Utrecht-based startup Channable has incorporated the Utrecht Photo Challenge into their employee onboarding program, for new employees to get to know each other and the city in a fun way.

We sat down with Channable’s onboarding team to get insight into how the Utrecht Photo Challenge upgraded their onboarding experience.


Picture: Channable
Channable is a fast-growing IT startup based in Utrecht, Netherlands. To further develop their business internationally, Channable hires around 5 to 10 new colleagues from all over the world on a monthly basis. Even though they’re scaling up, Channable puts a lot of care into integrating new colleagues on a personal level and giving them an onboarding experience they won’t forget. For instance, new hires are always coupled with a ‘buddy’, and CEO Rob van Nuenen personally welcomes new employees by telling them the company’s story.


First day at Channable
Picture: Channable
On their first morning, new colleagues receive an introduction to the company culture and structure. After lunch, they dive right into Channable’s product and its functionalities. Very useful, but a lot of new information to take in!

According to Marloes van Overhagen, HR Manager at Channable, “We started noticing that the first day was quite intense for new hires and the information that was given at the end of the afternoon didn’t stick too well.”


To make the first day on the job less information-heavy, Channable’s onboarding team decided to wrap up the first day of training at the beginning of the afternoon.

“We wanted to add a fun activity to the end of our new hires’ first day, so that they could get to know each other and relax after a day full of new information,” Marloes explains. “That’s how we decided on the Utrecht Photo Challenge, which really ticks all of our boxes.”


The Utrecht Photo Challenge is a 2-hour city game in the beautiful city center of Utrecht.

Players are divided into teams whose goal is to find the hidden locations and recreate the model pictures as well as possible with a Polaroid camera. The challenges in the pictures make it fun for both locals and those who are new to the city. Players get to keep their Polaroids, which make for hilarious office decoration.

corona proof utrecht


We have partnered up with Channable to add a tailored monthly Photo Challenge to their onboarding day. Thanks to our onboarding package, Channable’s HR team doesn’t need to worry about booking a spot each month or settling on an exact number of participants beforehand. We take all of the planning off of Channable’s hands and provide their new hires with a fun activity to end their first day with a bang!
outdoor activity for friends in Utrecht

According to Marloes, the city game has been a great way for new colleagues to bond.

Months later, I still see colleagues who played the Utrecht Photo Challenge together sit side by side at the lunch table!

The way that our challenge gets internationals acquainted with their new home town is a huge benefit to Channable. “We believe that if our colleagues connect with their new city, they’ll be happier here and stay longer,” Marloes explains. “With the Utrecht Photo Challenge, they get to know the city right on their first day at work.”


One of the things new colleagues often mention about Channable’s onboarding is how playing the Utrecht Photo Challenge has been a way to break the ice.

According to Jaume, Spanish Software Developer who moved to Utrecht for work, “Ending the day with the Utrecht Photo Challenge added a lot to my first experience at Channable. Finding the locations and solving the clues was fun, and it was a good opportunity to build memories with my colleagues during the onboarding. We even laughed so much at one of our (failed) pictures that our stomachs started hurting!”

We know you are curious about that picture.
team bonding utrecht

The finish line is in a super central location, so after playing, Jaume and his team went to the Irish pub for a few drinks. “We all came from different departments, with different backgrounds and interests. The time we spent together at the end of the challenge allowed us to get to know each other while enjoying some beers.”

company outing utrecht


We provide Channable with a consistent, reliable, and, most of all, fun team-building activity for their new hires to get to know each other and the city in a spontaneous way.

Do you, too, want to give your new starters an unforgettable first experience?

Any questions or requests? Contact us, we are happy to discuss your needs!