I was amused to read Richard Steer's comment piece in the 17 March issue ("Time to Cannes MIPIM", page 38), as it showcased a wonderful "greatest hits" of the hoary old chestnuts that get wheeled out at this time of year about MIPIM.
Richard claimed, for example, that the industry is addicted to conferences in exotic locations. Cannes is undeniably a pleasant place to do business, and for the past 17 years had been an important part of MIPIM's personality and success (in that we attract the cream of the property profession, who are accessible in one place). Perhaps Richard would prefer to move the show to a traditional British seaside resort?
Although there may be too many property gatherings nowadays (I couldn't possibly comment) perhaps it is thanks to the success and usefulness of MIPIM that the industry is saturated with pretenders and impersonators. Imitation is the finest form of flattery, after all.
As for whether MIPIM provides a good return for the investment, why would thousands of exhibiting companies bother to come if they did not derive value from it?
I could go on, but as the MIPIM chestnuts are all so familiar, I thought I'd add a few hard facts to set the record straight. This year we had more than 21,000 registered participants at the event from 74 countries. There were 462 exhibiting companies from the UK, and 1545 UK companies were represented. Surely we must be doing something right?
Finally, the implication of Richard's piece was that it was written and filed while he was on the ground in Cannes this year. Given, however, that he was not a registered delegate, I cannot regard his piece as a thorough critique.
We do sincerely hope that Richard enjoys his trip to the Sydney property sailing regatta next year when he tries to avoid the temptations of Cannes, but we hope that he sees the light on his return. And I'll personally be pleased to welcome him back to MIPIM.
Peter Rhodes, UK managing director, Reed MIPIM