Mipim organiser Reed Midem has postponed the international property fair that was originally scheduled to take place in Cannes from 10 to 13 March to 2-5 June due to ‘growing concerns related to the coronavirus’.
‘The well-being of our clients and staff is our priority,’ said Reed Midem chief executive Paul Zilk in a statement issued on Saturday. ‘Given the evolving context, the best course of action is to postpone Mipim to June.’
The news came after the French government announced a ban on all indoor public gatherings of more than 5,000 people to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. The measures, announced after an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday, apply to gatherings of more than 5,000 people in confined spaces as well as events 'in an open environment where people can mix with others from areas where the virus is possibly circulating'.
On Saturday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in France had risen to 73. Two people have died, a 60-year-old French teacher and an 80-year-old Chinese tourist.
The annual Mipim fair, which attracts thousands of property professionals, had reiterated on Friday that it would go ahead as planned.
However, up to 10% of participants are thought to have pulled out of the event, citing fears of the virus. Agent Cushman & Wakefield was the first to announce it was withdrawing from the fair on Thursday, followed by other leading advisers. Friday saw a string of major property companies join the list of cancellations.
‘This is not a decision we have taken lightly,’ Zilk added. ‘We believe these new dates will provide the international Mipim community with the opportunity to achieve their business objectives.’
‘We are grateful to our clients for their support and constructive input during this challenging period, and we look forward to talking with them in the coming days about Mipim in June.’
Mipim was expecting 23,000 attendees this year. Speakers booked for the fair's conference included former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, designer Philippe Starck and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.