How do I upload sessions using a spreadsheet?

Manage your sessions and their content in bulk via a spreadsheet

The session CSV uploader provides an efficient and accurate method to upload session data into Grip. It offers easy-to-use templates that can be filled out and uploaded back into the platform.

This tool operates similarly to the bulk profile uploader. For a detailed explanation of the functionality, please refer to the profile uploader article. This article will focus on the minor differences between the two uploaders.

In this article, we will cover:

Use cases and information

The session bulk uploader enables you to quickly create or update sessions 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 have the template prefilled with your existing session data, making it easier to update your event agenda.

Using the bulk session uploader

  1. Select an event, if you haven't already
  2. Navigate to Event Details > Event Agenda
  3. Click on the Create session button
  4. 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 basic session information, like Names, Descriptions and a Live Stream link.
    1. Choose the simplified template.
  2. I want to add the full range of session information available, like custom fields and other session links.
    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.

Prefilled templates

In the session uploader you can enable the option to Prefill with existing sessions data. This means that the spreadsheet that you download will include all of the sessions that currently exist in this event. This is really useful for mass updates to your event agenda, allowing you to tweak information on the spreadsheet and then reupload into the dashboard.

Separator symbols
If you choose to download a prefilled template, you'll be asked what symbol you'd like to use to separate any multiple choice data fields. For a full explanation of what a separator is, please see this dedicated section in the profile uploader article.
The uploader will remember this choice on the next step when you come to re-upload the data.

Notes on the .CSV file type

The downloaded spreadsheet will be a .csv file type, which any spreadsheet software can open. It is important not to save the spreadsheet as a different file format after adding information, as you will then be unable to upload it again. Most spreadsheet software can export or save a spreadsheet as a .csv file.

Do not change the layout of the spreadsheet, such as removing header rows. This will likely result in errors during upload. It is okay to remove non-mandatory columns if they are not needed.

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 spreadsheet

With the spreadsheet downloaded, you can add data to it and save it, ready to upload again. Use the tables in the Available information section to help you fill out special fields in the template - every table has a column which contains data you can copy (by clicking on it) and paste into certain columns on the spreadsheet. Again, see our companion article on the profile uploader for more details here.

  • Available session types: The copyable information here tells Grip what kind of session you want to create.
  • Available stages: Use the ID to verify that the sessions you're trying to create are compatible with the stage. If creating a new stage, fill out the stage name field on the template.
  • Available tracks: Use the ID of an existing track in the spreadsheet, or use the track name field to create new ones.
  • Available custom fields: This is a list of the session custom fields currently active in this event. Values that each field contains can be copied when filling in the template.

Uploading your completed spreadsheet

  • Pick an upload method:

    • Create new sessions only: Adds any sessions on the spreadsheet as new sessions and skips sessions with a Registration ID matching an existing session.
    • Create new sessions and update existing sessions: Adds new sessions and updates sessions with a Registration ID matching an existing session.
  • Click Select file to choose the correct CSV file on your computer.

  • Choose the appropriate separator symbol used in the spreadsheet, if applicable.

  • Click Continue to move to the next step.

Review upload results

After uploading your file, you will be taken to the review step. If you're satisfied, click View uploaded sessions to return to the event agenda page. Note that large uploads may take some time to process.

Handling failed sessions

If any sessions fail to upload, a table will detail the issues, allowing you to make corrections and re-upload the file. Errors will prevent sessions from being uploaded, while warnings will not.

Common reasons for failed uploads include missing required fields, incorrect data or formatting in date/time fields, or invalid URL links. Grip validates this information to prevent problems later in your event. Carefully read any messages, correct the data in your spreadsheet, and try uploading again.

Special Fields

There are a number of special fields that can be used to perform certain functions while sessions are imported or updated. Each column in the spreadsheet has its own description to help you understand its purpose, and each one matches an option available when you create a session manually in the dashboard - for example, adding an Audience Interaction URL, or adding a sponsor to a session. See this section on the Event Agenda article for details regarding the different features of Sessions.


Why do I see an error about time-blocking sessions when I haven't made any sessions time-blocking?

This error may be referring either to existing sessions in your event, or other sessions in your upload spreadsheet, so check both for overlaps. Note that time-blocking is also relevant for sessions that you've marked as Mandatory for all to attend - as they are shown in all participants' schedules. This means that you can't have sessions that overlap with mandatory sessions, whether they're marked as time-blocking or not. Either make these session non-mandatory or modify their times so that they don't overlap with other sessions, as participants can't attend two sessions at the same time.