of the fields, what they do, and how they can be used.

Add Meeting Locations (by name)

Available for: Participants, Companies

This field is used for assigning Meeting Locations to profiles - the most common use cases being assigning Company profiles to their booths within an expo or connecting a Participant profile to a Meeting Location for MustMeet events.

This is a freeform text field, into which you need to add the name of the meeting location(s) you'd like to create or assign. 

If a meeting location exists already with the same name, the profile will be added to it. If no meeting location exists with that name, one will be created, and will have the event's Default Meeting Settings applied (in the dashboard under Networking > Meetings > Meeting Locations > Default Location Settings).

You can also write a comma-separated list of location names if there is more than one - e.g. “Booth 1, Booth 2”.

Add to Group (by ID)

Available for: Participants, Companies, Items

This field adds the incoming profile to one or more Custom Groups which is essential for MustMeet or Hybrid events. Each Custom Group created in Grip has an ID which is what needs to be imported in this field.

A common mistake is to add the group’s name into this field, make sure you use the ID. You can check the upload page for a list of Group IDs to use.

You can also write a comma-separated list of Group IDs if there is more than one - e.g. “1234, 0987”.

Add to Session as Speaker

Available for: Participants

Adding Session Registration IDs to this field will mean that the incoming profile is added to that Session as a Speaker. Custom contributor roles are not supported, but of course profiles can be switched between roles later via the dashboard.

Session Registration IDs can be created externally when sessions are imported, or automatically if a Session is created in Grip. You can find them in the dashboard when looking at a session - not to be confused with the Session ID, which is not used in this way.

You can add multiple sessions by entering a comma-separated list of Session Registration IDs.

Add to Session as Attendee

Available for: Participants

Similar to the above, adding Session Registration IDs to this field will mean that an incoming profile is added to that Session as an Attendee. This is the same action as a participant adding a Session to their Schedule, so in effect, this is a way to pre-assign sessions.

You can add multiple sessions by entering a comma-separated list of Session Registration IDs.

Add to Session as Sponsor

Available for: Participants, Companies, Items

Again, as above, this field adds the incoming profile as a Headline Sponsor to Sessions. You can add one or more Session Registration IDs separated by commas, but bear in mind that a Session can only have one Headline Sponsor.

Monetization Plan ID

Available for: Companies

This field is used to pre-assign a Monetization plan based on its ID. This means that when the Team is created for this Company profile, the Team will be automatically assigned a particular Monetization plan, matching the ID in this field. See our Monetization article for more details about plans.

Monetization plan IDs can be found in the dashboard on the Monetization page, next to each plan. You can only assign a single ID for this field - e.g. "231".


The dashboard is telling me I haven't filled in Email/Reg ID/Name, but I have!

This is because your template is not up to date, and may be missing the latest data. The best option is to download a fresh template from the dashboard.

If you've already done that, then your browser will have 'cached' the old template, so clear your browser's cache before downloading a new template. You'll know that it's correct if you see asterisks (*) next to the Email/Reg ID/Name columns.

You can also try adding the asterisks to the downloaded template yourself, manually.

Is it possible to create Meeting Locations or Booths using a CSV spreadsheet?

Yes! You can use a CSV upload to create and/or assign new or existing Meeting Locations to a profile. Read more about it here.