Thursday, 21 March 2013

MIPIM - better to hold it in Brighton?

Reflections on return from MIPIM, the annual European property fest in Cannes.

Like so much that happens in the world of property, there is plenty that is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland...

The event takes place in 'the bunker', a giant, generic exhibition space which in spite of being on the shores of the Mediterranean, might as well be the NEC or Excel once you are inside it.

Architects spend their time trying to attract the attention of developers, who are looking the other way because they are trying to attract the attention of investors, who may be more interested in countries that encourage you to build things rather than giving you a hard time....

Several thousand delegates from the UK attend, and tens of thousands from the EU, Eastern Europe and elsewhere - but one suspects the interactions between Brits and continentals are pretty limited.  Most of the UK action is in the 'London stand', actually a standoffish tent separate from the bunker.

The London stand has a great buzz - the Paris equivalent had nice drawings and models but no people, and it felt as if tumbleweed might take over.  For those involved in London projects, MIPIM is a chance to see  more people from the development world in one place at one time than you would ever get in London.  

But... this is the age of the staycation, and the rediscovery (by the chattering classes) of the delights of the English coast.  Our food is as good as the food in France.   We have our own ghastly bunkers that you can get to by train.

MIPIM, for UK property at least, would work better at home.  

Specifically, it could work in Brighton.  Brighton has its own horrible conference centre - plans to renew it seem to be on hold, but if they got on with it and added some decent exhibition space, it would be a bigger draw than Birmingham or Newham.  It has the grand seafront hotels already.  And it's a great deal easier to get to.

I like fish and chips just as much as oysters - and the merry-go-round would be much the same as this one on the Croisette...

1 comment:

  1. Cycle to Cannes would be less strenuous. However, there is something to be said for throwing off all notion of nipping back to the office (or indeed the wife and family) and staying the course with your peers. Why not hold it in a muddy field in Somerset instead - it is endurance not enjoyment after all?