It is easy to question the value of what appears to be a jolly on the Cote d’Azur and there is always a degree of apprehension at the start of my journey to Cannes as to whether the time and cost can be justified.
However, true to the founding principles 25 years ago, MIPIM (Marche International Professionals Immobilier) always seems to deliver in spades, and this year was no exception. Even if the only benefit was to get a sense check on where the property industry is at this point in the cycle – too many lenders chasing too few deals it seems – that would be enough to justify the visit but that's not all.
In two days I can achieve 6 months worth of networking. The fact that I know I am going inspires me to make contact a few weeks before the event with a whole range of people that would otherwise remain a name on a list somewhere in the archives of my computer. When I am in Cannes I meet both familiar faces and many new ones, catch up with lawyers and agents new and old and am generally inspired by the views of others from around the world who have a whole new perspective on the UK as a real estate destination.
Interestingly this year the Russian areas were very quiet (who would invest in Putin's empire at the moment!), whilst the London pavilion was thriving after Boris kicked things off on Tuesday afternoon. Everyone, it seems, wants a bit of London. No doubt I will be back at MIPIM next year!