Insight

MIPIM: Will we or won’t we…?

There’s been a lot of chat this week about whether or not MIPIM – and other conferences – will go ahead as a result of the impact of COVID-19, known as coronavirus.

Here, we bring the whole conversation together in one place and give it some perspective.

This is a conversation about risk. It’s a conversation that happens when planning any major event.

Can we afford to have that many senior people out of the office at the same time?

Are we insured if something goes wrong?  Broken leg, lost laptop, plane crash, hurricane, volcano…

What contingency plans do we have?

In this case, at what point does the risk of attending something like MIPIM outweigh the benefits to the business?

Perspective

MIPIM is not a week of fun in the sun. It is the biggest and most important marketing investment for every company there. It’s where new ideas are formed, projects are launched and – most importantly – a company’s pipeline of new work is nurtured. Attending MIPIM is a very carefully considered investment.

“Attending MIPIM is expensive. To do it well costs my business the same as employing a new graduate. But if we don’t go, we don’t have the work coming in to employ that graduate in the first place.”

MIPIM plans have been underway for months. Events venues were booked before we left Cannes last year. Marketing teams have been gathering content, corralling speakers, creating marketing material, preparing comms for PR and social media.

Yes, some companies have pulled out. A very carefully considered decision that balances staff worries, concerns about the impact of contagion and quarantine, and a financial decision: how much have we invested and how much can we afford to write off?

But most companies are continuing with their plans to go to MIPIM, because that balance of risk has played out differently. There is no right or wrong decision here.

Trust the plan

When REED Midem and the regional delegations say that they are “monitoring the situation“, these are not empty words. We are all watching closely, hoping that MIPIM can be delivered as planned.

But also. We are marketers and we plan. We think things through, consider the options and prepare for many contingencies. Assuming that MIPIM goes ahead, it will be different this year. Not least because the Savills cafe won’t be just outside the entrance. It will be more subdued, we will all be taking precautions to reduce our exposure and some of the key figures will be missing. We see this as an opportunity for a different kind of MIPIM.

In the worst case scenario, if MIPIM doesn’t go ahead, be assured that something else will. All that preparation will not go to waste.

There is always a Plan B.

In the meantime, let’s maintain our sense of perspective, talk positively and be supportive of those who have decided not to go – for whatever reason. Whatever happens in the next few weeks – COVID-19, Brexit, the Budget, extreme weather events – we need to come together and support each other.

We’ve got this.

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