Wednesday the 29th of November Appical hosted the HR event Onboard.Amsterdam: Attract & retain talent throughout the employee journey. Events are crucial for startups to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in their industry.

The main theme tackled at the event was the onboarding of new talent. HR companies are one of our persona’s. We’re also planning on creating a HR-focused Plann3r Playbook. That’s why we took our chance and visited the event.

Here’s what we’ll talk about in this blog post:

  • Our experience at Onboard.Amsterdam
  • How we prepare ourselves when going to events
  • What we do at the event to gain the most out of our attendance 💪
  • Using what we learned to our advantage

Plann3r at Onboard.Amsterdam

A lot of interesting people spoke at the event. Most of the subjects that were discussed could be used as a source of information for Plann3r.

As we mentioned already, the main theme was the onboarding of your new talent in your company. 👨‍🎓

Unfortunately, Plann3r doesn’t take part in that process. For example, we listened to the presentation of HP representatives Marie Francine Rosca & Madalina Antohe. They talked about the actual onboarding process at HP. Even though the presentation was intriguing, for Plann3r, it wasn’t useful. Plann3r is, for HR companies, useful when they’re searching for candidates that fit the company.

Luckily, the speakers didn’t only tackle onboarding subjects.

Here are some of the speakers that were the most interesting for Plann3r:

  • Varun Sawhney, Netflix – the corporate culture at Netflix 📺
  • Martijn Smit, HR Office – how to “win the war for talent”
  • Sara Cauwenbergh, Indeed – the emotional peaks & valleys of the hiring journey (for recruiters and candidates)

In the subjects that these speakers tackled, we could implement Plann3r or got ideas to improve our product. Other presentations we listened to were, for Plann3r, less thought-provoking.

Netflix’ corporate culture

Companies are constantly working on their efficiency. Many HR companies visited Onboard. Amsterdam to improve their hiring journey. They’re statistic freaks. They’ll pretty much do anything to make their company more durable and efficient. 📈

Presentation Image, gather insights at low cost - Events - Plann3r Inbound Meeting Scheduling

Give your employees freedom

Netflix has almost no rules and completely relies on trust between employees. The single big rule that is present at the company is that deadlines have to be met. And, apparently, this system works for them. Everybody also has one thought rule: “What would be the best for Netflix?”

For example, they don’t have a dress code policy.

And, well, no one ever showed up naked at work, so it clearly isn’t necessary either. 🙊

Obviously, if someone has a meeting with a client or a partner, they can’t show up in a hoodie. Netflix believes their employees can do that thought process for themselves.

Dress Code Meme - Events - Plann3r Inbound Meeting Scheduling

How Netflix constructs their teams

Essentially, their teams are dream teams. Every one can trust each other with their eyes closed. Each individual performs their tasks perfectly. If someone doesn’t fit anymore, so be it. Someone else will fill in their spot. The teams aren’t a family, but a unit that works perfectly together and thinks alike.

These subjects were interesting for us as a person. Furthermore, we could also get some ideas out of it for Plann3r.

We could create a tool for companies like Netflix that regularly switch up their employees and teams.

Holding meetings is essential for them.

The potential team members could meet up with their potential future dream team and see whether they actual fit. Perhaps, the employee already works at the company. So, he / she doesn’t need any introduction to that part.

We could fine-tune our employee management tool to the needs of companies like Netflix. Making sure everybody who’s part of the team can attend the meeting with the potential new team member. The meeting moment is found in 30 seconds, while keeping in mind that everyone needs to attend. Like so, such meetings, that supposedly take some time, can be held more easily and more often.

Being victorious in the war for talent 🏆

We mostly hear about how hard it can be for someone to find a job that suits them. More so, it’s hard for companies to find fitting “perfect” employees. As these candidates are very sought after, the stakes for the companies are high.

The last thing that they want is valuable candidates dropping out of their hiring process. If the competition does a better job, you may just lose out on some very interesting, useful individuals.

Employee journey at HR Office - Events - Plann3r Inbound Meeting Scheduling

This is exactly where Plann3r can be used for HR companies. For candidates, the process has to go as smooth and as fast as possible. For recruiters, it’s important that they can schedule meetings with a lot of potential employees.

Like so, they have a higher chance of finding the gem they’re looking for. 💎

In this situation, time equals money (generating potential employees).

Saving time means more time for meetings. Using Plann3r to schedule meetings with potential candidates to save time could be vital.  Like so, you can win out on the competitors in the recruitment industry.

The emotional peaks and valleys during the hiring journey

We noticed during this presentation that both the recruiter and the candidate experience a lot of stress. The war for talent could be a reason for this.  Stress peaks at its highest during the phase of “getting to know each other”.

Waiting for the meeting to take place is a big problem. The more mails are sent and calls are made, the higher the stress level. 🤢

Presentation Image - Events - Plann3r Inbound Meeting SchedulingProviding the Plann3r tool, the time of when stress is at it’s highest gets reduced to a minimum. In only 30 seconds, Plann3r finds the perfect moment for any kind of meeting. This reduces the chance of valuable talent dropping out. Like so, they’re less likely to choose for the competition.

Shortening the time to go from “having an interesting candidate'” to actually “meeting up”, we could improve the hiring journey by a great margin. Thus, increasing your chances of winning the war. 🙌


Attending events and expos to broaden your network

Events and expos are the ideal place for businesses and startups to meet like-minded people. It’s a good place to get up to speed with the latest developments in a specific (niche) area. And, more important, a place to work on your networking skills and grow your personal network. 👌

Attending events and expo’s could have various goals:

  • collecting information for product development
  • collecting scaling information (e.g.: are people experiencing the same problem, which your product solves, in region A and potential region B?)
  • seek potential partners

And much more.

You should try to attend at least one product or industry related event every quarter. If you do so, you stay ahead of your game.

The key is preparation.🔑

There are various elements that are important to take into account.

Here are a few we experienced at Onboard.Amsterdam:

Make sure the event lays in line with your goals

There is more than one event every week so it’s easy to get lost in the offer.

Let’s say you want to get more information about the latest swimming techniques. You end up going to an event that shows the latest swimming gear developments. In that case you might not be at the right spot.

To make sure that you attend the right events, it’s a good idea to look up the speakers of the previous year. It’s a red flag if they don’t discuss the subjects which you’re interested in. ⛔

Reach out to people who are attending the event that are interesting for you to talk to.

These could be employees of companies you’re reaching out to, influencers, industry leaders, …

If you were smart and booked tickets in advance, this is a must.

A technique to do this is by checking the posts the organizer / the event page puts online. There will always be people who liked and commented on these post. After finding these people you should connect with them. LinkedIn gives you the chance to leave a message when making new connections. Like so, you don’t need premium credits to send messages to users outside your network.

If that’s not a nice hack. 😎

There is a great chance that they will be attending the event as well. That’s already something to talk about!

You can also connect with people who confirmed that they are attending. For example, focus people who ticked off “Going” on Facebook events. Simply connect with them on LinkedIn and send them a personal message. 

This way they get a first impression of you and your product.

There is a good way to approach this and a bad way.

👎 The bad way is trying to sell you product via direct message. At this point, you won’t have met the potential buyer. Unless you have a one-of-a-kind product which sells itself, the person won’t buy.

👌 The good way is to try to gain information from this person. In return, you give them something as well, not necessarily related to your product. Doing so, you don’t give them the idea that you are only trying to sell them something.

Ask questions

Something we tried before was reaching out to potential users of our product. We asked them honest questions. These questions check for the experience of the person with certain daily problems. These problems are those you hope to solve with your product, new features, ebook…


Want to read more on our procedure of adding new features? Check it out here!

It’s always good to offer something in return.

Give and take cartoon - Events - Plann3r Inbound Meeting Scheduling


The famous saying “There is no such thing as a free lunch” can be used in your advantage. By offering value, the other person will be much more willing to offer you something in return.

This could be

  • 5 minutes of his or her time
  • answers to the questions you have about product use
  • sharing and engaging your content

We, Plann3r, used Belgian chocolates as our leverage at Onboard.Amsterdam. 🍫

It’s something small, but it catches the attention of the person that you are trying to reach. On these chocolates we put a sticker with “We would love to talk more”. Also, we put a QR-code  on it redirecting them to a personal meeting page.

This is much more attractive than other methods, such as handing out business cards. Plus, this gave them a first impression of our product and maybe an incentive to get deeper into it.

Many perceive events as fun and as a day off

This is a misconception.

Especially if you are going as a business looking for opportunities.

During the event, it’s important to listen to the speakers that you have selected in advance. Like this, you can and to try to learn a thing or two. 👂

You might hear things you could use, but also some things you don’t agree with at all. Write down the essence of what they say. This is something you could come back to at the end of the event when the networking starts.

This is the perfect moment to discuss subjects you heard / learned during the event. It’s perhaps the most important part of the event. The extra feedback you collect is good for developing your product or it could be a reason to produce a new feature.

Also prepare some ice breakers. These could be one liners introducing your product. Maybe even questions that only take 5 minutes to answer for people that don’t have much time. If not used as a conversation starter, they could still come in handy as conversation savers later on.

After the event, you go home. But, you’re not finished yet.

You have connected with a lot of people before the event. Maybe you didn’t have the chance to talk to all of them or maybe some people didn’t make it to the event. It’s not a big effort to send them a small message asking how they experienced the event. Afterwards you could introduce yourself and / or product one more time.

You also have to rewrite all the product ideas you gained. Make them understandable for your tech division. They can, on their turn, take a further look at the ideas and decide if it is something that is doable.

Maybe, you even collected some business cards of people who showed interest in the product or in a partnership. These are all leads you need to follow-up on before they forget about you.


👉 An event is not to be taken lightly. There is a lot of work that goes into preparation. And, afterwards, you need to engage even more with the leads you gained out of the event.
But, when done right there, there is a lot of value to be gained.

In this blog post, you can dig into our newest features!
We designed these features baded on, among other things, our learnings at events.


Any questions about Plann3r? Click on the image below. 👇
Our experts will gladly help you!

Contact Us! - Events - Plann3r Inbound Meeting Scheduling

So, how do you prepare for events? 🤔