Social Media ROI – Murdoch University Dubai organises Women’s Lunchbox 2012


When was the last time you took a peek in someone’s lunchbox?

How could I resist an event that said “social media”, “ROI” and “lunchbox” in the same breath?

There was just one problem. It also said ‘women’. Only women.

I happen to be a man, intrigued and tempted by the ad in the newspaper – the debut of the Women’s Lunchbox 2012 in the UAE.

What does a woman’s lunchbox have to do with social media and ROI?

As a social media specialist who advises, trains and consults clients on the best use of networking platforms for business, I had to figure out what this was all about. To tune in on this new, unique frequency.

To find out what the women of the UAE were planning under the guise of an event intelligently named like a culinary treat.

Was the Women’s Lunchbox at Emirates Towers setting the stage for another secret revolution in the Middle East – led by women?

A plan for world domination by the Female Order of the Illuminati?

If you aren’t getting the humour in this article so far – now is the time to stop reading and close this window and read something more… academic.

Still here? So we carry on…

The journalist in me prodded me on.

The social media enthusiast squirmed with curiosity.

The man in me heard the call of a marching army.

I had to investigate.

Going where no man has gone before…

Within minutes of seeing the seemingly innocent ad about Lunchboxes and Women and a University named Murdoch (it doesn’t get more ‘newsy’ than that), I got in touch with the organisers and asked them what this was all about. “It’s an all-women event” was the initial response. And why not? But good bloggers don’t give up so easily, do they?

Even if it means being the only man in a hall full of enough women to take over a town.

The advertising man in me now got to work powering up the weapons of mass persuasion accumulated through years spent in the trenches in agencies like TBWA, Y&R, Wunderman.

Surely, an event of such epic importance must be documented by a citizen journalist who’s been at it for a few years. Live-tweeted by someone with significant Klout (it’s cool to be in 60’s again!) and a few thousand followers on Twitter. Covered in-depth by a citizen journalist whose digital footprint spans across more than a hundred countries?

The powers that be quickly realised that the only way to escape this man was to relent. To give in to the social media teacher-student who would not take ‘No’ for an answer. Not even a ‘Maybe’.

And of course, whose coverage of marketing and advertising in the Middle East is well known in the online space – and search engines.

Why HAD to cover an all-women event

Here’s where I tell you the REAL reason why I felt it’s a great idea for me to write about, tweet and showcase this event which was for women only.

I felt the world must see more than 200 amazingly sharp women from all walks of life gather to talk social media, business, technology in the heart of the Middle East.

Visionary entrepreneurs. Savvy marketers. Knowledge-hungry students. Brilliant educators. Policy makers. Dreamers. Do-ers.

All of them women. Eager to learn, experiment, share. Ready to conquer the future.

So what if I was a man? Could I not be a fly for a day – a fly on the wall? Observing, tweeting, blogging what I saw?

Thanks to one of these inspiring women – Farhanah Raza, who is the Marketing and PR Manager of Murdoch University Dubai – I got a rare and generous opportunity to attend the event and share it with you. And a special thanks to Noorin Ansari too who played a graceful host at the event.

Farhanah Raza speaks to on Social Media ROI… and lunchboxes

Aisha Ali, External Affairs Coordinator at Dubai School of Government, on use of social media in research and education

(Please excuse the cutlery battle being fought by the hospitality staff right after the event, and throughout my video. They simply did not understand that their background score did not really add any fun to my video. Aisha has invited me to DSG – and I might take her up on the offer for a fresh cutlery-free interview InshaAllah)

The best of Women’s Lunchbox 2012 – Social Media ROI – by Murdoch University Dubai in tweets, quotes and images

Yes, it does not take a man to showcase the achievements of women – and hence you will see that from here on, I have brought together what I felt were the best tweets from the event – all in one place – by the attendees, speakers, organisers.

From here on, I take a back seat and cheer you on as you inspire, lead and grow.

And conquer the world. With social media.

Let the revolution begin…

(Note: The tweets below will load in batches so let the page load as you scroll down)

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