Tips for Startups Attending Uncubed

4 Success Tips For Startups Attending Uncubed


Uncubed is not a job fair. Instead, it’s a fun and effective alternative, curating entry-level and experienced attendees alike with companies in a lively environment, surrounded by innovative talks, music, art, idea contests, and folks that give a damn.


Maximum success at Uncubed relies on your own expectations that you will reach your goals. If you attended an event expecting little to no results, you wouldn’t put much effort into it. You can expect to hire and/or achieve your marketing goals at Uncubed – we certainly expect you to – so we’ve put together a list of tips that have led to that success in the past and hopefully will do the same for your team.


1. Get your mind right: Plan on hiring.


If you are going to trust an event with your time and money, you’ve got to believe it’s going to work. We put a lot of effort into making Uncubed an event far removed from traditional job fairs. You’ll learn most companies do the same and by the time the conference starts, we can usually tell who’s going to hire that day – it comes through in the way the company sets up, the energy the reps bring, and their overall attitudes.


2. Be more than approachable. Be creative, fun & friendly.


We invite those companies we believe create a fantastic work environment. Show attendees what life is like at your company by creating a welcoming and fun presence at the event.


Unless you have a household name like Tumblr, Facebook or Spotify, it’s unlikely many of the attendees have heard about your company before the event. So you’ve got to plant a bright flag and leave your mark.


Here are some suggestions:


1. Think outside the cube. How can you tie your brand into an experience at the event? See real examples in this slideshow. Other examples are below:

  • Shutterstock’s photobooth
  • Spotify’s Music Lounge
  • Tumblr’s tumblers (custom tumbler glasses with specialty cocktail)
  • ZocDoc’s (engineering) exams
  • Meetup’s Oversized Name Badges
  • OnDeck’s CEO Dunk Tank
  • Gogo Game-room
  • TheLadders Luau
  • SpaceX Space Projection Lounge
  • StyleSeat’s Makeover Lounge

If you’d like more space and exposure at the event, let us know. Flip through this other slideshow to get an idea of costs and opportunities.


2. You don’t have to over-engineer it. Look around and bring interesting items from your office to liven up your space:

  • A funky chair, yoga balls, etc.
  • A monitor. Show attendees what you’re working on.
  • Doggie “interns” (venue permitting).

3. Wear your branding. Stand out and make it easier to spark conversation away from your booth.


4. Bring fun and energetic people. If someone doesn’t want to be there, don’t send him/her.


At Uncubed, about 35-40% of attendees are technical, 15-20% are product/design and the remainder brings a variety of other skills. Even if you are only hiring for one skill-set, bring folks across departments. It helps show diversity in your culture and makes managing the diverse attendees much easier. You certainly don’t want your engineers fielding marketing conversations throughout the day as well.


3. Find YOUR candidates.


Mathematically, you won’t be able to meet everyone at Uncubed. So you have to work to find the relevant ones. Check out the (crude) math below:


300 minutes – Maximum amount of time to meet with candidates (i.e. total time of the event)

3 minutes – Low estimate of time spent with each candidate

0 seconds – Break between candidates (this is impossible)


In other words, if you operate with total efficiency and take zero breaks, each of your reps could meet with 100 people.  With two reps, we’re talking about 200 people total.


So, here are some tips to reach the most relevant attendees:


  • Think of creative ways to speak to a group of individuals around your table. The most relevant will stick around.
  • If you’re looking for senior talent, make sure senior leadership is represented at the event and connecting with them in the senior talent lounge, exclusively for more experienced attendees.
  • Bring more people and ensure at least one is experiencing the event like an attendee, away from your booth. (If you’re looking for engineers and there’s a dev icon speaking in the other room – you can bet that room’s full of engineers.)
  • Register early and suggest a speaker or teacher. Classes & discussions host a very dedicated audience of hundreds. What better way to reach a crowd then to have an entire crowd focused on someone from your team?
  • We have (huge) name badges for everyone, which show the skill set. Seek out those with the skills you want before they get to your table
  • The enthusiasm of your team is more important than the skill set.


It’s true, not everyone will be relevant from a hiring stand point. However, all are relevant from a branding and WOM stand point. Plus, this is a day of discovery, so invite folks to learn about your company and spread the word about your brand, culture & opportunities.


4. Schedule your followups immediately


Schedule interviews right away – or on the spot if you can – and be thorough in your follow-up. You’ll lose great candidates by taking too much time. We like to reference Kayak co-founder Paul English’s legendary 7-day rule, whereby he gives himself seven days to find the person, conduct interviews, make an offer and get an acceptance. If you don’t someone else will.


Suggesting Reading:


10 Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Build Great Teams


Startup Insights from from Paul English, Co-Founder of Kayak