Because Brands Matter | Cannes do attitude
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Cannes do attitude

In March I attended MIPIM; The world’s leading property market.

My reason for going for quite simple. There’s little point in me going to a brand or marketing festival. I need to fish, where the fish are. Not the other anglers.

Although it wasn’t my first time in the city, having previously been a regular at the advertising festival and also once, the more famous Cannes Film Festival, I was quite definitely ‘a MIPIM virgin’ with very little knowledge of what to expect.

Here’s what I discovered:

  • It’s massive – There are far more people in Cannes for this event than any other.
  • It is impossible to blag your way into the Palais or any of the exhibitor stands that lie on the Croisette. Security in post 9/11 world has sadly put paid to that. But at £2,500 for an access ticket I needed to think more laterally.
  • It’s certainly not impossible to ‘invite’ yourself into countless parties and drinks events where free-pour networking is easy. People are extremely generous with their time and are more than happy to meet complete strangers for a chat over either a coffee or a glass of rose.
  • Push yourself hard. You aren’t going to create new opportunities by standing on the sidelines.
  • Scotland punches well above its weight and we had a very good presence throughout the expo. One of my clients 7N Architecture presented their “What If” vision for the city of Edinburgh and it was very enthusiastically received.
  • A coffee on the main drag is €8.60. One street back it’s €2.30. Unfortunately most of the networking happens in the main drag however..
  • Building a compelling brand is something a lot of property developers, investors and facilitators have simply not given enough thought to. The industry feels ripe for picking.

Will I go again? Let’s see.

I’m talking to a hell of a lot of people I didn’t know before and if work comes out of it, there are unquestionably worse places to spend four days in March. As this picture of the the view from my airbnb testifies.