The architectural world is buzzing, which means it’s time for the world’s largest and most significant real estate event – Le Marché International des Professionnels de l’immobilier, more commonly known as MIPIM. The event fills Cannes with more than 20.000 people from all over the world, whose main goal is to mingle with other industry professionals, check up on current clients, and hopefully close a few new business deals.
For newcomers, MIPIM can be intimidating for a laundry list of reasons – starting from the sheer number of exhibitors and visitors, to the vastness of the venue itself (the Palais Des Festivals, home of the legendary Cannes Film Festival, boasts over 30.000 square meters of exhibition space). This year marks 30 years since the first MIPIM, which means that it’s safe to expect more people, conferences, and events than previous years. However, with the right amount of preparation it’s possible to enjoy, explore, and take in the atmosphere at MIPIM without being in a rush all day and then passing out in your hotel room in the evening.
This year, the MAG team comprises 4 people and with previous experiences in mind, we are ready to tackle MIPIM once more. We decided to give a helping hand and share advice, recommendations, and tips on how to survive this massive event to all who will be attending MIPIM for the first time.
Get acquainted with the venue layout ahead of time
Like we said before, the Palais Des Festivals is enormous, but there is much more to be explored outside of the palace itself. There will be stands outside as well, so it’s a good idea to get familiar with the whole venue before you arrive, so that you have a clear action plan once you get there, because it’s quite easy to get swept away and be overwhelmed by the vastness of the event.
Bring comfortable shoes
MIPIM isn’t exactly a black tie event but it isn’t casual either, so sneakers are out of the question. Instead we opted for smart shoes with softer, padded soles (you can also invest in some gel infused insoles), since we probably make around 50,000 steps a day at MIPIM. As far as ladies are concerned, if you plan to wear high heels, we recommend you not only bring some insoles, but also a pair of elegant flats (trust us, your feet will be forever grateful).
A portable battery is your best friend
In a world where most business communication relies on the existence of smart phones, it’s absolutely essential to have it charged at all times, especially at an event of this magnitude, where you never know when someone can send you a request for a meeting. However, since you will be using it practically non-stop, it’s a good idea to invest in a portable battery so that you can charge your phone on the go and not have to waste time sitting next to a power outlet, waiting for it to charge. This little gadget not only saved time for us, but actually made us a bit less stressed, since it allowed us to continue to mingle, attend meetings and write down key notes.
Leave your comfort zone
Everyone coming to MIPIM is there for similar reasons, the main one being meeting new people and building connections, so don’t shy away from striking up a conversation with anyone you think might be of interest to you. Besides setting up meetings ahead of time, we always make sure to leave some time for unexpected meetings. These often happen outside the event itself, on one of many balconies, or at some of the great restaurants and cafes nearby. People tend to be a bit more relaxed in those situations, and oftentimes that’s when the best deals get struck.
Be picky with who you meet
Like we said before, more than 20.000 people attend MIPIM, so there is no way you are going to meet everyone, nor should you try to. Instead, do your homework and research the companies that seem interesting to you and that you believe would be a good business partner in the future. Focus on meeting with those companies, because that gives you more time to develop a more personalized approach and strategy. From our experience it’s best if you have a person at home designated to help you set up new meetings, and find events and conferences at MIPIM that might be of interest to you, since you probably won’t have time to do that yourself.
Take advantage of modern technologies
It’s safe to assume that everyone at MIPIM has a smartphone, and therefore profiles on apps such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, so keep that in mind when you meet someone. Although E-mail is still the primary means of communication in business, do not underestimate the power of social media. We always try and find people we talked to on social media, so that we are able to interact and engage with them in that way as well as via E-mail, simply because it increases our chances of being present in their minds for a longer period of time after MIPIM (there is always a good chance that your email might get buried and lost in the hundreds of emails people receive on a daily basis, so being active of social media is unavoidable).
The real work starts after MIPIM
MIPIM is a great starting point for building new business relations, but that’s exactly what it is – only a starting point. The real work begins after everyone returns home. That’s when you have to give it your best to maintain the relationships, whether it’s via phone calls, newsletters, E-mails, or social media interactions. Whichever strategy you choose, the most important piece of advice we can give you is that you have to be persistent. Keep in mind that you are never the only one who wants to do business with someone, so you have to find a way to stick out from the crowd and be remembered.
Hopefully this blog post gives you the edge you need to be better prepared for the massiveness of the fast-paced MIPIM. We will be there all 4 days, so feel free to get in touch with us and we can set up a meeting over a nice cup of coffee or some exquisite ice cream (trust us, we know where to find the good stuff).