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Cannes still sunny

Yes, MIPIM was different this year, says Peter Rhodes. It was better

From the outset we predicted that this would be the most important MIPIM of its 20 year history, we envisaged a strong and vibrant event with the emphasis firmly on business and the immediate aftermath, judging from the feedback from delegates, has certainly proved this to be the case. Everyone has their opinion about last week, we acknowledged that the social element would alter the MIPIM we all know (and many love) and we said that numbers would be down (we believe in quality not quantity when it comes to attendance). But unlike some other commentators we did not see this as being detrimental to the event - it would just make it different.

We had 18,000 delegates representing 80 countries, spanning all sectors of the global real estate industry. It has been quoted in some quarters as being the best ever and I won’t argue with that. It was certainly a milestone event taking place amid economic hardship, but I always took the view that this would make a better MIPIM. It was the first opportunity where the industry were able to convene since the credit crunch took hold and I believe during a recession the event works better, everyone arrives determined, they are there to do business and do deals. This is why MIPIM was conceived in the first place, and we had a sense that the event would go ‘back to basics’ and return to its deal making roots.

We believe in quality not quantity when it comes to attendance

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson attended MIPIM and was great, he really worked the event, networking, making entertaining, effective speeches and engaging with delegates. He was also very focused, profiling the capital and gave a major keynote speech on the Olympics, really putting London on the map to an international audience. We also had Dmitry Kozak, the Russian Federation’s deputy prime minister, at MIPIM who spoke of the presence of the Russian Federation at the market and how MIPIM is a key component in solving the country’s current crisis. He spoke on the Russian regions’ stand and highlighted the major role the Russian regions have to play in helping the overall Russian economy.

For the first time at MIPIM we hosted a conference with three of the World’s most renowned architects Zaha Hadid, Thom Mayne and Wolf Prix where they declared that design conservatism is defunct in the current economic climate. The session attracted over 500 people and packed out the La Salle Esterel at the Palais des Festival. There was a strong attendance from the architectural sector at MIPIM, which again proved that in even in difficult times all sectors of the industry see the value of attending MIPIM.

I stand by our bold statement and I think the general consensus of the industry is that once again MIPIM proved its value and maintained its position as the world’s leading commercial property event. The response from those who attended has been overwhelmingly positive, which is the measure by which we judge the success of MIPIM.

Peter Rhodes is the managing director of Reed MIDEM UK, the organiser of MIPIM.

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