27 February 2019

How to get the most out of #MIPIM2019

The scale of #MIPIM2019 is legendary. With 26,000 people involved, more than 3,000 exhibitors and hundreds of conferences running, you need decent planning and preparation to give yourself the best chance of generating a return on the investment you make when you attend. Whether it's your first year at this festival of all-things-real-estate, or you're an old hand, here are our top tips for success:

Be flexible. The recipe for a successful MIPIM involves blending the opportunities to cement strong relationships with existing clients with the chances to make new connections. Well ahead of the event, identify key people within your existing network who'll be there, map out the events and keynotes you want to attend and who you will see where. If you're going as a delegate, make use of the MIPIM website, which is a treasure trove of information. Remember to build flexibility into your schedule though; if every moment is accounted for you won't have time to take up any of those unexpected-but-welcome invitations that spring up while you're there

Set goals. It may be securing new introductions in a particular market sector, nailing down a specific number of meetings to follow up in the aftermath or converting a specific number of cool leads to warm. Whatever they are, identify stretch goals that support your broader business development plans and do your best to meet them

Prime your pitch. You are going to have a lot of opportunities to showcase what you do, so make the most of them by really honing your pitch, whether it's the way you present the key benefits of your offer in an informal chat, or a brief but eye-catching presentation you keep to hand on a tablet to run through at meetings. If you have specific targets in mind, research them well before you arrive so you know what you have to say will meet their needs

Don't lose valuable opps. It will be a whirlwind few days filled with new faces. Go in with a failsafe system for tracking who you meet, what you discuss and how you'll follow up. If there is a sizeable group of you attending, setting up a WhatsApp group can work well when it comes to sharing contacts and important know-how. And don't forget to use your team back at base to help with the tracking of leads and outputs while you're out pounding the pavement

You do you. The infamous 'bunker' is the heart of MIPIM: with more than 20,000 square metres of space and participants from all over the world there's no doubting the value, but it's a significant cost to attend as a visitor or exhibitor. Many people find taking part in the networking events, parties and meetings, which happen on the MIPIM fringes throughout the event, just as effective. The MIPIM Tough Guide is a good alternate source of information for exploring the fringe. Decide which approach works for you, and then make the most of it

Pace yourself. Even MIPIM veterans can find it's a gruelling few days, so make sure you give yourself the odd moment to recharge

MIPIM keeps on giving. That you'll follow up on all those new contacts you've carefully made a note of is a given (or should be), but there are also year-round networking groups (MIPIM Ladies being one) that take their inspiration from MIPIM and get together throughout the year. Make the most of these as they are a great way to open doors next time you attend

P.S. And finally, pack for all seasons! While most MIPIM flyers paint a picture of blue skies and sunshine, there have been several years where the event is a rain-soaked wash out, so do pack well or risk being stung for a very expensive 'parapluie' on la Croisette!