Think. Write. Sell. 1st European Copywriters’ Conference, Amsterdam 2019

16-17 May 2019
  • Start: Thu 16 May 1000
  • End: Fri 17 May 1700
  • Venue: De Burcht
  • Address: Henri Polaklaan 9, 1018 CP Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Join a new European community of professional writers.

In 2019, we’re launching the first European copywriters’ conference.

If you have to communicate, through written scripts, the virtues, values and visions of your organisation, this conference is for you.

We welcome copywriters, internal communicators and those who reluctantly have to write in English as part of their job.

You’ll meet colleagues who face the same challenges.

We’ve pioneered a format where we listen to top writers from across Europe talk about their work.

For this event we’ve invited an entrepreneur who created her own brand, a former head of BBC drama and a top British humorist to share their expertise

We learn what techniques they use, how they craft stories and how they build relationships with customers.

We host our conferences in venues rich with historical association, giving writers a stimulating environment to exchange ideas, make contacts and build a professional reputation.


Who should attend?

This conference is for anyone wanting to improve their ability to write copy.

It’s also for people wishing to improve their company’s ability to communicate ideas.

In the social-media age, non-native speakers of English have to write articles, tweets, blogs, memos, advertisements, speeches and newsletters.

Our speakers and trainers offer guidance and advice on how to approach these tasks using storytelling, rhetoric and checklists.

Native speakers of English are often unaware of how businesses sell their products and services to English-speaking audiences and unaware of the cultural sensitivities of other European countries.

The purpose of this conference is to bring together the two tribes.

While the conference is in English, the techniques will be transferable to other languages.


The benefits

  • Acquire techniques used in BBC drama, top advertising agencies and multinational offices around Europe
  • Learn insights and techniques from top writers
  • Listen to outstanding public speakers
  • Have your own work analysed in interactive sessions with top trainers
  • Meet fellow professionals from the Europe and the rest of the world



Please click here to download the latest provisional programme as a PDF

DAY 1 – Pre-conference Training

Thursday 16 May – Delegates can choose from three pre-conference training workshops


Full Conference

Friday 17 May – Conference takes place at De Burcht

10am – 4.30pm

Speakers include: Kresse Wesling, Jonny Morgan, Sabine Harnau, Chris West, Guy Browning


What you will learn and leave with

  • A better understanding of what makes compelling writing
  • Insights on how to work with multilingual audiences
  • Tips for managing your clients
  • Strategies for dealing with responses
  • New contacts, ideas and perspectives on the trade


Pre-Conference Trainers


John Yorke

John is Managing Director of Angel Station where he works as a drama producer, consultant and lecturer on all forms of storytelling. A former MD of Company Pictures where he exec-produced Wolf Hall, he’s worked as both Head of Channel Four Drama and Controller of BBC Drama Production.

As a commissioning editor/executive producer, he championed Life On Mars, The Street, Shameless and Bodies and in 2005 he created the BBC Writers Academy, a year-long in-depth training scheme which has produced a generation of successful television writers. The author of Into the Woods – the highly acclaimed book about how and why we tell stories.


Guy Browning

Guy started work as a copywriter at DMB&B he went on to become Creative Director of the global marketing agency Added Value.

He is now Managing Director of Smokehouse, a hybrid fifth generation marketing agency.

After work he writes humour for The Guardian and Management Today and in various bestselling books such as Never Hit a Jellyfish With A Spade. In 2012 his first feature film Tortoise in Love premiered in London’s Leicester Square.


Alan Barker

Alan is Managing Director of Kairos Training Limited.

He regularly delivers workshops and coaching on speechwriting to a wide range of organisations, including the European Commission, ICAEW and The Natural History Museum, London. Alan is the author of fifteen books, including: How to Solve Almost Any Problem (Pearson), Improve Your Communication Skills (Kogan Page), How to Manage Meetings (Kogan Page)


Kresse Wesling

Kresse is a multi-award winning environmental entrepreneur and Young Global Leader with a background in venture capital and significant start-up experience. After first meeting with the London Fire Brigade in 2005, Kresse launched Elvis & Kresse, which turns industrial waste into innovative lifestyle products and returns 50% of profits to charities related to the waste.

Elvis & Kresse’s first line is made from decommissioned fire hose, 50% of the profits from this line are donated to the Fire Fighters Charity.

The company now collects 12 different waste streams, has several charitable partnerships and is involved with collaborations across industries, from FTSE 100 companies to fashion houses, including a current, 5 year partnership with the Burberry Foundation. The corporate story is one of the most inspiring you’ll ever hear. Kresse will be explaining how they communicate it through many platforms.


Chris West

Chris founded Verbal Identity in 2010 to help CEOs, CMOs and leadership teams define their strategic vision for the next five years. He pioneered the idea that the most successful way to develop a Vision uses the techniques of the management consultants and the practices of the creative world.

Previously, Chris ran a project-based advertising agency for 10 years working with global clients and before that, he was an award-winning copywriter.

He takes a limited number of Advisory positions on his clients’ Boards, including Votary and Pittsburgh Mercantile. In 2016, he was the convening President for the inaugural verbal branding jury at the LIA and his book, ‘How Words Work’, was recognised at the 2017 D&AD Awards. Outside of work, he contributes to The Sunday Times and a leading luxury magazine, and he wrote the screenplay which went on to win Best Film at the Barcelona Film Festival.



Jonny Morgan

Johnny has worked as a copywriter and editor in Europe for almost a decade. A freelancer since 2002, he works both directly with clients and for agencies, supporting a range of companies and international organisations with everything from blogs, websites and adverts to annual reports, corporate communications and speeches. He also writes books on football. His presentation will be on ‘Writing for a European Audience’.



Sabine Harnau

Sabine is a customer-centric messaging strategist based in Amsterdam.

She helps SDG-driven brands tell their stories and reach more people through vibrant, ethical copywriting in English and German. She’s currently using her experience working with over 100 iconic brands and startups to start a conversation about integrity in copywriting.



Margaret Webster

Margaret has been a copywriter in London for 20 years. For the last five years, she’s specialised in large, complex, high-stakes projects. Her copy has helped organisations to launch new businesses, respond to increased competition, persuade key decision makers, involve employees in major changes and provide support to people in distress. Margaret will chair the conference.


More speakers to be announced in the coming days…while we do our best to make sure all speakers on the programme will appear on the day, we cannot be responsible for any unforeseen cancellations.


Clip from a previous conference we organised for speechwriters at De Burcht in Amsterdam



For an Early-Bird Pre-Conference Training + Conference Pass ( Thu & Fri), the cost is €999 + VAT. For other prices please press the ‘Tickets’ button to pay by credit card through Eventbrite.

If you prefer for us to send you an invoice instead of paying through Eventbrite, please send an email and we will send you one. If you need to separate the costs into two invoices – one for training, the other for accommodation, we’re happy. Just email and ask.


Cancellation Policy

Bookings will not be accepted unless accompanied by payment and cancellations must be received no later than one month (28 days) before the conference if a full refund is to be given.

Cancellations received within 2 to 4 weeks of the first date of conference will be refunded 50%. No refunds will be given for cancellations made within 14 days.

However, we are happy to discuss transferring your ticket to a future conference in the event that you can’t attend due to unforeseen circumstances.


Local Hotels

We’ve been recommended three Amsterdam hotels by the venue.

Hotel Arena
Plantage Hotel
Hotel Allure



There are a limited number of places available at a discount to people in full-time education who are considering a career in copywriting. Details on application.

Social Media

You can follow the European Copywriters’ Conference on Twitter @CopywritersEu

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