The number of attendees at last week’s MIPIM, the international property fair held in Cannes, dropped by nearly 40 per cent to 18,000, organisers confirmed
According to unofficial reports, normally ‘rammed’ holiday apartments remained half-empty and around 60 exhibitors cancelled their spaces, with some industry insiders claiming stands were ‘virtually given away’.
Doubts have already been raised about the projected numbers for the 2010 event, with doom mongers fearing it will be even quieter. Many of this year’s attendees had signed up last summer, before the true extent
of the credit crunch had hit.
‘The reason we went was because we booked a year ago and couldn’t get out of it,’ said MIPIM veteran Robert Adam of Robert Adam Architects, who described the toned-down exhibitions as marking the end of the era of the ‘iconic building’.
Unlike previous years, tables were still available at seafront restaurants, and, as Allford Hall Monaghan Morris director Simon Allford put it, there was ‘less of the Croisette carnage than in other years’.
Lindsey Whitelaw, co-founder of Whitelaw Turkington, agreed: ‘You were more likely to bump into people that mattered because you were one among hundreds, rather than thousands.’
Graham Hickson-Smith, head of marketing and business development at 3DReid, described this year’s MIPIM as ‘humane’. He added: ‘There was a dearth of champagne… and more quaffing of beer.’
Peter Rhodes, managing director of event organiser Reed MIDEM, said: ‘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. The immediate aftermath, judging from the feedback, has certainly proved this to be the case.’