CPMG at MIPIM 2019
March 2019 welcomes several perennial events and moments; the culmination of the Six Nations, the smell of the first grass cuttings …and MIPIM.
This will be my third trip to Cannes representing CPMG. So, what have I learnt and how is it best to prepare for the largest property show on earth?
As a business we have attended for many years; since the launch of our London office in 2016 we now have a dual strategic approach to our attendance at events. Inevitably there is crossover between our local, regional and national visibility – the London market can in itself provide a MIPIM-full itinerary, which is exactly what I aspire for to supplement our wider business objectives.
This year will be the first time I will travel by train on the aptly named Cannes Cannes Express, setting off from St Pancras at 10:30am and arriving in the south of France at around 8pm local time. I’ve heard some stories, such as an unwritten rule that as we pass through the various wine regions a glass from that particular region is generally tolerated. I’m quite looking forward to that (obviously)… In truth it’s the return journey I’m slightly more worried about.
What to expect
When people who haven’t been ask me about it I refer to it as being intense (more than people realise despite certain stereotypical views regarding the event) but also an environment for ‘natural networking’. As with any out-of-office event, time spent in the company of others for an elongated period creates the opportunity to build a specific sort of relationship in a way that can take months – if not years – under less sociable conditions.
The headline for me is that you get direct and lengthy access there-and-then to all of those potential clients you’ve spent hundreds of pounds trying to meet for the last six months; they’re there ready to talk to you. They don’t have a meeting to disappear for and the premise of the whole week is to be sociable and talk. It’s really not rocket science…and in many ways you do start to make friends for life with fellow consultants and potential clients.
I messaged a friend/client of mine the other day. Our offices are 10 minutes apart across Smithfield Market, and we’ve been trying to meet (unsuccessfully) for about 6 months. That meeting will now take place in MIPIM, and whilst it sounds counterproductive (and perhaps unorganised) to travel 900 miles to meet somebody who is in the same City, it is a perfect example as to how MIPIM works. I’d edge my bets and say that the meeting will be more productive (in terms of the likelihood of either creating opportunities for work) away from the pressures of our day-to-day jobs.
The first thing to do is to have some structure for the time you are there. Generally, I keep the mornings free to attend the London pavilion with whom I have a delegate pass, and embrace the natural incidental meetings that occur from being there. That is also a good time to have one-on-one meetings over a coffee and croissant.
There are inevitably lunch and evening events which are already in the diary, both of which provide the chance to continue networking but also to eat – hydration is one thing but keeping blood sugar levels in sync is equally as important. I try and have some flexibility built into my movements between the targeted events to meet up with people who have either got in touch through the database or those I’ve met there.
Plan in some down time
I try and get back to the hotel late afternoon for an hour to rest and give myself some down time. My personal distraction is a nine-ball pool app on my iPad that allows me to mentally switch off and rest. Okay, it is directly responsible for my tennis elbow but every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Whatever your relaxation medicine is, make sure you take an hour of it each day.
Look after yourself. Make sure you eat, stay hydrated, and sleep. There is a MIPIM saying that nothing good happens after midnight – or in other words get to bed so you can wake up feeling recharged for the next day; there is nothing worse than staying out to 4am and trying to make an 8am meeting, followed by another full day of networking. Know your own limits and treat the networking as a marathon, not a sprint.
So, suitcase packed, database updated, meetings arranged and CPMG cards/brochures/social media prepared – let’s go and do this…
If you’re attending MIPIM this year why not drop me a message and let’s arrange a time to meet.
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