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RIBA turns down starring role at Cannes global showcase

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The RIBA will once again be absent from MIPIM - the world's biggest property and architecture show. The 2001 event, to be held in Cannes in March, will be the largest on record, with almost 15,000 developers, planners, architects and clients from around the world converging on the south of France to 'network' and do deals.

But the institute has decided that it will not be having a presence at the show, which boasts a total of 17,000m 2of space at the Palais des Festivals on the seafront with nearly 330 exhibition stands and more than 1,600 exhibiting companies.

Paul Newman, who was considering taking his Clients' Advisory Service (CAS) department to spread the word on what the service does, said he will instead be concentrating on UK-based exhibitions. His team have pencilled in dates at Kensington's Olympia for an upcoming three-day event on sports buildings, followed by the Bathrooms and Kitchens Expo housing-sector event at the new Excel centre in Docklands in May and the Design Vision leisure and entertainment event in October, again aimed at corporate clients.

'MIPIM is very expensive and the overriding concern is that with limited resources we have to get the most out of these things, ' said Newman.

'Members want us to increase the number of projects coming through the office and we've decided in this financial year to increase revenue we have in client-sector exhibitions, rather than in construction industry-based exhibitions.'

In 1999, the RIBA's CAS department teamed up with Wordsearch to provide a service for architects to market themselves at the show.

The Olympia date will include promotion of the Institute's competitions service, although Newman said its dealings with the competition for the new Wembley Stadium design were perhaps not the best example in the current circumstances of the beleaguered project.

Meanwhile MIPIM, which takes place between 14-17 March, is already 25 per cent up on pre-registrations compared with last year. Participating architectural practices from the UK - keen to mix with international developers and end users - include Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners, Kohn Pedersen Fox , DEGW, Dyer Associates, GMW Partnership and Whinney Mackay-Lewis. A London stand will include architects Abbey Holford Rowe, Benoy, Broadway Malyan, EPR Architects, Fitzroy Robinson, Gensler, Hurley Robertson and Associates, RHWL Architects, Sheppard Robson, Sidell Gibson Partnership and TP Bennett. Other UK companies attending include engineers Arup and Buro Happold, while developer/clients attending include the Manhattan Loft Corporation, Microsoft and Urban Splash. The city of Liverpool will also exhibit for the first time.

The show has grown inexorably since the first MIPIM in 1990, when just 2,972 participants from 837 companies across 22 countries made the trip.

Last year the figures had leapt to 12,656 participants from 4,943 companies across 61 countries.

The schedule of events for 2001 includes a conference programme with a keynote address on architecture, and an awards scheme, whose jury is this year chaired by Land Securities director Michael Griffiths. The jury meets on 29 January to decide which of the 67 entered real estate projects will make a shortlist for MIPIM visitors to vote on.

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