Mipim. Just the word is enough to transport you to a sunny day in mid-March on the French Riviera, with a glass of champagne in hand as you talk real estate to, well, other real estate professionals. Mipim is known for its legendary parties, the superyachts, the free-flowing champagne. But it’s the relationship building and the major deals that are signed as a result of the meetings that take place there, that is the reason that almost 25,000 people flock to Cannes every year.
From architects and lawyers, to investors and advisers, Cannes is the place to be in March if you’re anyone in the real estate world. They’ll be there to see an expected 77 real estate projects unveiled from 26 countries across the office, residential, retail, healthcare, sport, logistics and industrial sectors. And of course to talk. With just a fortnight to go until Magenta’s account director Jo Sutherland and I head to the airport, here’s our top tips on preparing for the world’s biggest property market.
- Set up lots of meetings in advance but leave some free time to accommodate those last-minute serendipitous meetings with that person you’ve been trying to pin down for months in London.
- Bring a stack of business cards, and, if you can, personalise them with a picture. One of the best we’ve seen was one which had a picture of the person and the words “I meet xxx in Mipim 2018” with space to add extra text. You’ll meet so many people there, that it’s difficult to keep track of them all.
- On that note, write down how you met the person and what you need to follow up with them on the back of their card, as you meet them. If you don’t do it immediately, you’ll have a whole new load of cards in your hand and will forget what it was you wanted to say. Follow up as soon as you can when you get back to London (and earlier if needed).
- Don’t get stuck with the resident real estate bore. Mipim is the perfect place to network – it’s where relationships are born and deals are signed – and you don’t want to spend all your time with one person. If they’re pinning you in a corner and it’s hard to leave, be brutally honest. Say something along the lines of ‘it’s been lovely meeting you/ catching up again, but I really must network. Enjoy the rest of the event’ and make a quick escape while their mouth is still full of champagne.
- While Mipim is all about networking, there is also some cracking educational content and seminars. Leave time to check it out and add to your CPD record.
- If you’re a woman, wear flat shoes (or put your heels in a bag). There’s a lot of walking to be done between venues. Bring a brolly in case the French Riviera doesn’t live up to its sunny reputation.
- Pace yourself. It can be a long four days if you go large on the first night.
- Enjoy it. There’s nothing quite like Mipim.