So, that’s got your attention, but let’s dispel that myth straightaway. Yes – MIPIM will hopefully be sunny, there may be a glass or two of champagne consumed and even a yacht, but this is hard work and serious business.
As a business, Weightmans have been attending MIPIM for many years, supporting the cities across the country in which we have offices including, in the Midlands particularly, Birmingham and Leicester as part of the Midlands UK delegation.
I am a member of the Team Leicester MIPIM Steering Group and this week of activity in March has been in the planning for the best part of a year. For those not familiar with MIPIM (Marche International des Professionnels d’Immobilier in case you are wondering), it is the world’s leading international property event held annually in Cannes each March with around 23,000 delegates expected to attend from across the globe from all international property sectors, offering unrivalled access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide.
Cities from across the world are competing to show off their development and investment opportunities, which is the ultimate goal of attending MIPIM – attracting new investment, new jobs and growth into our cities and regions.
As a combined force, it is great to see our local regions again coming together under the Midlands UK brand, showcasing over 50 presentations, panel events and receptions over three days. More than 70 public and private sector partners, 10 Local Enterprise Partnership areas and the Department for International Trade (DIT) will represent the region – the largest delegation Midlands UK has ever taken to the annual event. And with such an exciting story to tell – massive infrastructure investment, including HS2, and expanding air, rail and road networks, all playing a role in boosting the economic impact of the Midlands.
This year, Leicester will be particularly promoting its pre-eminence in the space sector and the development of the new Space Park Leicester project and Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at University of Leicester and winner of BBC’s “Astronauts – Do You Have What It Takes?” series, Suzie Imber, will be joining the delegation to lend her support.
So, as a national law firm, why do we attend?
Well, it has benefits on a number of levels – of course we want to raise our profile as a business on a global stage and we want to meet with existing and potential new clients and contacts (and in one week at MIPIM you can make more new contacts than you may otherwise make in a year), but we also want to be part of something bigger, working as part of collaborative public/private partnerships to really make a difference to the landscape of our cities and facilitate job creation.
Our diary is already packed with meetings, seminars, events and opportunities for the week, so it will be busy and it will be hard work, but hopefully fun as well (maybe we will even see a yacht or two). With that said, it is when we all get back and we need to convert those opportunities that the hard work will really begin…