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The SENSE 2020 Conference in Maastricht features an extensive schedule of plenaries, presentations and short talks aimed at English-language professionals.

After the pre-conference workshops on the preceding day, the conference will formally open just after lunch on Saturday 6 June with a keynote speech by Lane Greene.This will be followed by a series of sessions presented by SENSE members and other language professionals – from Finland, Canada, the UK, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland – organised into three parallel streams. So, there’s plenty of relevant and insightful content to choose from.

Naturally, the nuts and bolts of translation, editing and language will be a common strand running through the programme, but more diverse topics addressing current and developing trends such ‘near-peer’ learning, digital nomadism and networking are also on the cards. But let’s not forget the more practical sides of our business, with a panel presentation on maintaining productivity as a parent of young children.

After our borrel and gala dinner on Saturday evening, we will pick up again bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after breakfast on Sunday 7 June with some more presentations, covering areas including plain English and language interference, plus – for the first time – a panel bringing together experienced SENSE members and young language professionals from Maastricht University to discuss client acquisition. What is more, Brian Mossop, author of the classic Editing and Revising for Translators, now in its fourth edition, will be joining us as a special guest speaker, marking the celebration of SENSE’s 30th anniversary as a society serving language practitioners in the Netherlands.

Before we head away for lunch and say our goodbyes, having satisfied our thirst for knowledge-sharing for another two years, the conference will wrap-up with a plenary by Emma Seddon on her research into the changing image of translators.

How to attract the clients you want by blogging

Claire Bacon, Germany

Blogging is a useful content marketing strategy that can help any language professional to promote their business by demonstrating their expertise to clients and peers. It’s an excellent way to attract the clients you want and to establish knowledge and competence in your field. Sharing useful content in blog articles can convince potential clients that you are the best person for the job and it can gain you credibility with your peers. But, despite these benefits, many small business owners don’t blog because they don’t know what they should write about.

In my talk, I hope to inspire you to try your hand at blogging by sharing how blogging helped me to build up my editing business and attract new clients that I really wanted to work with. To get you started, I will describe an easy approach to successful blogging that focuses on solving your client’s problems. To help you keep your blog running, I will give tips on planning your content. And to make sure people read your posts, I will talk about sharing and promoting your content. 

The goal of my talk is to convince you that you have something useful to say and to help you create a blog that works for you and your business.


About the presenter

Claire Bacon

Claire Bacon is a former research scientist with professional qualifications in copy editing and medical editing. She edits research papers for non-native English-speaking scientists and is the copy editor for the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia. She publishes a monthly blog to help her clients with their research writing and is a member of the SENSE content team.

How to get to Maastricht

Maastricht is so close to Belgium that some of its suburbs actually cross the border. Germany is just down the road, so really it’s very easy to get there! Here are a few suggestions.

On foot


On foot: The obvious way if you live in or near Maastricht, BUT… the conference location is directly opposite Maastricht railway station, which is also where the international bus services stop. 


By train


By train: this is the obvious choice for people arriving from within the Netherlands; no parking charges and so close to the conference location. There are two direct trains an hour from Amsterdam Centraal and two trains an hour from Schiphol Airport with a change at Utrecht (journey time under 2½ hours, single fares about €27 second class).

You cannot reserve seats on Dutch trains, and it makes no difference in price to buy in advance (except on some international trains). Timetables (in English) can be found on the Dutch Railways website. Tickets can also be purchased from ticket machines in the baggage reclaim area at Schiphol Airport. There is also a staffed ticket office in the main concourse inside the airport and at Amsterdam Centraal. There is usually a small surcharge for using a credit card. Tickets can be booked online, and the site accepts MasterCard, Visa and American Express credit cards.

Remember to keep your train ticket on you as you leave or enter a station! It has to be scanned at the turnstiles, and it may be checked on the train itself.


By car

By car: Maastricht is located on the A2 (E25) Amsterdam-Maastricht-Liège motorway and close to the A76 (E314) Antwerp-Aachen motorway. The conference hotel has its own private car park, and charges €19.50 per car per night. Please click here for more information about other places to park in Maastricht.


By air


By air: Maastricht has its own airport (which it shares with Aachen) but it’s basically only holiday flights that operate from there. There is however a greater choice of international airports, all of which are within a couple of hours from Maastricht:


Intercontinental airportsInternational airports
(mostly European flights operated by low cost carriers)
Regional airports
  • Antwerp 
    (including flights from London City Airport)
  • Liége
    (website in Dutch and French only, mostly holiday flights)


By high-speed train

By high-speed train: The Thalys  and Eurostar high-speed trains from Paris and London will take you as far as Brussels, and from there you can take a connecting train to Maastricht, changing at Liège. ICE trains from operate from Basel (CH), Frankfurt and Cologne, where you can take the train to Maastricht, changing at Aachen.

Fares for high-speed trains vary, reservation is required, and the earlier you book the cheaper it will usually be.


By ferry

By ferry from UK ports: The only overnight ferry which is reasonably convenient for Maastricht is the Hull to Zeebrugge service from P&O. Other services, such as Newcastle to IJmuiden (for Amsterdam) with DFDS, and Harwich to Hoek van Holland with Stena Line are fine if you plan to visit other parts of the Netherlands, but will involve a longer drive. Don’t consider cross-Channel routes to Calais and Dunkerque unless you are travelling by car, because there are no good public transport links to Maastricht. By car from Calais or Dunkerque, it is almost a 4 hour drive to the conference location (via Gent and Antwerp), depending on traffic.


By coach

By coach: There are services from many European cities operated by Eurolines, FlixBus, Terravision and Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) to Maastricht. They arrive at the new international coach terminal just opposite the conference location (due to open early 2020). Fares are cheap, but timetables are not always convenient and reports about the services vary. If you are flying with KLM into Amsterdam Airport, they offer a FREE coach service to and from Maastricht.


Transport information

 Transport information: Door-to-door English-language information on public transport to and around the Netherlands (not including flights and ferry routes) is available through www.9292.nl. It also contains information about any disruptions to travel. 9292 has apps for Apple or Android. The Dutch National Railways NS JourneyPlanner is also available in English with apps for Apple and Android.


Chip card

Public transport smart card: If you are staying longer in the Netherlands, it is worth buying a public transport smart card, called an OV-chipkaart, which you can top up and use on all public transport throughout the country. Locals and long-term visitors can purchase a personal OV-chipkaart, valid for public transport and bike rental. If you are just travelling to the conference and back, buying a ticket at the airport or station is the easiest option. You can buy single tickets on most buses but increasingly you cannot pay in cash, only with a debit or credit card – and it’s more expensive.

Fares and other information were correct at time of publication.

SENSE cannot be held responsible for any subsequent changes.

Conference Location:

Hotel de l’Empereur, Stationsstraat 2,
6221 BP Maastricht, Netherlands

Phone: +31 (0)43 321 3838
email: info@hotel-empereur.nl

GPS: 50° 50' 59.59" N 5° 42' 16.168" E

SENSE 2020 Conference (5-7 June)


Maastricht Marketing/Jonathan Vos

We're pleased to announce that the SENSE 2020 Jubilee Conference will be held at the four star Amrâth Grand Hotel de l'Empereur in Maastricht.

The conference hotel is easy to find, just over the road from Maastricht station. Conference delegates will be able to book a room at the special conference rate once registration for the conference itself opens. 

For more information about the conference hotel, see the hotel's website



 © Image by Maastricht Marketing/Jonathan Vos. All rights reserved.


2018 Conference

Englishes now!

trends affecting language professionals

SENSE 2020 Conference (5-7 June)

Keynote speakers


 © Image from @lanegreene Twitter.com  

The SENSE 2020 Conference will open and close with a plenary session and keynote speaker.

The opening speaker is 100% confirmed. His name is Lane Greene, a writer and editor at The Economist, an American ‘journalist and author’ (as he calls himself) from Tennessee, now based in London.

He has published two books: You are what you speak (2011) and Talk on the wild side (2018). He edits Espresso and writes the ‘Johnson’ column on language for the newspaper. Lane is a graduate of Tulane and Oxford universities. For more info go to https://www.lanegreene.com

 © Image from @lanegreene Twitter.com  


2018 Conference

Englishes now!

trends affecting language professionals


Friday 5 June 2020


Off-Conference activity: Friday morning sightseeing 


Parallel workshops relevant to editors, translators, writers, language professionals (separate registration, also open to those unable to attend the conference)

14:00–17:30 Parallel workshops relevant to editors, translators, writers, language professionals (separate registration, also open to those unable to attend the conference)


Off-Conference activity: Dinner in small groups (4–6) with fellow conference delegates at local restaurants (optional)

Saturday 6 June 2020


Off-Conference activity: Sightseeing tours  


Conference registration and hotel check-in


Buffet lunch


Conference sessions: Keynote speaker followed by parallel sessions


Post-conference networking opportunity with drinks and snacks


3-course networking dinner with open bar and tea/coffee

Sunday 7 June 2020


Conference sessions: Parallel sessions followed by keynote speaker


END of conference


Off-Conference activity: Lunch in the hotel or elsewhere  


Off-Conference activitySightseeing tours  

Note: Off-Conference activities are not included in the conference fee.


SENSE 2020 Conference

20/20 (Re)Vision:

Honing our skills to meet market challenges


 The call for proposals now closed

Call for proposals 

Presenter IMG 8103We invite proposals that relate to the theme of the conference: 20/20 (Re)Vision: Honing our skills to meet market challenges.

Whether you work in editing, translation, interpreting, copywriting, teaching or any other relevant field, don’t miss this opportunity to share your expertise with fellow professionals!

Priority will be given to presentations, panel discussions and TED-style talks that express a clear take-home message and explain its relevance to a broad range of professionals in our field. Presentations could describe promising practices, report research findings, demonstrate techniques, share experience with new technologies or provide knowledge updates. As a knowledge-sharing and peer-training network of professionals, SENSE encourages submissions from both seasoned and novice presenters with experiences and expertise to share.

To submit a proposal, please complete the online form, where you should provide us with an abstract of 200 to 300 words and a short biography (150 words maximum) by Friday, 1 November 2019. Contributors to the SENSE Conference 2020 will be granted a discount on the conference fee. SENSE is unable to reimburse their travel or accommodation expenses.

Your abstract should briefly describe the what, how, and why of your presentation and it should have an informative title. If you would like to discuss the suitability of your proposal before sending in your abstract, please feel free to contact John Linnegar at conference@sense-online.nl. 

Presentations could take one of three forms:

  • TED-style talk: 15-20 minutes (including questions)
  • Short presentation: 30 minutes (including questions)
  • Long presentation or panel discussion: 60 minutes (including questions)

Please indicate the proposed length of your presentation.

We also invite proposals for workshops, to be held the day before the conference, Friday 5 June. The duration of the workshops will be 3 hours 15 minutes (including a short break).

The deadline for submitting your proposal and biography is Friday, 1 November 2019*. You will be informed by mid-December 2019 whether your talk or workshop proposal has been accepted.

Complete the presentation proposal form here.

Complete the workshop proposal form here.

Whether or not you are considering giving a talk at SENSE Conference 2020, we think you'll find invaluable tips for talks and presentations in this book ‘TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking’ by Chris Anderson, Head of TED. Our conference team will also be using the ‘On Stage’ section of the book to help give our speakers the best possible experience. 

We look forward to receiving your proposals!

*Proposal deadline extended to Sunday 3 November 2019 at 23:59!


 © Image by photographer Vanessa Goad of SENSE’ 2017 PDD, held at the Eenhoorn Meeting Center Amersfoort on 23 September 2017. All rights reserved.


Interested in sponsoring our conference? Or maybe you’d like to book a vendor table?

SENSE offers potential sponsors attractive packages. Please consider sponsoring the conference if you’re a translation- or editing-related company, a local bookseller, restaurant, or shop, or another company in whose services or products our delegates may be interested. We offer an international audience of English-language professionals who will be on the lookout for new tools, resources, books, and things to do during breaks and evenings.

Please contact conference@sense-online.nl for more information.

SENSE Conferences and PDDs

The SENSE strategy is to organize conferences and professional development days in alternate years. The first SENSE conference was held in Utrecht in 2015 to mark 25 years of SENSE.

SENSE held its next conference in 2018 in ’s Hertogenbosch. The conference started on Saturday with lunch and closed on Sunday at lunch time. The programme also included pre-conference workshops and off-conference activities.

SENSE is getting ready to launch registration for the 2020 conference which will also mark SENSE's 30th anniversary. 

The SENSE 2020 Jubilee Conference will be taking place from 6 to 7 June 2020 in Maastricht (or Mestreech to the locals). English-language professionals will come and gather in the city on the Meuse under the theme ‘20/20 (Re)Vision: Honing our skills to meet market challenges’. Expect intensive workshops on the Friday (5 June), off-conference activities on Saturday morning, a programme of talks with parallel sessions on Saturday afternoon, culminating in pre-dinner drinks, or a ‘borrel’ as they say in Dutch, and the gala dinner that evening. Then we will pick up again on Sunday morning (not too early, don’t worry), leaving the afternoon for some leisure time.

The internal Professional Development Day (PDD) is a one-day conference by SENSE members for members and non-members of SENSE. Click here for information about the 2019 PDD.

The next PDD will be held in September 2021.

2019 PDD

When: Saturday 21 September 2019,

Registration opens at 9:00, the borrel will finish at 18:30

WhereDe Eenhoorn, Amersfoort (opposite NS station)

John 34 IMG 2152

Come join us for our Professional Development Day, the biennial event in which SENSE members learn from (and with) other members. This year's programme will include two great plenary talks, our first-ever translation slam and presentations by some of the society's best translators, copywriters and editors. There will also be plenty of time to socialise and network during the yummy buffet lunch and the end-of-the-day borrel. Don't miss it!

Sign up

Sign up (click the Register button on the event page) before the end of the day on 31 August to take advantage of a €25 early-bird discount!

SENSE members (through 31 August): €60
SENSE members (from 1 September): €85

Non-members (through 31 August): €120
Non-members (from 1 September): €145

Attendance at the SENSE PDD will entitle you to 6 PE points

Click here to register. Members, remember to log in!

The programme:

TimeWhat we are doing
9:009:30 Registration
Time for tea or coffee and networking
9:309:40 Welcome and introduction

From Lada to Lamborghini: tips for gaining and retaining valuable repeat clients
(Jenny Zonneveld)

10:3011:00 Coffee break & networking
11:0011:50 An introduction to Cornwall and its languages
(Anita van Adelsbergen)
Translating in architecture
(Dianna Beaufort)

Translating for fun and profit
(Peter Smethurst)

Copywriting: what is it and could you do it?
(Cathy Scott)
12:4513:45 Lunch break & networking
13:4514:35 What not to forget in your quotation
(John Linnegar & Jenny Zonneveld)
Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation
(Francis Cox)

Translation slam
(Peter SmethurstCathy Scott)

The diverse skills and roles for language professionals in academia & science
(Jackie Senior & Kate McIntyre)
15:3016:00 Tea break & networking
16:0017:15 High-level writing, rhythm and flow
(Mike Hannay)
17:1517:30 Closing session
Drinks, hapjes and (more) networking




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