Marketing + Communications

MIPIM 2024: A global gathering with a focus on collaboration and sustainability

As the dust settles on another MIPIM, it’s time to reflect on a week that was both familiar and markedly different from years past. This year’s conference in Cannes felt more global, focused, and reflective of the challenges and opportunities facing the real estate industry worldwide.

Fresh from the Palais des Festivals, here’s a 20-year MIPIM veteran’s rundown of the year’s biggest event in property.

A truly global forum

One of the standout features of MIPIM 2024 was its global nature. Yes, yes, it’s specifically billed as a global event so what was I expecting?

It’s just that this year it felt less siloed. Different delegations, cities, and countries talked more and I found myself using all my languages, engaging in conversations with professionals from every corner of the globe. The Saudi stand, in particular, was a focal point for attendees, drawing widespread admiration for its bold approach. It underscored a shift among British participants, who seemed more inclined than ever to step outside their comfort zone and engage with ideas and practices from other regions. This year, the question wasn’t just about what we were offering but how we could come together to present our regions, such as the North of the UK, more effectively on the world stage.

Collaboration takes centre stage

Collaboration was the buzzword of MIPIM 2024, permeating every discussion and panel. The emphasis was on collective action and shared goals, particularly in how we approach the relationship between local and national government. Our panel on devolution highlighted this, drawing examples from as varied locations as Finland, Louisiana, and Manchester to explore better practices in governance and regional development.

Key themes: housing and sustainable living

Housing emerged as a critical theme, with a universal focus on making living spaces more affordable and sustainable. The conversation extended beyond the UK, reflecting a global concern for how we house our populations and ensure future cities are built with sustainability in mind.


Shifting conversations

The nature of networking at MIPIM has evolved. “How’s your MIPIM?” used to elicit responses about parties, deals, and hangovers. Now, the answers revolve around connections made, ideas shared, and the long-term benefits of visibility, brand, and community engagement. It signifies a shift towards valuing substantive interactions over mere transactional exchanges. Don’t worry, you can still fit in a few vinos around that.

A more measured extravagance

While there’s still no shortage of luxury, the ostentation that once defined MIPIM appears to be giving way to a more subdued approach. Perhaps influenced by social media’s omnipresence, the display of wealth was less brash, suggesting a change in how success and prestige are showcased at such events.

Diversity and inclusion

The conversation around diversity and inclusion continues, with notable improvements, especially in Manchester. The demographic makeup of attendees is slowly becoming more balanced in terms of gender and ethnicity, a positive sign of the industry’s efforts to be more inclusive. The presence of more young people, partly thanks to initiatives like the Regeneration Brainery, is also a welcome development.

Strategic participation

Companies are becoming more strategic about their MIPIM involvement, sending fewer representatives but aiming for a higher impact. There’s a growing recognition of the importance of ensuring that investments in the event translate into tangible benefits, especially with upcoming opportunities like UKREiiF in May.

The sustainability quandary at MIPIM

Sustainability, an ever-present theme at MIPIM, raises a crucial question: Is it sustainable for 22,000 attendees to convene in Cannes? This dilemma influenced many companies’ decisions regarding their participation and mode of travel. Remarkably, some participants chose to cycle to Cannes, showcasing extreme commitment to reducing their environmental footprint. This choice reflects a growing consciousness within the industry towards more eco-friendly practices.

More sustainable choices were also evident in the giveaways. There was notably less, and definitely less plastic. Sunglasses made of wheat straw from Place North West, paper delegate passes, biodegradable coffee cups, recycled cardboard packaging. A welcome evolution.


Acknowledging the unsung heroes

A special mention must go to the marketing teams behind the scenes. Their tireless efforts before, during, and after MIPIM are what make the event such a success. With plans for the next year already underway, their commitment to excellence does not go unnoticed. I’m sure the team are all feeling a bit tired this week. Hope you put your feet up over the weekend – there’s follow up to do.

Final thoughts

MIPIM 2024 left a lasting impression of an industry that is globally minded, collaborative, and conscious of its social and environmental responsibilities. As the industry enters a period of change, the driver of which is everything from net-zero initiatives to increased housing need, I’m heartened by the fact that our industry is open to listening, eager to share knowledge and unified in the fight for a brighter future for our industry.

See you again in 2025 MIPIM!

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