Conferences are tricky to get right.
Partly because no two audiences are the same. People have different expectations, and different ideas of what makes a great conference.
— Glenn Fisher (@allgoodcopy) October 11, 2019
Every year we try very hard to engineer the perfect event, something that is…
- Inspiring but also practical
- Ideal for experts but also newcomers
- Welcoming to introverts but also exciting for extroverts
- High-quality but also affordable
Do we achieve these things?
— Mary Whitehouse – Copywriter (@Word_Service) October 11, 2019
Yes. Or no.
Depending on who you ask.
But every year we try new things to get us closer to these goals.
And that’s why we’re trying to address the cost issue in 2020…
Conferences are expensive
For many people, the Copywriting Conference has always been too expensive. And to some extent, it always will be too expensive for some people (because some people would like a conference that costs less than £100 – something we would always struggle to achieve).
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever present a free (or £50) conference, because the only way to make an event free (or ultra low-cost) is to turn delegates into the product and pay for the running costs by charging sponsors for access to our audience.
And for us, the product is always learning, networking and inspiration.
— Claire Hawes (@ContentBoutique) October 11, 2019
Simpler, cheaper, bigger
Our usual conference format involves a mix of talks and breakout sessions. This means that we have to hire lots of different rooms, and pay lots of different trainers and speakers – many of whom you’ll never see.
For 2020 we’re changing the format.
No more breakout sessions. Just talks.
One venue. One room. Eight speakers.
This simplified format means that all attendees get the same conference – and we can dramatically reduce the ticket price, without sacrificing any of the quality that you expect.
The standard ticket price is now £295 (+VAT) – down from £400 for this year’s event.
Pro members have a discount (the biggest discount available) of £60 – reducing the ticket price to £235 (+VAT).
Yes, the Pro discount has roughly halved, but this is because we’ve squeezed the general ticket price down overall – leaving little room for discounts. The ticket, with Pro discount, is £40 cheaper than 2019.
The Royal Institution
One of the coolest things about our 2020 event is that our main venue is the Royal Institution – a setting that will be familiar to anyone who has seen the Christmas lectures (a series of entertaining science lectures delivered every year since 1825).
It’s an extraordinary venue and we can’t wait to fill it up with keen copywriters.
An optional training day
Our conference has always tried to deliver practical training, but the breakout session format is always limited. Delegates regularly report that the sessions can be frustratingly brief; never quite long enough to delve into a topic – and definitely not long enough to cover a topic thoroughly.
Crikey, Bill. I had an absolutely fantastic day at #CopyCon19 yesterday! It was amazing to meet loads of soc med friends irl and thank you SO much to everyone who came to my sessions. I really hope you enjoyed them – I LOVED presenting them (got a sore throat today!!).
— Sally Mayor (@WordNerdSally) October 12, 2019
In 2020, we’re offering a separate day of optional training. Anyone who wants to develop new copywriting skills or explore a new specialism can do so as part of the conference.
The training days available are:
- Copywriting for beginners – with Lorraine Forrest-Turner
- Find your tone of voice – with Nick Parker
- Persuasion techniques for copywriters – with Tim Fidgeon
- Create a content strategy – with Lauren Pope
- The confident freelancer – with Jackie Barrie
- Blogging to be read – with Jo Watson
Why attend CopyCon20?
What will you get from attending a conference?
— David McGuire (@McGuireDavid) October 11, 2019
On the one hand, it’s kinda true that there’s nothing new under the sun.
A lot of the things our speakers talk about can also be found in books, blogs and webinars.
Our speakers rarely reveal previously-unknown copywriting recipes. They have no magic words or secret weapons.
— Steven Jenkinson (@StevieJenx) October 11, 2019
There is an undeniable magic to hearing a speaker talk with enthusiasm and experience.
Their words may echo an article you read a year ago, but hearing the advice uttered live can make it more resonant, more powerful, and more likely to nudge you into action.
— Alice Hollis (@AliceKHollis) October 11, 2019
Conferences can be a chance to top-up your creativity and your motivation. You spend a day hearing from experts and authorities, and you go away either feeling that you’re doing a great job already, or inspired to make major changes to how you work.
These talks are either affirmative or corrective.
— Anna Gunning (@agunning) October 11, 2019
The biggest take-aways are often little details. Such as the technique one copywriter uses to gather research, or a particular app or website that could change your approach to projects. You might borrow a copywriting technique or steal a marketing idea. Throughout the day, you get fascinating glimpses into the working practices of copywriters – which is simultaneously reassuring, surprising and sometimes downright baffling.
And don’t get me started on the joy of hanging out with 250 people who know what you do.
That was just one of the happiest days. I don’t know about other industries, but copywriters truly are a bloody lovely bunch. It felt like being at a school reunion of all the people you actually want to keep in touch with. Hooray for @procopywriters #CopyCon19 pic.twitter.com/SAzp6FsM9c
— Katherine Wildman 👩🏻💻 Haydn Grey (@haydngrey) October 11, 2019
I hope we see you in 2020.
And thank you to everyone who made 2019 such a fantastic event.
— Christoph Emch (@chemch) October 11, 2019
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Our 2019 conference sold out in August. By the time of the event, more than 50 people had asked to join the waiting list for tickets. So if you’re interested in attending, make sure you bag your ticket ASAP.