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MIPIM 2010: As it happened

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The AJ’s live blog from Europe’s biggest property fair – experience the sun-soaked La Croisette promenade, ‘property’ bunker, ‘illegal’ non-bunker action and the late night parties with MIPIM veterans, virgins and voyeurs

Click here to read about all the AJ bloggers

Chris Brown
And just when you think its all over……I drive up to Tom and Jo’s again to pick up friends on the way out to St. Paul for a final dinner to find the Bubble House swarming with architects at the end of Tom’s party. Why are they always the last to leave? Bubble House architect Antti Lovag is explaining to the youngsters why it is better to build first and draw plans later, Cany Ash (pictured below at Colombe D’Or) is enjoying the pleasures of the swimming pool although its only 10º up here in the hills now the sun has gone down the pool is up around 40º. Good to see Cody Gaynor of Space Craft after failing to co-ordinate our diaries in London and also those great Manchester based architects Roger Stephenson and Jeff Bell (and his gorgeous wife Rachael). So many good architects and hopefully so much more work in the next 12 months.

Lindsay Urquhart
Sadly we won’t be attending Tom [Bloxham]’s party after all as the engine of our hired Seat Ibiza just blew up. So, rather than sipping champers in that beautiful house we fell in love with last year, we are sitting on the Boulevard de Campon waiting for a mechanic to arrive. And check out the flags in the background. Totally gutted.

Sherin Aminossehe
I picked up a copy of JG Ballard’s ‘Super-Cannes’ before I flew out last Friday, hoping for some insight. Now, a week on, I can’t claim to have found it, but reading the closing lines of the narrator’s tale that talks about the roads being littered with ‘forgotten film magazines and the empty bottles of suntan cream’ reminds me of the Friday after Mipim. However, our detritus is more abandoned red nylon Lyon conference bags, Mipim week magazines and giveaway USB sticks.Philosophising aside, I’ve had an incredibly productive week, managed to amass a number of strong leads, been challenged, provoked and had a quite a few unexpected but insightful discussions and as I write this from my incredibly full Easyjet flight, I find myself plotting my trip next year amongst row upon row of snoring men …

Peter Cartwright
At the airport and the end of my first MIPIM. It’s been good but I think four days is too long as nothing happens today. Went to a good dinner last night and spoke with a strategic marketeer - you need to give yourself 18 months to win new business in a new sector - best get cracking.

Leanne Tritton

The 2010 Germaine Greer Award for the advancement of Women in Property goes to the French City of Caen. They featured MISS FRANCE as guest of honour on their stand - for what purpose is still unclear. Is she a structural engineer, architect, developer? So far the only information I could gleen was that ‘she is very pretty’. Hope it was worth the investment.
And the award for ‘Useless Security to make You feel safe’ goes to the very charming MIPIM security guards. On Tuesday and Wednesday everyone was subjected to body scanning as they entered the Palais – but on Thursday and Friday they had given up. Maybe after two days with the property industry they felt we weren’t worth the effort?

Peter Buchan

Train to MIPIM has been so much better than the plane. Spacious, comfortable, cost effective and delivers you straight to the heart of Cannes.
07.05 departure from Cannes had a few bleary eyed people but the yellow lanyards have been dispensed with. Following example of a previous AJ MIPIM blogger I’m now enjoying a quick bite in Le Train Bleu at Gare du Lyon. ‘Classé Monument Historique’. HS2 in the UK has a lot to live up to.


Peter Rhodes, managing Director, Reed MIDEM UK
It’s been a busy few days at MIPIM, it started with breakfast on Tuesday with Susan Freeman (of Mischon de Reya) who is a MIPIM veteran and the queen of networking. I half expected her to be in her night clothes, one year she got locked out of her hotel room and was roaming the hotel corridor.   She turned up looking as groomed as always and even more fragrant than usual. Susan finally confessed it was Prada aftershave for men that she picked up by accident at the airport.

I then met Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.  I took the opportunity to tell him that I was apoplectic about bendy buses but he did assure me they were on the way out. He delivered a great and amusing speech on the London Pavilion and drew the biggest crowd. His presence at MIPIM definitely helps focus international attention to London bringing business opportunities to the stand. He promoted London as enthusiastically as ever and he also announced the UK would be Country of Honour at MIPIM 2011 in recognition of the contribution that the UK has made to MIPIM the international real estate market during the event’s 21 year history. This should provide our UK clients with huge opportunities next year.

MIPIM delegates do come in all shapes and sizes and I met an unusual delegate on Tuesday, you may have seen him (or her!) around the London Pavilion and the Palais. He or She was in fact a horse - the mascot of the Property Race Day was at MIPIM promoting the event to UK delegates, the Property Race Day is the industry’s annual charity event taking place at Ascot on 9 July 2010.

The afternoon went by quickly and the evening started with the Opening Night Cocktail party which was as busy as ever, while some people have said that MIPIM seems quiet its not the case, the bunker of the Palais is buzzing, we are expecting the final numbers to be similar to last year but interestingly there are more companies, so more business opportunities. Most importantly, this week has been about deals, being negotiated and completed….you only need to read about them in the press.

Wednesday went by in a blur, busy, busy. I met Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council who told me that they met a client at MIPIM three years ago, signed a deal with them in 2009 and have just started building .It is great to know that MIPIM is so effective for local authorities. Yesterday evening saw a farewell party and merci to Thierry Renault who is retiring as Reed MIDEM Deputy Managing Director and Director of the property division.

Lunchtime onThursday is the time you get that half way through feeling, into the home straight, in the evening I attended the MIPIM Awards followed by Harvery Soning’s drinks which is one of my highlights of the week. The Mipim Asia awards in Hong Kong are always exciting architecturally and the Mipim finalists here in Cannes look really exciting.  It’s been a great week, 18,000 delegates (as predicted) from 81 countries - another busy MIPIM. 

Just as I think I can start relax a call from an Australian city about Mipim Asia this November in Hong Kong and a major infrastructure project they have to promote. Hey ho off I go again!

Peter Buchan
Just wondering if next year Pipers could save the excess (height) baggage fee on the City of London model and use the light fittings from the Grand Hotel instead of the Helter Skelter? They’ve got a fine pair.

Leanne Tritton
On the home stretch. Friday is always a bit odd as half of the delegates have left but there are always useful people still wandering around to catch up with. KPF should be running masterclasses for architects on how to make MIPIM work. They hit the trifecta in their ability to meet new contacts, renew old ones and actually sign a deal. Worth the plane tickets.

Chris Brown
And so to Tom and Jo Bloxham’s (Urban Splash) amazing bubble house above Nice courtesy of Stephen Sorrell at Eversheds and expertly organised by sbm.

Glenn Howells was on form displaying the confidence that is making Birmingham great.

Confidence and doing business have been the main themes of MIPIM. Cocktail parties are out and small dinners and one to one meetings the order of the day.The industry categories that have suffered most in reduced attendance are the developers, the architects and the banks. So it was good to see Barclays doing good business with some of the (risk averse) German banks snapping at their heels. Hopefully the architects will be in Venice for the Biennale later in the year. See you there.

Peter Buchan
So here we are at the end of Mipim and we have found the chamois leather chairs. Ryder White Swan.

Chris Littlemore

MIPIM 2010 has proven to be a rollercoaster ride for me.  Professionally, the event has been every bit as good as last year’s. We have made some great contacts and identified exciting opportunities to generate new projects for all areas of our business, internationally and at home. On the down side, it has been a bit of a disaster personally. One of many who have fallen victim this year to a new and most unwelcome, addition to the MIPIM experience, the pickpocket, I had my wallet stolen within 24 hours of arriving.  As a result, I spent several hours in the Cannes Gendarmerie yesterday, filling out forms and trying to explain my plight. Home tomorrow; until then all subs (and offers to buy me a pint) gratefully received.

MIPIM mole
With no model on the London stand this year, Croydon’s Urban Design team made the most of local materials to show its five masterplans for Central Croydon [built in front of the terrace of the London Pavilion early this morning].

Sherin Aminossehe
Had breakfast with fellow blogger Chris Brown this morning. I was feeling quite pleased with having got up at 7:30 until I heard about his 6am jog - now that’s impressive. We discussed the merits of the Tory green paper, how to truly consult with communities on developments and consultants’ take on the ‘contemporary vernacular’ - note of advice and agreement, copying and pasting examples from the previous project reports just doesn’t wash. A further hour of pleasant conversation ensued, making me feel better about the future of urban regeneration in the UK.The weather was so gorgeous I didn’t really want to move, I think next year I will look at getting a debenture on one of the comfy seats of Le Grand and have all my meetings there as it’s so much more civilised than the Croisette cafés.
The only problem is James Caan seems to have the same idea - I think he owns the place - and has started to give me wary looks. Maybe he thinks I’m stalking him after yesterday?

Lindsay Urquhart
Burning money in more ways than one - Rostov region.

Peter Cartwright
At the whole of MIPIM you get free drinks and food - except on the London stand. What’s going on? There has to be something wrong with the system.
At CPA Dinner last night we were joined at the end of the meal by Bob Kerslake for a glass of wine. It was great to meet him. Meanwhile one chief executive of a local authority tells me they twitter. They had gritter twitter and now litter twitter. What’s next?

John Lee

Having become a regular at MIPIM over recent years, I’m still not entirely sure how it works, but for some reason, it just does.  Travelling half way across Europe seems a bit odd, just to meet people who live and work within an hour’s radius back in the UK.  Clearly defences are down and the customary British reserve is energised by the Spring sunshine and plentiful supplies of Vin Ordinaire at prices extraordinaire.  Attendance seems about the same as last year, which is a big improvement on the heady days of the early Noughties when gangs of apprentice chartered surveyors marauded bottle in hand along La Croisette in their familiar livery of club blazer, big tie and bigger hair.  The mood seems much calmer.  Still fun though.
Rider Levitt Bucknall were as usual terrific hosts at the Majestic on Wednesday evening.  Lance gave a beautifully succinct speech of welcome to an impressive guest list, including James Wates and Saint Alsop of RMJM and other industry heavyweights.  A cameo appearance by David Bucknall, who’d been speaking earlier at the Birmingham bash, rounded off a great evening. The exhibits are a bit patchy this year.  A number of mediocre acrylic models of new towns in Ubiquestan, monitored by acrylic-clad models in modified national costumes. The Overall the mood seems quietly optimistic.  The UK industry is preparing itself for a post-election mood change and is re-kindling some of the lost arts of making things happen.  This is a highly robust, resourceful and sociable industry.  

Joe Morris

A captured view on my way to a business lunch! It’s tough, but right now beats the Northern Line.

Lindsay Urquhart

Slow start this morning after a late night at the Future Project Awards. Woke up to find Andy Whiting from HUT Architecture asleep on a sun lounger outside our villa. Limping back into Cannes for the final day.

Joe Morris
Duggan Morris Architects (DMA) happily shared the top table with Jean Nouvel and the team from Sidell Gibson at the AR Futures Awards ceremony last night. Jean and the team were presented with the overall winner trophy for the scheme at One New Change for Land Securities.
Jean gave a quick speech before jetting off to a nearby studio where work is progressing on a new competition bid. We picked up a commendation in the Leisure/Retail category for the Waterworks Pavilion, for Liverpool Biennial.

Leanne Tritton
Is Fred Goodwin, ex-RBS chief and now consultant to RMJM at MIPIM? That was the subject of much discussion last night. Some suspect he has been secreted away in the RMJM luxury villa high in the hills behind Cannes for private meetings.

Chris Brown
Good chat with Charlie Faulkner and the 1NG crowd from NewcastleGateshead last night over dinner. Its great to meet someone from another world (the law) who is passionate about urban regeneration and who has rolled his sleeves up and committed to it. Chairing a major housing association as well as 1NG and Thames Gateway London Partnership together with the political connections gives him a great insight into what needs doing. By the time we’d finished dinner Stratford was connected to Singapore and the rest of the world by high speed rail.

Sherin Aminossehe
As I sit on my bed in the early hours of Thursday, I find myself thinking that late nights at MIPIM really aren’t the same without the Peter Murray/Wordsearch Carlton/Martinez Club. I do get more sleep, but miss the quirky conversations over a bottle of beer putting the world to rights…

Peter Buchan
Watch your wallets and purses A good friend has just been fleeced. Amazing how many I’ve met who suffered the same fate. My pockets are bulging. Fashion is fickle. So many ties this year weird in this climate. Seriously impressed by the two guys I’ve seen in denim and the one in the London stand in trackies.

Chris Littlemore
We have been here for some 24 hours now and have had a good chance to get a feel for this year’s event. There are fewer people than last year - certainly, it feels as though the UK contingent is significantly depleted.  Of course, this is not necessarily a disadvantage for us; it really does make the whole event more manageable. We have already had a number of successful meetings with international contacts which was, after all, our primary reason for being here.  We launched the new Alsop Sparch brand yesterday and then hosted a breakfast this morning at La Plage Royale, focusing on development in GCC states, post the ‘Dubai Bubble’.  It looks as though this may have already generated a potential project for our new Abu Dhabi office. I look forward to more of the same over the next two days.

Lindsay Urquhart
Although MIPIM is not as busy as it has been in previous years, clearly British architecture is still very much desired worldwide. This opinion is backed up by my contacts at Savills who just told me over lunch, that developers are dusting down their schemes ready to get moving again. This, coupled with the news that unemployment in architecture is down again, I would definitely say things are getting better. If we took five steps back since Black October, we’ve now taken one step forward.

Richard Conner
I am currently walking along the Croisette one metre behind The [Daniel] Libeskind of Dream Hub fame. Scarf flying in the wind. He’s surprisingly unencumbered by entourage despite his awesome turquiose crocodile shoes…can I steal his boots I wonder…

Ben Addy
Just had excellent lunch with Peter lintott of Overbury - the only man to have ever penetrated the property bunker ring of steel without a yellow necklace or an invite…Less than 24 hours in town and already more productive than the whole week last year. Partly down to tag team approach with Mr Murray and partly we’re not nearly as green this year. It takes a while to get the hang of this place…

Peter Cartwright
The best stalls are on the 4th floor [of the Palais] - Berlin, Stuttgart, Hamburg etc. All German with well designed stands plus bars and drinks on the terraces. That’s where the UK cities should be.

Sherin Aminossehe
BBC show Dragons’ Den comes to Cannes! James Caan, assured of the wonderful quality of the AJ blog, kindly smiled for my iPhone camera.


Chris Brown
Rolling down on the train I thought I’d scan the MIPIM folder in my inbox. Let’s assume you are a typical developer. You’re in MIPIM for some beers with the boys (hopefully that will change some day soon) and an opportunity to pretend you’re doing really well despite the recession. You get a large number of unsolicited emails. They come in a variety of categories:

  • Come to a Michelin 3 star restaurant for dinner with the mayor and the world’s largest investors.
  • Please come to a Michelin 1 star restaurant out of town for dinner with some of your competitors and your lawyers (PS we promise to get you back to the Croisette for 10pm - yeah right)
  • Please, please come to a buffet lunch in the Majestic Barriere with 300 other people, a boring speaker and free booze and non-hunger satisfying food
  • Please, please, please, please come down to the bunker where the light never shines to our expensive tax payer-funded stand where we want to tell all your competitors about the project you thought you had an exclusive on
  • I’m in MIPIM would you like to meet me?

The last one invariably comes from a consultant who you have never heard of and is probably an architect. Don’t do it guys! Arrange to meet people you know. Get them to take you to parties and introduce you to people. Stay chilled, don’t hard sell, find out what they are interested in, what they are doing. Question question (because they love to talk about themselves) and follow up afterwards with something relevant but not demanding and keep following up until the following MIPIM.
And the local authority bunker invite……Guys you’re wasting your time. You will mainly talk to people from your home town anyway and it doesn’t matter how many lovely pictures you have if the market is *******d nothing is going to happen in a hurry. In this market you get schemes going by working really hard and cleverly with a single developer. Competitions are for booms. Get over it.

Ben Addy

Krasnodar is awesome again. The hostesses are now so thin and two dimensional they have become backlit projections. Probably cheaper on a day rate. Buildings also thin and two dimensional and look as of have been designed on a day rate…

I like the spray mounted trousers…

Peter Cartwright
Done Arup’s boat, Nottingham’s yacht and then cocktail party at the Carlton [hotel]. Massive amount of Russians. Obviously a good place for business.

Peter Buchan
Just been chatting to Kenny Logan, ex Scottish rugby international and husband of Gabby. He’s just been circled by a bunch of women wanting
to talk about Strictly [Come Dancing]!
I spy Emperor’s New Clothes on La Croisette courtesy of Louis Vitton.

Ben Addy

Cannes is doing exactly what it did last year on opening night - minus the military types…Opening party is either a scrum for canapes or weird disco with very substandard far eastern skyscraper animation tat (by Daniel libeskind - how the mighty have fallen etc) in place of go go dancers above the stage. Tim Murray (Moxon director) says its ‘like being at a disco full of uncles…’ Place summed up as a load of middle aged blokes gawping at another middle aged bloke busting moves with a posse of hired help from Moldavia. Dancing to eurotrash with a load of eurotrash.Deeply unglamourous.

Sherin Aminossehe
Took part and spoke in a really well organised and thought provoking round table hosted by the Urban Land Instituteearlier today on how to leverage investment for large public projects. I came from the design angle and a masterplanning perspective but there were senior representatives from Istanbul, Paris, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Edinburgh. The event and subsequent discussion will now be written up and published as paper and hopefully will inspire more discussion. This goes to prove there’s much more to Mipim than having beers at Cafe Roma

Richard Conner
Look at those shores. What shores? Thanks I’ll have a pint of Stones. Or maybe just a Stone’s tribute band at the London Stand. It’s 6:30pm and only half way through an already packed day surviving on nuts and pretzels (where are the berries?) I run - sorry - leave for the Cannes hills in search of Russian developers being entertained by British architects. Or maybe BURA to see what’s going on in the real world. A catch up with a fellow Living Steel winner confirmed what I already knew - Housing Association Frameworks are a must in this market at least until the General Election…

Lindsay Urquhart
The Bespoke Team literally stalked London Mayor Boris Johnson around the London Pavilion until we got a photo.

Leanne Tritton
Is it possible to have a property conference without bling? MIPIM 2010 is definitely downsized and more serious. There is little evidence of excess and even the Russian hostesses are relatively demure in red sateen. Just been to the London Thames Gateway lunch where there seems to be genuine private sector appetite for investment in East London. Where Westfield and John Lewis goes – property money is bound to follow. Tom Bloxham from Urban Splash is a male fashion oasis among the pin-strips with a bold check suit and a jaunty trilby. 

Lindsay Urquhart
Twitter is awash with people commenting on how sunny it is down here in Cannes, which is probably really annoying for those of you that aren’t here. The terrace of the London Pavilion looks out on to the beach, which is glorious. Unfortunately, I would say the Pavilion lacks the impact of previous years and in some places it looks quite tatty, a shame. But everyone is in a much more positive mood this year. Earlier we spotted Boris Johnson doing a reccy of the London Pavilion in advance of his talk this afternoon and we bumped into the charming Tom Bloxham in a very cool checkered suit, who invited us to his infamous party, surprising considering last year he couldn’t get rid of us. Off to RMJM’s party in the hills behind Cannes this evening. Diary filling up.

Peter Cartwright
Arrived in Nice - a little late, picked up MIPIM badge abd now off to Cannes. Nice and sunny.

Peter Buchan
Speeding south on the TGV. Just enjoyed a delightful “pause cafe” with David Lawrence (of Hamiltons). Time to go back downstairs on the train and read the Department for Transport report for HS2 in the UK. Ironic huh?

MIPIM mole
Will Alsop distinguishes himself at MIPIM - and raises eyebrows at organiser Reed Midem’s head office - by being the first Tweeter to have a naughty word carried on the MIPIM website’s Twitter stream. The focus of his ire - who he calls “mean bastards” - is BSF, the Building Schools for the Future programme. 

Scott Lawrie
Our MIPIM trip got off to a sporting start as Will and I raced through Orly Airport in Paris to catch a connecting flight to Nice. We arrived in Cannes, found our bunks for the week and then dropped in to Caffe Roma bumping in to many familiar faces. Then we had a rally-style trip, thanks to the driving skills of Claire our Comms Manager, up to Mougins to join some of our RMJM colleagues for dinner and a game of ping pong - say no more. As I said, MIPIM 2010 got off to a sporting start.

Sherin Aminossehe

La Paz prison excursions, Barrats and art fairs, Milton Keynes, pegs, joint birthdays, yachts doubling up as discos with strobe lights and being introduced to someone I’m hoping to set a meeting up with next month … just another night in Cannes. Many thanks for a great night to Neville Ornan Reid from rlf and the gents (Peter, Mark and Andy) from Plowman Craven. Must go now and get my ‘beauty sleep’ for the 8am breakfast meeting tomorrow.

Joe Morris
Nearly 1,500km of cycling completed over six spell-binding days of early mornings, hastily prepared ham rolls, frosty fields of grape vines and farmers, 10 per cent inclines (up and down) and of course 85 amateur riders straining every sinew to match the course. This event is surreal and wonderful; it is difficult to describe in words or pictures, and I dare not belittle it with my meager offering, however the memories will remain with me and my fellow riders for some time.
We have had high speed over taking and drafting on rapid technical down hill sections, long rolling countryside sections and 6am starts in pitch blackness save for 85 bicycles illuminated by their own small red back lights meandering in a long line through small French towns and villages.
We’ve had new bikes and old, steel and carbon, urban wear and race smart apparel. The riding styles too have been varied from mountain gazelles to heavy oxes. But above all, there has been that indisputable British spirit coursing through our collective vein with rider helping rider to overcome adversity and pain. Tomorrow we arrive in Cannes, and after meeting Boris, head directly for the bar for a well earned pitcher of beer! I truly believe this to have been a life changing experience.

Sherin Aminossehe
Just finished my reconnaissance of the marina area and the gin palace yachts where I spotted this (below)….could this be motto for this year’s MIPIM? On another note, Coventry has gone up  in the world. It’s sponsored the Majestic again this year with a new Jaguar XJ parked outside.

Lindsay Urquhart
The eagle has landed. To be honest I would have felt safer travelling by eagle – the plane which was packed with MIPIM folk, including Piers Gough, only had two seats either side of the aisle and in-flight refreshments consisted of a dry, chocolate chip cookie. Not the best flight, then to top it off they lost my bag; the bag full of my new clothes. Mercifully my bag turned up on the following flight. Picking up the hire car next and then off to our villa in Mougins – this sounds ostentatious but even with the travel, it’s actually a lot cheaper than staying in an overpriced hotel in Cannes (and much nicer), top tip.

Leanne Tritton
My first experience of Cannes was 15 years ago when I attended the MIPTV television market with an Australian television production and distribution company. Surprisingly the TV and property industries have many similarities in how they are regarded by the ‘creatives’ that attend. First time architects and television writers often share a look of horror as they witness the money men en masse and the commoditisation of their ‘art’.

I sometimes wonder if a trip to MIPIM should be mandatory for architecture students to help them understand the commercial realities and mechanics of the industry they are planning to enter. The first glimpse of the boats in the harbour sponsored by property groups, letting agents and lawyers is one you never forget – it is a clear sign of where the money and power lies. Understanding that dynamic at the outset will save you years of heartache.

Sherin Aminossehe
Cannes is gorgeously sunny (see picture) and I think business is better than 2009, but not by much. Unsurprisingly there are no big boats (remember the huge REEF mega yacht of 2008 with the helipad?) and the drive along the Croisette didn’t show any frenetic building activity on the beach.

But hey, it’s 21 degrees, I’m drinking rosé called Pink Floyd and I can do without the bands on the beach if it means people are going to be more focused, like last year.

Lindsay Urquhart
This year I’m returning with Louise who joined me for MIPIM 2008 and Emma who is attending for the first time. We’re all pretty excited, we have seen a real upturn in our market and we hope to make a lot of connections while we’re at the event. Louise and I deal with architectural recruitment for UK and worldwide and Emma deals with support roles across the board.  Being an all female team one of our main preparation concerns is what to wear. We’vie been checking the weather daily – tights weather or not!? We’re thinking not, looks like another year of great weather despite the snow rumours. I did some serious shopping on the weekend in preparation, so hopefully I’ll be looking my best; we all will, so please come and say hi.

Peter Buchan
I’m ever impressed by the dedication of the C2C cyclists and their fantastic fund raising efforts so the timely screening of Mr Bean’s Holiday on ITV last night has provided our first photo posting for the blog.  Good luck to all involved in the ride and look forward to seeing you all safe and sound on the Croisette. Our own weekend of preparations for MIPIM 2010 have so far included the Scotland England rugby and the Line of Light celebrations across Hadrian’s Wall.  A theme celebrating great stand-offs developing here?

Sherin Aminossehe
Enjoying a wonderful lunch at the Colombe D’Or in St Paul de Vence [inland] with my husband and the crowds of Cannes feel miles away. On landing at Nice on Friday night I noticed an intriguing theme emerging. Last year we had the doomed Easter Islanders looking gloomy in their eternal stone formations, this year we have a hieroglyph of a tower a la Egyptian-style. Is Reed Midem trying to tell us we’ve had our glory days just like these former great civilisations? Not a cheery thought…

Colombe d'Or

Colombe d’Or

MIPIM mole
The must-have ticket at this years MIPIM? Well with the BA strike announced this Friday morning, the hottest ticket in town has to be a BA flight back to Heathrow nextFriday

Sherin Aminossehe
Weather forecast is claiming highs of 14 degrees with sunshine in Cannes over the week, so a lot more pleasant than the grey view out of the window on to Tottenham Court Road.My main MIPIM resolutions for the week are:
1. Not to get food poisoning before I go out - like I did last year - and then have to explain to hundreds of incredulous surveyors why I can’t drink anything more than orange juice
2. Meet a wider range of people, especially from the European city regions
3. Spend as little time as possible in the bunker
4. Heed Peter Murray’s advice about the Emap e-mail filter that eats up blog posts sent late at night containing swear words
5. Avoid bringing back heavy glossy brochures on obscure projects that I will have to recycle when I get back.
Overall, it’s looking like a really full and varied week starting with dinner on Monday night and then meeting after meeting into the early hours of Friday, so with a couple of hours to go before my Easyjet flight, I’m finding myself looking forward to it.

Chris Littlemore
Well, it’s that time again when property teams from the UK, and many other nations in increasing numbers, descend upon the Cote d’Azur for the annual bacchanalia, once known as the Massive International Party In (the) Mediterranean.

This year, like last, will be much more restrained and civilised than previous efforts and we may need to come up with a new acronym, maybe (More Investment in Prime International Markets?). There will be space to book lunch, room to find your way along La Croisette, without fighting through teeming hordes of teenage agents, and the opportunity to actually get some business done.

We will also be releasing breaking news regarding our international businesses of Sparch and Alsop (Consultants) Ltd during MIPIM…

2009 was by far the best of 8 visits for me, and I am optimistic that this will be yet another vintage year. Over some twenty years now, MIPIM has attracted an ever increasing multi-national presence – not just from Europe- and I am hopeful that 2010 will be no different. The last year in the UK has not given anyone in the country, let alone the construction industry, much to cheer about, and to escape to foreign fields, meet international contacts, is definitely where it is at.

Joe Morris
The C2C peleton arrived on time at the entrance to the channel crossing. A quick nip onto the team coach and we are through and driven five minutes up the road like match-day players to the hotel… only for the coach driver to smack the coach into the Holiday Inn sign over the entrance porch and whilst knocking that off, causing irrepairable damage to the coach. Carry On Camping comes to mind!


Chris Brown
The pre-match blog: Interesting build up to MIPIM this year. It’s clear that attendances will be a bit up from the much reduced total last year and it feels like there may be a much more business-like approach.

Maybe it’s just me but I don’t think I have ever had so many real business meetings in the diary and relatively so few cocktail parties and friendly beers. I think it is a sign of the market coming back to life, at least for those of us who are still alive and with cash to spend.

I am also anticipating that a number of public sector organisations, like the Homes and Communities Agency, will now have reacted to the market and the forthcoming spending crunch (it always takes a year to react in MIPIM terms because of the long lead in) and substantially downscaled their Cannes activities.

Quite right and perhaps we should think seriously again now, for next year, about relocating this much needed public expenditure to a UK regeneration area. Particularly given the sad demise of the DJ Café on the Croissette. We are so much more liberal in matters of market abuse in the UK!

Oh, and because I can’t go down until Wednesday can someone tell me how Tim Williams’ talk about golf goes at the Newport event please. Intriguing.


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