Sand, sun and sharing creative ideas

Dubai, land of sky high glass and steel buildings, big motor cars and even bigger dreams. I was eager to escape the longest and coldest Northern European winter on record for even a few days so leapt at the offer of a ticket to the UAE when ESOMAR invited me to reprise my ‘Communicating Insights’ workshop and ‘As stimulating as black coffee’ presentation at their MENAP Conference last week. The Jumeirah Emirates Towers provided a glittering venue for the occasion and I had a packed house of 30 eager participants for my workshop. There were people from across the region –from Pakistan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Egypt as well as Tunisia, Kuwait and of course the UAE. There was also someone from Germany, who might have been lost but I suspect was like me sheltering from the snow.

A small ripple of fear went around the room when the participants realised they were going to roll their sleeves up and get creative for a day with the mountains of coloured pens, paper and post-it notes piled on the tables around the room. But they were pretty soon creating vivid and imaginative interpretations of research data and taking bold and exciting steps towards changing the way they communicate insights in future.

There was an equally packed room of over 180 people for my presentation the next day. I kicked off by asking people to vote with red or green cards as to whether they think researchers should improve the way they communicate. This provides a very scientific and robust test of the challenge within each market (not!). In Amsterdam two years ago there was a single red poppy in a field of green. A few more red poppies appeared in Dubai, as you can see from the photo (below). So there’s perhaps a bit more of a challenge to convince researchers in MENAP that they need to communicate creatively so that insights have impact. But I hope my visit will have helped some of the conference attendees turn their material from dull to dynamic.

Thanks to the team from ESOMAR for a great event.

If you are interested in learning more about the ‘Communicating Insights’ workshop and how we can tailor it for your company, please do not hesitate to get in touch.