Here it is, the last installment of my daily diary at MIPIM. So, what did the final day have in store for us?...
Well, the weather was absolutely horrendous. Which made it hard work getting around but it also meant that most people were driven under cover and in one place - the perfect networking opportunity!
LinkedIn is an amazing tool for giving you an indication of what somebody looks like despite not meeting them. It meant I was able to recognise two prominent figures within the London construction market, approach them and get both to agree to meet in more detail in London to discuss requirements - which were outlined there and then which was positive and further outlines the value of buying an actual ticket to MIPIM!
We attended a number of seminars on the final day. The first being around the 'cultural impact on economic development in the Midlands' which is my spiritual home, and close to my heart.
Some really important themes came out of this talk. Most notably, the likes of Coventry and Birmingham working in synergy and that there is a real desire to capitalise on the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and other major sporting and culture events. The games alone will generate thousands of homes for the area so it's a really exciting time for the Midlands right now.
Lunch time was spent with a mixed-use developer based in London. A really exciting company who welcomed the strong coffee after 'the night before'!
The afternoon saw Amie meet with the Development Director of a major London Estate to talk about diversity within the built environment. We were privileged to understand the insights of this very prominent property professional and there will be more to follow in the weeks ahead on this.
Our MIPIM experience was rounded off in rather fitting fashion; a joint Manchester and London wrap up (which is where our offices are based - it's as if they had planned it just for us!)
The key themes again were collaboration and breaking the barriers of regions. Here's some of my key takeaways:
- Darren Rodwell from Barking and Dagenham council talked about how cities are working together like never before. He argued passionately that we need to focus on people rather than profits. "It’s about building communities collectively".
- Sir Richard Leese agreed that it’s about people not property. He explained there is so much happening in Manchester right now; there are more cranes over Manchester than all of the UK provincial cities put together! Northern Powerhouse are really on the map and HS2 and northern infrastructure will strengthen the region and connect the north and the south like never before.
- Liz Peace explained the key was not to create a divide. Not to have separate pavilions at MIPIM, or certainly bring them together. We should collaborate, we are one country and we fight together!
It was a powerful, passionate and good natured talk and was the busiest of them all from what I could see.
Following more drinks and networking at Cafe Roma, Amie and I headed to the airport for our 10pm flight. I am actually writing this from the cramped seat of my plane (I am 6ft 4!) and all around me I can see it's full of MIPIM attendees.
I suspect they are exhausted like we are. But, I also expect they have loved this trip as much as we have.
Amie and I have got through some serious work and as it stands right now, we feel the cost, the time and the effort are completely justified.
So, will be coming back in 2019?... Absolutely!!