'The MIPIM gods have been kind – the rain held off until today, the final day of MIPIM and Cannes is looking drably wet with a distinct after the party feel to it', says Freeman.
On the TV news this morning the Chinese head of state has apparently predicted economic recovery as soon as next year. That isn't the feeling here but despite the economic turmoil, delegates are leaving with the satisfaction of knowing they have worked hard and hopefully achieved results– (and partied hard by the jaded look of some delegates hiding behind dark glasses).
More deals seem to have been done this year and I’m told they would have been more difficult to broker at home – my favourite report was of the high level deal that was concluded on the beach (that certainly couldn’t have happened in London).
On the next table at breakfast a guest bound for the Alps is complaining that despite the reduced attendance there are still so many private jets in and out of Nice airport for MIPIM that it is difficult to get a slot. I was told that over 20 yachts cancelled at the last minute but the yachts were still jammed side by side into the main quay next to the conference centre.
An impartial observer might have looked at the gin palaces loaded with champagne-sipping MIPIM goers and concluded that this was just another property industry jamboree but the universal view is that this has been the most useful MIPIM for years and the condensed numbers have a lot to do with it. There is still talk of the parties that have been cancelled but as anticipated the real talking point has been the parties that went ahead.
The James Andrew/Coutts party last night, always one of the best attended had even more of a buzz than ever and certainly went on for longer. Guests were really appreciative of the hospitality –t it was a real bonus that we were able to get a look in with the smoked salmon (which I felt an affinity with having travelled from London with it!).
The only real gripe has been the cost of the MIPIM pass at 1600 euros. The organisers, REED –MIDEM are annually antagonised by the ‘freeloaders’ who come to MIPIM don’t register and avail themselves of the facilities.
This is understandable but with the unfavourable exchange rate and pressure on marketing budgets coupled with the goodwill generated this year there must be scope for looking at a different approach. Even day passes for those that come down for a brief visit would be helpful. The property sector prides itself on being innovative so surely we can come up with something which will benefit the organisers and delegates.
Amazingly, amid the economic doom and gloom, the UK property sector retains its sense of humour. At last night’s Word Search event there was spoof presentation on raising the River Tyburn in London’s Mayfair, complete with slides showing plans for hydrological testing, CPOs and the demolition of Grosvenor’s HQ building to make way for Venice style canals!
I’m off to just have a final check of Boris's comparative pricing of the designer shops before starting on my MIPIM follow up.