Founded in Spain in 2013 by Alexia Grau, Hoala has become one of the main references in the world for specialized training in creativity, strategy and innovation, and the only one to provide it exclusively to communication professionals.
The first edition of the Professional Master Course in Account Planning was celebrated in 2013 in Valencia, Spain. In 2015 it was the turn for the first international edition in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The course is designed to help professionals working with brand’s communication to level up their strategic game and skills. It challenges brand professionals to learn from different point of views, to see differently, to make better decisions and to engage and connect with consumers.
The course gathers the best strategy leaders from the best agencies around the world to engage a reduced group of students in an intense 11-week process. Since the first international edition, students from 20+ different countries worldwide have participated.
Each session of the course is led by a different lecturer, who engages with the students through a selected topic used as a common thread to spark strategic conversation and debates. During each session, every student is expected to participate and add to the debate. The entire course is conducted in English, and skill and confidence in English is a specific admission requirement. The course demands in-person attendance.
The tuition for the program is €6.800. Attending students include strategists and planners, freelancers, creatives, account directors, independent professionals, entrepreneurs and corporate employees. Represented agencies and brands include Adidas, McCann Erikson, 72&Sunny, Ogilvy, J. Walter Thompson, Saatchi&Saatchi, BBDO, TBWA, Publicis, DDB, Y&R, Isobar, among others.For a more complete list of companies and alumni, visit this link
Admission to the Hoala’s Professional Course in Account Planning is by application only. To apply for the course, please send your LinkedIn profile to: amsterdam@hoala.eu

Take a look at our alumni testimonials and to our course content. Find out more about course specifics here.

Important dates to note:

March 1st, 2019 – Applications open.
July 1st, 2019 – Applications closed or until all vacancies are filled.

Course start date: September 6, 2019
Course finish date: November 23, 2019

Very easy. Read these FAQs for any doubt you might have and please send your LinkedIn profile to: amsterdam@hoala.eu

The course is structured in 11 intensive weeks where world-class strategy leaders will provide you theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as their professional experience with the brands they work for at their agencies.
The course has an executive format, so you will be able to combine the course with your professional responsibilities. The weekly sessions will have the following structure:
- 4 hours session during the Friday afternoon (17:30-21:30 hrs) typically focused on theory and its practical implementation.
- 4 hours session during the Saturday morning (9:00-13:00 hrs) typically focused on case studies where the lecturer will show you the methodology and the strategic thinking behind each case.
Now that the boring stuff is said, we are proud to share with you our content program and calendar for the new Hoala’s Professional Course in Account Planning in Amsterdam:

WEEK 1: 6th-7th September
Account Planning - What planning is and it is not about.
A strategy for strategy - the insightful vision from one of the most respected international planners in the world about the actual role of planning in agencies, clients and brands. What being a planner actually means today.
Lecturer: Martin Weigel, Head of Strategic Planning Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam

WEEK 2: 13th-14th September The positioning strategy: past, present and future.
How to position a brand today. The role of purpose in the positioning strategy. Find the real difference for a brand. Positioning toolbox. The role of the positioning strategy within band management. Case studies.
Lecturer: Aisea Laungaue Partner, Chief Strategy Officer at Anomaly LA.

WEEK 3: 20th-21st September
Unearth and discover the best insights. Use research and investigation techniques to discover the best insights. What is and what is not an insight. What we should expect from insights and how can they unlock creativity. How research is approached at the best international agencies. Case studies and examples.
Lecturer: Shari Reichenberg, Executive Strategy Director and Partner at Prophet, New York.

WEEK 4: 27th-28th September
Cultural Strategy: navigate the intersection between people and culture to build truly relevant brands.
How culture can be the most powerful element to make a brand relevant. Consumers and culture. How to detect waves and cultural movements and connect them with brands. Anthropologic and sociologic dimension of consumption. Case studies.
Lecturer: Stephanie Feeney, Executive Strategy Director & Partner at 72andSunny Amsterdam.

WEEK 5: 4th-5th October
How to write the perfect and most inspiring creative brief.
The planner as the catalyst of creativity. The real value of a creative brief. How to write better and more inspiring creative briefs. The main mistakes when we write briefs. Presenting your creative brief: the briefing session. Examples and case studies.
Lecturer: Harry Román-Torres, Head of Strategy at Droga5, New York.

BREAK: 11th-12th October

WEEK 6: 18th-19th October
Creatives vs. Strategists - Strategy looked from the eyes of creativity.
What a creative needs from a planner and what a planner needs from a creative under the eyes of one of the most successful creative directors in the world.
Lecturer: Laura Visco, Deputy Executive Creative Director at 72andSunny, Amsterdam.

WEEK 7: 25th-26th October
Digital Strategy - Navigating strategy in a digital world.
How to be a better planner in the modern digital world. What digital means for brands and strategy. What digital has changed for planning and communication. Hacking strategy. Major trends in communication and planning. The role of technology in communication. How to approach a conversational digital strategy for brands.
Lecturer: Julie Lagan, Digital transformation strategy leader at IBM iX, London.

WEEK 8: 1st-2nd November
Communications Planning - the complete guide.
How to detect, prioritize and activate the touch points between brands and consumers. Brand planners vs. Comms planners. Design the perfect KPI’s for the campaigns. Consumer journey. Communications framework. Examples, tools and case studies.
Lecturer: Colleen Leddy, Chief Media Officer, Droga5.

WEEK 9: 8th-9th November
Effectiveness as the key ingredient for strategic planning.
The science behind effectiveness. How to judge and reach effectiveness for a brand. Planning as the key for effectiveness. How to build an unbeatable effectiveness case. Examples and case studies.
Lecturer: Marialejandra Urbina, Executive Director of Planning at Dieste, Dallas.

WEEK 10: 15th – 16th November
The art of presenting a strategy.
How to successfully present a strategy to clients. Strategy best practices. Case Studies, tips and examples.
Lecturer: Rob Campbell, Chief Strategy Officer at R/GA London.

WEEK 11: 22nd-23th November
Intensive Planning Weekend Workshop.
In the beginning of the course, the attendees will receive a real brief from Nick that they will have to work with through the whole course. During this session, the attendees will present their strategic approaches the rest of the group applying all the learnings and acquired knowledge. Together Nick, we will dive into specific feedback paying special attention to the elements that could be improved and finding together all the possible strategic solutions.
Lecturer: Nick Docherty, Head of Strategy at BETC, London.


Agustin Soriano, Content Director of Hoala Amsterdam, will personally answer all the questions you might have regarding the program, the enrollment on the course, your motivations, what to expect, etc. You can write him at amsterdam@hoala.eu

The objective of the course is not only to provide you a powerful strategic theory base, but also a vast practical implementation focused on the actual day-to-day tasks of a strategist. You’ll learn concepts and be able to immediately put them into action when you go back to your workplace on the next Monday after the session.
Each one of the lecturers has taken as a starting point the most important areas of knowledge for a strategist and developed them into 11 tailor-made modern strategic sessions. These sessions have been built to give you a set of skills that will enhance you into: a strategist with evolved tools and intuition to identify and solve brand communication problems, a communication professional able to transform the information from the research phase into inputs that accelerate and inspire the creativity, a brand expert able to read the new media landscape and the new way brands have to start and maintain conversations with consumers in the digital arena, an idea communicator that inspire work teams and clients, a planner that deeply understand consumers giving a special weight to research and investigation to detect insights and, last but not least, a hard-worker enthusiast that will receive world-class strategy knowledge.
Now it is the turn of what we expect from you. We expect you to be involved, to give response to the input from the lecturers in every session, to be able to get feedback from peers and grow from their comments, to provide constructive criticism, and to be part of a global community that is truly passionate about constantly learning and growing. Don’t expect a “monologue/conference” kind of course where you adopt a passive role and the lecturer is the only one who talks. This is why the Hoala’s philosophy places debates and discussions at the very center of the learning process - something that can only be accomplished in a professional environment like the one we focus to keep in every one of our courses.

This course is for people who want to grow and believe that, regardless of the experience and the title on their visit card, this job requires a constant learning and recycling effort. If you think you already know everything about strategy, this course is not for you. Probably strategy isn’t either.
This course is specially built for strategic planners, account executives, creatives, designers, communication directors, brand managers and professionals who need a solid strategic process to develop their work. But regardless of industry or job function, this course is for open minded people, willing to learn, live experiences, listen new point of views and fearless to the unknown and new.
It is not a mandatory to hold a university degree to attend this course. 
Is the course right for you? Hear from our students who have been there.

In a nutshell, Hoala exists to provide the best strategy course in the world, whatever it takes. As simple as that.
At Hoala we don’t consider ourselves a creative school. We are a place of collaborative learning where attendees learn from lecturers, lecturers from the attendees and attendees from other attendees.
We believe there is not a magical book or formula to teach and learn strategy. Strategy is learnt by experience and by listening to other’s opinions and point of views. And that is what we will bring to you – the best strategy minds in the world with the best experience and approaches to strategy. And we want you to show them wrong.
That’s why we will demand from you an active involvement during the sessions. We don’t support a “monologue/conference” style where you adopt a passive role and the lecturer is the only one who talks. This is why the Hoala’s philosophy places debates and discussions at the very center of the learning process and therefore, the selection will be done based on what kind of experience you can add to the group. At Hoala we are not after the best CV, the biggest amount of awards or the highest achievements. Not even after years and years of practice in strategy. Our only goal is to secure for you high-level discussions and debates during every single session. And that can only be accomplished if you bring your valuable experience to the table each week as well as your motivation and hunger to learn. Previous editions have always showed us that the quality of a course is not only about offering a content program run by world-class lecturers. Learning strategy is also about having the right attendees that can spark good debates and discussions and can challenge the lecturers in every single session.
We don't have a placement program, don't make any promises of career success or a new job. Instead, we are focused on helping you see new opportunities, making better decisions and leveling up in all the areas that matter to you.
If this sounds like it might be part of the change you’d like to see in your life and career, we hope you’ll apply.

Check out this nice poster we made with our amazing line-up of lecturers.
For a description of every session of the program, please visit this link.

An investment. €6.800. And it’s not just the money, it’s the time and energy you’ll invest as well.
There are three reasons for the tuition. The first is that this course requires a certain amount of commitment. Not only time but also the decision to overcome your status quo and what you think you know and don’t know. One way we can make that likely to happen is to raise the stakes.
Another reason it’s not free is that in order to offer you an environment where you can learn, challenge and be challenged, we need to invest in people. Every lecturer we bring to Hoala is a world-class top-notch strategy director from the best agencies out there. Last but not least, our goal isn’t to be for everyone. We prefer to be small, just for a few. The course is limited 16 people, so we can all sit around the same table and have a reduced size so you can feel confident to speak your mind and receive a personalized attention by every lecturer. We might be small in size, but huge in our decision to create a difference with the best strategy program there is out there.

The course is limited to only 16 seats. Therefore, in order to block your seat and secure it for you, we will ask you in the moment of the enrollment for a deposit of 500 €. Once the payment of the enrollment fee is completed, your application process will be finalized.
This enrollment fee is not refundable and will be deducted from the total amount of the course.

We are not after the best CV, the biggest amount of awards or the highest achievements. Not even after years and years of practice in strategy. Our only goal is to secure for you high-level discussions and debates during every session and we can only provide you that with attendees with valuable experience in the brand communication industry as well people with the right personality and motivation.
Previous editions have always showed us that the quality of a course is not only about offering a content program run by world-class lecturers. Learning strategy is also about having the right people that can spark good debates and discussions and can challenge the lecturers in every single session.
So we’re seeking people of all ages, from different backgrounds, who share a desire to improve or renew their strategy skills. Every person we admit to the program has to raise the average, producing a community that will provoke, amplify and reward discussions and debates.

The requirements to apply are straightforward and our demands are quite precise too. So if you have the spirit to join us to a course like this focused on how you can impact your fellow attendees, you will be very welcome.
Besides, if you're the kind of person that cares enough to read a FAQ section, you're probably the kind of person we want to get in.

This course is intense, and requires a commitment of time and money.
We’re thrilled to support and help people with an employer who can support the time and money it will take. Because if you think about it, it is a great deal for both sides – you will get the best strategy training in the world and your company and clients will gain a strategy talent on steroids.

Definitely. As long as your spoken English skills are perfectly in place.


At Hoala we put a lot of effort into creating an environment where attendees support one another constantly. You can count with that support as much as it is your responsibility to give it back to others.
You will also have our people helping you with every question, doubt or existential problem you might have before, during and after the course. In that respect, Agustin Soriano, our content director for Hoala Amsterdam will always be at your reach. Use him without moderation.
In addition, there is a Hoala private Facebook group where all the attendees from previous editions form part. In need of references for your presentations or a second opinions about your strategic approach? Just post there any question or request and the Hoala family will help you out.

This is an in-person course, and the lecturers and other attendees of the course are counting on you to be fully present. See our course calendar for the details.
We ask each attendee to allocate the time to take this course as seriously as the rest of us.
If you suffer a force majeure situation that doesn’t allow you to attend a session, we will find a solution together with you.

The course is limited to 16 people.
Keeping the class small allows us to provide you a personalized attention and a powerful experience during every session, as well as getting the perfect group size to provoke the best debates and discussions.

Besides the class hours and if the lecturer considers it necessary, you will be requested to develop some homework during the week such as reading articles and books, prepare briefs or conduct research.
Apart from that, a real brief will be given to you at the beginning of the course. You will be asked to work in teams with that brief during the whole course and present your strategic approach to it during the last session of the course with Nick Docherty.

The course takes place at the amazing facilities of The Thinking Hut, Mauritskade 55C, 1092AD Amsterdam.


The program fee gives you the right to attend the 11 sessions of the course. We will provide everything you need to be comfortable during every session such as tons of coffee and food. Beers are on us too.
Travels and trips to the venue are not included in the tuition.
In addition to the course itself, perhaps our biggest goal is to build a powerful alumni network. Fellow member of the Hoala family, pushing each other to continue growing. After the course, support for/between/by our members goes on through a private Hoala Facebook group. In need of references for your presentations or maybe you need a second opinion about your strategic approach? Just post there any question or request and the Hoala family will help you out.
Besides, we will give you exclusive access to the Hoala Google Drive that contains every single document that has been and/or will be used in every Hoala’s Professional Master Course in Account Planning around the world. Yes, you are hearing right, you will have access to all the documents from every edition of Hoala Amsterdam and all the future editions of this fantastic course, regardless of where in the world they are held.
There are no hidden fees, add-ons, individual tariffs, tolls or other surprises.

We will bill you or your company, so money transfer is the only payment type we work with.

Unfortunately not. We are working on different solutions about it but for now, this is one of the cons of our commitment to keep the course limited to 16 seats in order to provide you the best of the experiences with this course.


HOALA means “wake up!” in Hawaiian. Hawaii is famous for its tropical beauty, but it also harbors great inner energy because of its 5 volcanoes. HOALA wakes up the volcano that is inside every one of us, being the trigger to hopefully inspire and stimulate you, allowing you to erupt like a volcano does (without the mess that usually comes with it though).
At HOALA, you will be exposed to tons of new things and thoughts, high-level knowledge will be shared and experienced between you and the best professionals in the world, in order to help you evolve and improve your professional capabilities.
The logo has been designed by the amazing people at Rosebud .