Anna Tsartsari, a Director at BE Design and Team Lincolnshire sponsor, shares some tips she’s gleaned at MIPIM...
Another MIPIM over for BE Design… and a week of networking to reflect on. Five days at the world’s biggest property event in Cannes, and I have walked 49,000 steps, I’ve attended numerous meetings and events, and I’ve returned home with scores of business cards and great conversations to consider.
As a regular at MIPIM I am still amazed by this great event, where you see German property investors rubbing shoulders with their French counterparts, sportsmen-cum-developers Freddie Flintoff and Gary Neville speaking in crowded exhibition spaces, and the UK regions vying for international attention. As an international company, BE Design thrives in this environment and we relish the opportunity to expand our network of worldwide friends and clients. Simply put, there is no other event like it.
There are palm trees, yes, and there are lunches and parties, with champagne and caviar, but away from that, MIPIM is no holiday – it’s undoubtedly the busiest week of the year for me and my colleagues Stephen and Simon.
We sponsored Team Lincolnshire again this year and were proud to be part of this passionate group of people who are dedicated to showcasing Greater Lincolnshire to the world and, crucially, to investors and developers looking for the next big opportunity. The Midlands Engine is firmly on the map because of its commitment to MIPIM over the last two years through the Midlands Pavilion exhibition space.
While at MIPIM it is important allow the connections to happen, and it’s not for the faint-hearted; it’s important to be proactive and get involved from the minute you arrive at the airport.
So, what new things did I learn about MIPIM this year? Here are my top seven reflections on a great MIPIM.
1 Try new events and get out of your comfort zone
Seeing familiar faces at UK events is great, but I always try out fresh events. On MIPIM Monday I went to a dinner which was truly international. I met property people from all over the world including a real estate guru from Chicago who was an incredibly interesting and hugely inspirational woman. It was one of the first MIPIM events of the week and everyone had lots of energy and was keen to make connections.
2 Many of the great things that happen at MIPIM are serendipitous
Some of the best connections you make at MIPIM aren’t necessarily the ones which you have in your diary. You could be chatting to someone in a queue, or – in my case – bump into long-standing clients while walking from one event to another. BE Design is currently working on a project in Madrid. So, when I bumped into a developer with a project in Barcelona, it was a fantastic opportunity to share with him information about our current work in Spain. A great lead, and a great conversation to have – and it can only happen in MIPIM. Things just happen like that. It’s serendipity.
3 Mixing with ‘competitors’ isn’t always a bad thing
As a director of a multi-disciplinary design consultancy you wouldn’t necessarily think I’d want to meet other architects and engineers. But that’s not always the case, and certainly not at MIPIM. At a lunch on Wednesday I met a structural engineer and we were able to have an honest and open discussion about current challenges in the industry and share ideas on how these can be positively managed. Another great connection to make!
4 It’s best to get an apartment close to the action
It’s the first year we have had an apartment so close to all the exhibition space. By staying so close, it meant we could get to events, meetings and seminars in minutes, and not waste precious time travelling into Cannes from the outskirts. And it also meant my feet didn’t ache quite as much!
5 It’s best to be selective about the events you go to
You can fill your diary with scores of meetings and events. I was a little more selective this year and I learned that you don’t have to justify every single minute. What I have also discovered is that you need to listen to your body. You have to be kind to yourself and rest up at points during the week. If you don’t, then you can’t make the most of the events you go to because you simply don’t have the energy.
6 The hard work starts when you get back
You gather business cards from the people you meet – and make a note about those new contacts. But I took notes on each appointment so I can reflect on it when I get home. And, I started writing my emails to new connections I met while still out there.
7 MIPIM is not possible without an amazing team in the office
To be able to give 100% focus to MIPIM and still provide clients and projects with the support they need, you have to have a strong team back at home. At BE Design I am so proud to have the highest calibre of support that I ever had in my professional life!
Even though we are back in the UK, MIPIM isn’t just for March – it’s all year round. It’s important to keep the conversations going, the networks open and the business opportunities warm. So now the fun really starts...
To learn more about becoming a Team Lincolnshire ambassador click here.