MIPIM in Cannes is one of the largest real estate development events in the world, and this year my colleague Alessandro and I had the opportunity to attend as representatives of Cracknell. The event attracts people from all over the world, from property developers to government officials to architectural firms, it’s a meeting place for industry professionals to exhibit, connect, share knowledge, and discuss ideas.
Every year particular trends and practices in the industry take centre stage and seem to pop up in every panel discussion and conversation. This year the topic of sustainability was the star of the show with nearly every project featured at the show having a renewable element to it and many projects focusing on the repurposing of existing lands and structures. As far as which countries are attracting real estate investment, it seems that Egypt projects are top of mind despite the event focusing mostly on European markets.
While the discussions about projects and industry trends is insightful, and a wealth of networking opportunities are available, a more interesting, and perhaps less obvious topic surrounding MIPIM, is how to navigate the monster of an event and make the most of your limited time there. With the event attracting 30,000+ attendees each year – a number that is set to keep growing – it’s no surprise that it can be quite an overwhelming experience, especially for first timers. For this reason, here are some pointers that can help make the event worth your while and allow you to have a more pleasant experience while there.
As mentioned, the event is massive and has a lot to offer. People there are either exhibitors, speakers, media, or simply just attendees and might include real estate developers, government entities, building suppliers, architects, designers, or investment firms. Additionally, the event has various components to it including exhibitions, panel discussions, networking events and exclusive parties. That being said, it can be easy to get lost in the chaos of it all without a game plan. This is why it’s crucial to approach the event with a clear strategy on why you’re going, what you want to get out of it and who exactly you want to meet.
Networking is obviously a huge component of attending the event, it’s the main reason most attendees go. So, after you’ve decided who exactly you want to meet, it’s worth looking through the list of attendees on the MIPIM portal and contacting the ones you’re most interested in meeting. It would also be beneficial to use LinkedIn as a resource and find out which of your connections (or 2nd or 3rd degree connections) might help you get introductions to secure meetings at the event. However, it’s imperative to stress the importance of reaching out early, because if you wait until a week before the event everyone’s schedules are likely to be fully booked with other meetings and you’ll be left scrambling for meetings.
After securing appropriate meetings it’s important to make sure your marketing collateral is up-to-date and optimised, and that you have adequate quantities of everything you’ll need to give the best impression possible about you and your company. For example, if you’re showcasing a portfolio of projects you’ve worked on it would be best to do so in a small, easy to carry booklet/brochure that provides high quality imagery, and just enough information about the service/product you’re offering that is easy to review. Alternatively, you can take a more eco-friendly, digital approach by showcasing your materials on a tablet via an e-brochure. Consistency in your brand is also key across all elements ensuring that everything from your website to your business cards are updated, free of errors and ultimately put your company in the most positive light possible.
Even if you created fantastic connections and feel confident that you’ve made a lasting positive impression on your new contacts it’s still crucial to follow up. Ideally you should wait a few days to follow up in order to allow your contacts to recuperate after the event and reconnect with their teams, however it’s not recommended to go longer than 2-3 weeks without sending over a note thanking them for the opportunity to meet as well as sharing soft copies of your marketing materials and an invitation to reconnect again in the future.
In closing, MIPIM can be an ideal opportunity to learn more about the industry, create lasting connections and build a strong network of professionals if you come prepared with a clear strategy and plan of action. Simply taking the time to build a strategy can make all the difference in giving you a more positive experience, allow you to make the most of your time there and even enjoy everything the event has on offer.
To learn more about MIPIM visit: https://www.mipim.com/