I was fortunate to be able to attend MIPIM 2023 between 12th-15th March at the Palais des Festivals, Cannes. This amazing opportunity came at the invitation of Martin Evans, MD of Ambit Moat, leading fit-out, refurbishment and technical services specialists, and Jess James of JAW Sustainability, who provide specialist sustainability support for construction and fit-out projects. I was invited to organise an event for them, which attracted 80 people over a three-hour period.
There are massive benefits that come from hosting an event rather than simply attending one. Martin and Jess had invited their key clients and contacts and built up lots of goodwill in a crowded marketplace. I am certain that putting in the effort to host an event will be rewarded, both now and over the longer term.
Exploring Global Challenges
As the world’s leading property market, MIPIM attracts the most influential players from international property sectors including office, residential, retail, healthcare, sport, logistics and industrial. It offers unrivalled access to huge numbers of development projects and sources of capital worldwide and is attended by players from the global commercial property market. It’s quite intensive and the organisers say a year’s worth of business can be achieved in just four days!
MIPIM was very impressive: over 250 speakers explored the latest challenges posed by global events, the required leadership needed to drive change, the innovation necessary to reshape the built environment, and how to bring everyone together to embrace what now needs to be done. The UK was well represented, with speakers like Jeremy Rifkin, an economic and environmental thought leader; Lord Dominic Johnson, Minister for Investment at the Department for Business and Trade; and speakers from RIBA, the British Property Federation, the City of London Corporation, representatives from several city councils and more.
The UK also played its part in exhibitor events and workshops, with themes such as: Sustainable Construction – Driving Britain’s Brownfield Revolution; Driving Britain’s Green Industrial Revolution Through Future Mobility; Unlocking Growth Through Partnership; Progress to a Net Zero Carbon Future; Smart Tech vs Low Tech; Public & Private Collaboration; Investment Leadership for Change, and many more.
London Wins Best Development Award
In the MIPIM Awards 2023, it was good to see London’s Roots in the Sky winning the Best New Development Award. Set to be one of the largest urban roof gardens in Europe, the building will make a significant contribution to London’s targets for greening, biodiversity and sustainability. It will be London’s first office building delivering an urban forest rooftop with extensive access for the public, including community gardens and neighbourhood uses such as a rooftop restaurant and bar.
What I Learnt
MIPIM was awe-inspiring and I learned a great deal by attending. Amongst my take-aways are –
- This was a major international event but, despite its vast scope, everyone was open, friendly, helpful and ready to do business. A lot of positive vibes radiated from Cannes that week.
- Diversity is increasing in the property sector, which is good news. I hope the UK will lead the way, promoting the fantastic community that is our property sector. It was a privilege to meet some of the many great people who work in it and are transforming its image before our eyes.
- When attending any major event, it’s really important to do your research on where to stay and how to get about well ahead. Book early, try to be close to the action, and talk to others who know the routine. I had to stay in Nice, as a first-time attendee who booked just three months ahead, and travel was difficult due to the rail strikes.
- Be open and curious. By chance, attending a drinks party on a boat run by the Property & Construction Yacht Club, I found myself sitting next to All-Black Rugby legend Zinzan Brooke – it doesn’t get much better than that!