UNLEASH Amsterdam 2018: Everything you need to know

Daniel Paylor
Last updated on 2nd September 2020
3 min read

It’s that time of year again when UNLEASH – formerly HR Tech World – heads to Amsterdam.

With over 250 expert speakers and 16 stages, UNLEASH Amsterdam looks set to be another blockbuster event.

We summarize everything attendees need to know, to be in the know.

When and where is it?

UNLEASH Amsterdam will take place Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 October at the RAI exhibition and convention centre in Amsterdam.

Registration opens at 8am Tuesday and is open throughout the two days.

How to get there

The RAI is just under a 15-minute drive from the city centre and Schiphol Airport; a taxi should cost approximately €30 – €35.

Alternatively, take the NS Dutch Railways sprinter train from the airport directly to Amsterdam RAI station (direction Hilversum or Almere Oostvaarders). The journey should take about 10 minutes and runs four times an hour.

Event organizers are also offering discount flights with Air France-KLM on their website, along with their recommended local hotels.

What to expect at UNLEASH Amsterdam

Sessions will be taking place across the two days on 16 different stages, and the exhibition will run alongside it in the main expo hall.

Event organizers have published a floorplan on their website, so you can checkout the location of any stages or vendors before you arrive at the event.

We’ll be there too, at stand 606, where we’ll be talking about our research report ‘Why your workforce isn’t working’, and giving demos of our global cloud HR and People system throughout the two days.

The theme of this year’s show is the fourth industrial revolution. “It’s on our doorstep and no sector is safe”, say event organizers. Expect sessions to focus on the impact of human-AI collaboration, automation and exponential technologies.

What stages should you visit?

There are 16 different stages at UNLEASH in Amsterdam this year, including:

  • The Future of Work stage, where most of the keynote sessions will be held
  • The HR Tech World stage, the event’s second largest stage, which will feature the latest HR tech trends
  • The EX Design stage, which puts employee experiences at the front of centre in sessions on this stage
  • The Ideas Stage, where most vendors will be showcasing their products over the two days
  • The Smart Data stage, exploring the latest in people analytics trends

Keynote sessions at this year’s UNLEASH

Author and renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel, and French writer, Buddhist Monk and humanitarian Matthieu Ricard will be the headline keynote speakers at UNLEASH Amsterdam.

Esther Perel will share her insights, lessons and principles gleaned from more than 30 years as a couples’ therapist, and offer tools for creating thriving, open relationships with co-workers, bosses and business partners.

Dubbed the ‘happiest person on Earth’, Matthieu Ricard is a prominent speaker on the world stage, celebrated at the World Economic Forum at Davos, forums at the United Nations, and at TED where his talks on happiness and altruism have been viewed by millions of people.

They’ll each close a day of the conference on the Future of Work stage, with Esther Perel rounding off day one, and Matthieu Ricard closing the event overall on the Wednesday.

The other keynote speakers are:

  • British-American entrepreneur and author Andrew Keen on ‘working human in the digital age’ (Tuesday 23 October, 9am on the Future of Work stage)
  • HR tech rockstar Josh Bersin on the disruptions ahead in 2019 in the sector (Tuesday 23 October, 11.15am on the HR Tech World stage)
  • Futurist and author Stefan Hyttfors on the role of trust in workplaces (Tuesday 23 October, 9.40am on the Future of Work stage)

Other not to miss sessions

With a huge selection of other sessions across the two days, it’s hard to pick out some of the must-attend ones, but we think there are four to pull out in particular.

‘People analytics nirvana’

Former head of people analytics at Apple Amit Mohindra will certainly be an interesting speaker to catch at this year’s UNLEASH. He’ll be talking about what the ultimate ‘nirvana’ looks like for people analytics on Tuesday 23 October at 2.55pm on the Smart Data stage.

Want to read up on analytics before you catch his session? Check out our blog ‘What is People Science and our recent ebook ‘6 steps to greater workforce visibility’.

‘Is HR fit for the future of work? Today’s technology vs tomorrow’s transformation’

David Wilson is CEP of analysts Fosway Group. He’ll ask in his session on the Tuesday, “Agile, AI, analytics … the hype surrounding the future of HR technology keeps coming, but how can you truly transform your HR operation?” His session at 2.55pm on the Analysts stage looks set to be a good scene-setter for attendees.

After some more pre-reading before David Wilson’s session? We spoke to the experts at the start of 2018 to find out what they thought would be the top HR tech trends in 2018. Find out what they said in our blog.

‘Flexible working: A driver of productivity and engagement’

With renewed calls for a four-day week in the UK recently, and recent research showing the 9-5 working day is no longer the norm, we think Joy Xu’s session on the benefits of flexible working is well-timed. The Chief Human Resources Officer at Sandoz will explain what they did – and why it worked.

‘How to deliver the perfect onboarding experience’

Ensuring a smooth on-boarding experience for new joiners is essential – we all know that. Join our very own Head of Solution Consulting at Sage People Alex Watson as he explores how a single cloud HR system can do just that. Catch him Tuesday 23 October at 2.40pm on the Ideas stage.

Where do I find out more?

It’s not too late to get tickets for the event – which can be found on their website, along with the full agenda.

If you want to have a chat with the team at the event or book a personal demo of our HR and People system, drop us an email at [email protected].

We’ll see you there!

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