Property professionals make their way to Cannes for 'Unofficial Mipim'

Some property professionals are still meeting up in the French seaside resort of Cannes despite the official Mipim week-long event being postponed until June.

The annual jamboree was due to attract 23,000 attendees from Tuesday through Friday but was put back by organiser Reed Midem on Saturday 29 February as health fears grew due to the spread of the coronavirus. It is thought up to 10% of Mipim participants had already pulled out before the plug was pulled.

Nevertheless, some people from the developer, construction, engineering, and consultant community have persevered with plans and are gathering in Cannes for smaller networking events.

Many of those joined a WhatsApp group called 'Unofficial Mipim 2020' which has 87 participants, most of whom are UK professionals but which also includes a small number of other nationalities including French. It was started by Specific Interiors, a UK commercial fit-out, design and relocation company. Participants range from a micro studio apartment developer and residential homes developer in South East England to architects and building consultants.

'Shadow Mipim' kicked off with the Mipim Rally - renamed MIP-OFF Rally - involving high-performance cars from London that arrived in Monaco on Monday. Some will continue the drive to the Carlton Hotel in Cannes on Tuesday. The event is being held to raise money for charity BuildAid.

Some members of Unofficial Mipim 2020 sailed from Antibes, while others took trains or boarded virtually empty EasyJet flights bound for Nice.

Events have been organised both at lunchtimes and during the evenings. One mechanical and engineering firm is continuing with its usual Coffee & Croissants event from 10.30am on Wednesday, while in the evening up to 40 people are expected to network at Irish bar Ma Nolan's.

Hospitality manager, Christian d’Eimar de Jabrun, of Concierge International in Cannes, told PropertyEU he expects up to 500 property professionals to make the journey to take part in the Unofficial Mipim, this week.

Evelyn Hogan, business development manager at Cordless Consultants, an IT and audio-visual firm specialising in the built sector, is among those who has travelled from the UK to the south of France by train. The team arrived on Monday morning and are in town to network and drum up business.

‘We’re hoping to connect with some amazing people who haven’t bought into the hype and have braved the storm to be here,’ she said.

‘Nothing beats watching the sunset from the train at various locations from Marseille to Cannes. It’s stunning.’

Hogan said taking part in the unofficial Mipim this week is about ‘putting our best foot forward,’ and that smaller companies may not be in a position to abruptly cancel hotel and event bookings in the way the big players of the property sector have done. 




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