Happy Birthday MIPIM, we’re looking forward to meeting your baby brother
‘What is MIPIM?’ I hear you ask. Well – deep breath – MIPIM is Le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier. It’s the leading event for the global property market, acting as an enormous shop-window for major development projects around the world.
It’s where developers, architects, journalists, professional consultants and, most importantly, investors can meet and do business.
MIPIM is currently underway at its regular, and glamorous, home in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes. This year it celebrates its 25th birthday (an anniversary it shares with the slightly better known World Wide Web).
The event is considered an absolute must for anyone who is anyone in the UK property sector. Renowned architects such Lords Foster and Rogers are regular attendees as exhibitors, speakers and award-winners. Private developers and public regeneration schemes rub shoulders and compete for the best booth, while the great and the good parachute in for profile raising and photo opportunities. This week the Mayor of London used MIPIM to announce his ‘concordat’ with developers to encourage the sale of London properties to Londoners, rather than the fabulously wealthy individuals whose yachts are currently moored at Cannes…
Given what a huge event it is, you might be surprised you’ve not heard about MIPIM before. It does seem to have a very low profile in the UK given how many of the participants and attendees hail from here. Well, MIPIM has always been a bit of a guilty secret for the property industry in the UK, particularly since the economic downturn in 2008. A week long ‘jaunt’ in the South of France, while everyone else is grimly getting on with work in dark, damp and dreary Britain is a tough sell. And, of course, it is not cheap. It’s this combination of factors that has deterred some from participating in the past. Combine these elements with the fact that the UK property stock (both residential and commercial) is valued at well over £5 trillion and it will come as no surprise that MIPIM has decided it is high time to venture north and cross La Manche.
Hence, MIPIM is looking forward to welcoming its baby brother to the scene. MIPIM UK will launch this October at the ever so slightly less glamorous Olympia London. The organisers are hoping for over 100 stands and 3,000 participants, so it promises to be a pretty big new sibling. Launching the autumn before a general election is timely given the property sector’s intrinsic role in the country’s economic health. With the increasingly strident debate over how exactly we are to address the new housing shortfall, it will be interesting to see which politicians descend upon Olympia in October and how much media attention this new event gets.