Last week was the first Copy Cabana event (“because every beach needs a Cabana!”), kicking off three days of Silicon Beach events at Pavilion Dance, Bournemouth. The conference was organised by copy-writing aficionados Andy Maslen and Vikki Ross with 12 speakers descending on Bournemouth to share industry insights, gripes, and hints and tips.

“If we all hate bad adverts – then why do they still exist?”

Speakers included copy-writing legend Drayton Bird (otherwise known as the ‘Godfather of Marketing’), Hayley Redman (senior writer for Innocent), Miles Carter (the brains behind ‘The Man on the Moon’ for John Lewis), and Deanne Rodger (one of ELLE UK’s ‘30 Inspirational Women Under 30’). Topics included tone of voice, gender divides, knowing the audience, embracing emotions, and the importance of internal communications.

After such a thought-provoking day, it’s safe to say that everyone left with new ideas ticking over, a spark in their imagination, and excitement for Copy Cabana 2017!

The following two days were also jam packed with even more inspirational speakers as part of the main Silicon Beach event, here’s a couple of our highlights.

Hey Human Agency kicked Thursday afternoon off in style with a talk about people’s shallow relationships with brands in a digital age. “We’re all ridiculously overloaded, do we even have any processing power left for brands?” asked Dan Machen. In light of this, he went on to say that it’s important for brands to keep the message really simple, recognised, resonant and relevant.

Our favourite talk of the day came from Carrie Barclay, Head of Content at Parliamentary Digital Service and Editor in Chief of parliament.uk. Carrie spoke about changes to the service and how her team is trying to make parliament.co.uk more user-friendly, accessible and relatable. They are also working on ways to change how content is shared and divulged.

Mark Earls from HERD, an award-winning writer and consultant in marketing, communications and behavioural change spoke about copying. He used Elvis as an example of someone who copied everything from looks, to moves and music. Mark told us that “copying each other is the best way to outsource the cognitive load” and it’s OK if you make mistakes along the way as that’s where creativity lies.

Having the final speaker slot on a Friday can’t have been an easy task but Nadya, MD at Sunshine, had everyone’s full attention by illustrating the importance of being a good leader through the use of X-Men and audience participation.

Nadya focused on the lack of traditional leadership skills which alarmingly most leaders don’t possess. The most important skill being the ability to listen. Nadya highlighted this through a team exercise where you had to tell the person sitting next to you a little bit about yourself and then they had to prove they had listened by repeating back what you had just said. A random member of the audience was then chosen to repeat back what they had listened to. The poor guy chosen couldn’t remember the majority of his partner’s bio thus reinforcing Nadya’s point that we don’t take the time to listen.

Overall her point suggested that we become bad leaders by learning bad leadership skills from our leader (try saying that five times fast!) and therefore in order to prevent companies from going round in this cycle we need to implement a leadership strategy from the word go.

And finally, a massive thank you to Matt Desmier and the team at Think Create Do for once again organising a fantastic event and making sure that Bournemouth and Poole stay on the map as a growing digital hub.