The annual Cannes extravaganza of the property world is nearly upon us as MIPIM 2015 gets underway for another year. Don’t let the sun-baked location fool you – this is the place for serious business. Seasoned MIPIM expert, Archiboo founder Amanda Baillieu, offers her advice on how to survive this gruelling tour de force.
There are almost 3,000 developers attending MIPIM this year and about 1,700 local authorities, so first you need to prepare by logging into your MIPIM account to find out who else is going.
Remember as an architect, there are 1,500 people like you looking for work. You need a plan.
1. Identify half a dozen people you want to meet, but don’t expect to get a one-to-one with Boris. Hanging out with The Mayor and his entourage is MIPIM’s equivalent of partying with George Clooney and the entire jury of Cannes Film Festival – although not as fun.
But the great thing about MIPIM is that most people are up for a beer, and if you get the brush off before you go, you can always doorstep them when you’re there.
Some people make the mistake of organising every hour of their day. Don’t do that. Leave plenty of time for the unexpected – and you may be pleasantly surprised.
2. Although people have more time when they’re away from the office and in the sunshine, remember you are talking to developers and not the Golden Lions jury. Do not talk about Nietzsche, semantic plurality, oblique circulation or directional drifts. Mug up on your developer speak. Architects are valued for their ability to think laterally and be surprising. You do not need to sound like one of them, but you should have a convincing pitch and do your homework on the people you want work for.
3. You’re there to pick up market information as much as sell yourself. Although it means dragging yourself away from lunch, the conference programme starting at 2pm is good and there are excellent talks. Try and go to some – you might learn something, and you could end up sitting next to the Mayor of Helsinki.
4. Make sure you have business cards. Please make sure they’re not so overdesigned that no one can actually read your contact details without looking like they’re doing a selfie.
If you do want to lug brochures around, don’t be surprised if they are politely refused – unless very light. Remember that people are on their feet all day and often don’t have time to go back to their hotel to change, so carrying around lots of paper is a bore. Mini iPads work well.
5. There are lots of parties. Some are easy to get into, some are not – but just because there’s a pitbull with a clipboard on the door, doesn’t mean it’s going to be a good craic. Last year the RIBA party was the most difficult to get into and as a result was more or less empty.
6. If you are invited to a party on a boat and you find yourself stumbling between decks, it’s not your lack of sea legs that’s to blame – most boats don’t move.
There are parties on the beach although remember that it’s March and you should keep your shoes on.
7. Two years ago the only sparkling drink being consumed was cider, with a few people huddled around a crisp packet. Last year, it was champagne all the way. This year doesn’t look very different as London’s residential property market continues to outperform all other sectors.
Don’t forget the rest of the country either. London can seem very arrogant, so make sure you get round and visit the other stands. Manchester’s is always very good. Just don’t mention regeneration. It’s all about hubs, innovation and tech clusters. And it’s interesting that this year’s conference programme is about digital trends and how they relate to the property sector.
8. Finally, having made it through the week make sure you gather all the cards, napkins with mobile numbers, and anything else you’ve accumulated and put them somewhere safe, but not into the back of the bottom drawer. This is what you came for – and it’s now the real work begins.
And if you can’t make MIPIM this year, Paul Finch, editorial director of the Architects’ Journal and programme director of the World Architecture Festival, will be on hand to digest this year’s event in a talk for Archiboo:
What’s next in property: ten takeaways from MIPIM 2015
5 April 2015, The Collective WC1B 3JA . Book your ticket here.
Caro Communications will be at MIPIM this year. If you would like to meet with Director, Carolyn Larkin, or Architecture Account Director, Rob Fiehn, then please contact them on the following details: