Colleagues past and present would refer the annual week-long event with a canny nod and wry smile alluding to a heady mix of networking and rose that really sorted the boys/girls from the men/women. With this in mind I embarked on my inaugural MIPIM 2018 with two seasoned veterans, our MD Del and Director Steve. I wasn’t sure if I could hack it.
The Gods were kind to us and we were treated to some beautiful sunshine, at least for the first two days, and I was imbued with enthusiasm to get stuck in.
As a recruitment consultant some people ask why we are present and my answer to that is business, no matter what form it takes, is built on relationships. MIPIM is essentially a platform where those relationships can be built and evolved. Right from representation of entire cities at stands who are looking to encourage investors to develop their strategies, to developers building relationships with investors, architects with developers and so on.
The main body of the event, endearing referred to as the “bunker”, houses many of the European regional stands along with Liverpool, Manchester (after their last minute relocate from their flooded beach site, props to them!), and Newcastle amongst others, with the London stand situated on its own site along the main promenade. Here renowned Architects such as Perkins+Will and had their stand to promote their work, and informative debates and talks are held on prominent issues such as The London Plan, digital connectivity and of course Brexit and the economy.
Around the main event numerous private events are held providing a more relaxed environment most notable we attend the fabulous Price and Myers party, where I was to first encounter members of an elite group of hardcore MIPIMer’s… the cyclists. Every year these prime athletes join Club Peloton and cycle from London to Cannes, a phenomenal distance of 1,500KM which raises a huge sum for charity. I was talking to 2 core members and apparently this year was particularly grueling. Anecdotes were mainly revolving around the immeasurable forms of pain experienced during the ride and yet I found the idea strangely compelling. I wonder if I have a problem.
MIPIM is peppered by events such as this and often serendipity played a hand in chance encounters where some of the interesting meetings can occur. We enjoyed meeting many of our Clients over the course of the week and attended other events such as the MIPIM Awards where we applauded winners over numerous categories and even managed to sneak in after the official winners photo. Sorry MIPIM!
One issue that made his year stand out was the “Elephant in the Room” campaign by Tamsie Thomson, Director of the London Festival of Architecture, which aims to bring attention to the lack of gender diversity within the industry. Indeed, the event is overwhelmingly male dominant, but it is a step in the right direction to put this at the forefront of our minds. The media were also onto this and following the Weinstein travesty journalist were looking for an expose on dirt within the construction industry. I am pleased to report that they left empty handed without any headline scandal, expect for perhaps the murder of well-loved classics at the karaoke night.
As the event drew to a close I was left reflect on a highly productive week where we had seen many old friends and made many more new connections. There was a highly positive feel around the future and one of my Clients expressed how he felt the event was like a reset and motivated him for the year ahead.
Our last event proved by far the most stylish. Tom Bloxham amazing house. I’ll say no more.
Who knows, perhaps next year I will don my lycra.