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Flotation project

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Some 450 of the property industry's finest were deliberately marooned on the good ship Arcadia in the English Channel for three days last week. The occasion was the second waterborne networking event known as the Property Forum, where service providers pay around £9,000 a head to have a series of structured meetings with property clients ranging from British Telecom to Burger King. The idea of using a ship is to prevent delegates and exhibitors being distracted by outside concerns. It sailed from Southampton to a mooring spot between the Channel Islands and Normandy, where mobile phones struggled for a signal. Despite balmy weather, the swimming pools were drained, limiting high jinks. The only architects exhibiting were the entrepreneurial Percy JohnsonMarshall and Burks Green, which designs distribution centres for companies such as DHL and Amazon. Both declared themselves pleased with the event and other delegates considered it better than MIPIM, which is becoming unmanageable in size. In fact it is outgrowing Cannes so fast, it may soon move along the Riviera to Nice.

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