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Don't miss out on MIPIM

The Cannes summit reminds us that when the going gets tough, the tough get networking

Last year, I cycled down to international property summit MIPIM with 120 other attendees as part of the Cycle to Cannes charity ride. This year there will be just 70 riders pedalling the 1,500km through France.

This drop in numbers reflects the changing fortunes of the world's biggest property fair, plummeting values around the world and the general reduction in development activity.

So is it worth going this year? Can you justify the expense? You can still get a return flight for £120 or so with Easyjet, hotels will set you back anything from 100 euros a night upwards and registration is 1,390 euros. You can also join the 'London Club' - for just £3,000 you get two delegate passes and the use of bars, meeting areas and the VIP club. General activity will be businesslike, with more seminars than beach lunches, and although numbers are down, companies are still sending senior staff.

So this year, you'll have more time to speak to decision makers and a quieter environment will mean more productive conversations. There will be fewer British developers there, but plenty of regional development agencies, and places like Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh and the Thames Gateway will have stands and events. Overseas attendees will be down - expect fewer leggy blondes from Russia's provinces - but there will be Middle Eastern and European companies who are still active.

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