'As well as being smaller and more select this is definitely a harder working MIPIM,' says Susan Freeman.
I know this for a fact because when I came down to the hotel restaurant before 8.30am for my first meeting of the day every single table was already taken. Clear evidence if it was needed that we are all going to be under pressure to show results.
Out on the Croisette, the elegant Cannes ladies with their immaculately attired pooches have given way to hordes of purposeful MIPIM delegates and MIPIM 2009 is well under way. MIPIM regulars are now beginning to get the benefit of the reduced numbers and fondly recalling MIPIM in the early years before numbers spiralled to the extent that you couldn't even walk on the pavement.
Last night at the spectacular opening party, for the first time in years you could actually get to the buffet table without being trampled underfoot. It was a little disappointing that we didn’t get the usual dazzling firework display and I don’t know whether that was due to the gale force wind or in an effort to tone down the glitz.
Mayor Boris Johnson and Sir Simon Milton have made a flying visit to the conference to enthusiastically promote London. I have to say that Boris has done me a huge personal service. As part of his endorsement of our capital he gave a detailed list of the comparative cost of various items of designer clothing in London and Cannes showing conclusively that London is now cheaper.
He has therefore saved me from any obligation to even look at the shops on the Rue d'Antibes giving me some valuable extra hours in the Palais. As result I was able to be there for an early morning session on the sustainability agenda (spoilt only by the fact that I had to take a taxi in order to get there on time!)
At our dinner last night at an interesting and eclectic new restaurant –( their rather unusual trap line ‘organik is orgasmik' may have lost something in translation!) every table was taken and there was much positive talk of new business opportunities.
But there is a note of caution as one guest very aptly put it, ‘cream cakes are everywhere – but they aren’t all good for you!’ and he wasn’t talking about the menu!