UK sent more than 6,000 delegates last year
Landsec and Knight Frank are the latest firms to pull the plug on next month’s Mipim property show in the south of France as fears of coronavirus spread.
Yesterday, Cushman & Wakefield confirmed it would be giving this year’s event a miss and this morning a Landsec spokesperson told Building: “Landsec will not be attending.”
Knight Frank confirmed that it has also pulled out and a spokesperson added: “The evolving nature of [coronavirus] in Europe has forced us to reconsider our presence at large multi-national events. To that end we will no longer be attending Mipim. The health and security of our people and clients are of utmost importance and have to be prioritised over all else.”
Architecture practice HOK has also today confirmed its London studio not be attending Mipim, saying: ”HOK places a priority on the health and wellbeing of its staff hence this challenging decision, which sadly is affecting so many people and organisations.”
Savills has also withdrawn and Mark Ridley, group and global chief executive of Savills, said: “Due to the scale and size of this conference, and the importance of the event to our industry, this decision has not been taken lightly but our absolute priority is the welfare of our staff as well as avoiding any service disruption to our clients in light of increased coronavirus cases across Europe. Our thoughts at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world.”
The annual event is held in Cannes, an hour’s drive away from the Italian border where that country has in recent days become Europe’s worst-affected country.
More than 400 cases and 12 deaths have been recorded in Italy with the outbreak centred on the northern Lombardy region.
Several European countries, including Austria, Croatia and Switzerland, have now announced their first cases and said they involved people who had been to Italy.
Earlier this week, Mipim organiser Reed Midem moved to reassure the industry that the event would go ahead but last night in a statement Cushman & Wakefield said: “The health and safety of our employees and our clients is our priority. With the rapidly increasing number of cases of coronavirus in Europe and the elevated industry-wide concern around attendance at large multinational events, we have decided to withdraw from Mipim.”
US giant PGIM Real Estate has also said it won’t be attending next month’s show which is due to run from 9-13 March.
Last year Mipim was attended by nearly 27,000 visitors with 6,204 delegates going from the UK – the second highest number after France.
Measures being put in place for the event include liaising with airports and hotels to beef up health and safety practices, a bigger onsite medical team and increased hygiene standards with hand disinfectant gel available at the venue.
In France, there is a specific ‘reception service’ for travellers at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris for flights from China, Hong Kong and Macao.
Two more patients have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, bringing the total number of cases to 15 as of this morning.