Three months after MIPIM 2019 came to an end, Shoosmiths and Luma Marketing brought together a carefully curated group to discuss how this major event can become more representative of the property industry and the communities we affect.

MIPIM is evolving. In its 30th year, there was a record number of women delegates (5,896 out of 26,800), 20% of speakers were female, and 15% of delegates attended for the first time!  Previous attendees were pleased to see the change, but many first timers were shocked at how far there is to go.

Luma Directors Sarah Galligan and Lucy Lomas connected with Shoosmiths Partners Kathryn Jump and Lisa Tye over lunch with Calderpeel Architects and a conversation began. How can we keep that change coming? What is the role of companies and of Reed MIDEM in encouraging diversity in MIPIM conversations? Does anybody else care…?

We agreed that it is important to keep the conversation going and invited Reed MIDEM to join us. By the time Marketing Cheshire and Place North West had got involved, we knew we were onto something that people wanted to be part of.

On Tuesday 11 June, we brought MIPIM veterans, first timers and event organisers into the conversation. Representatives from Civic Engineers, Deloitte, Marketing Lancashire, Tatton Group, Marketing Manchester and Manchester City Council contributed to the discussion – with Solène Genton from Reed MIDEM. All want to be part of the evolution of MIPIM and help make it more representative of the property industry as we know it.

We asked people what surprised them about MIPIM this year, what they would like to see more of and how we can measure success.

There was lots of discussion about the balance between regional delegations, registered delegates, people without badges, official events and the fringe. Many were surprised, on their first MIPIM, by the scale and intensity of the event. Requests for more, earlier co-ordination and better planning (we know someone who can help you with that) came from all quarters.

Cost was a recurring theme, with calls for more flexible structures to attract a more diverse group of delegates: women, young professionals, SMEs and more. People also posed questions about the social value and economic impact of MIPIM: something that we all consider in our development projects and sometimes our businesses.

Interestingly, leadership was a key theme. Whether that’s business leaders making strategic decisions about who represents their company, event organisers striving for mixed panels or delegations setting a clear tone for behaviour, communication is key.

Pledges and actions

Whilst every event organiser strives for a balanced speaker panel and a diverse audience, the persistence of all male panels and rooms full of men reflect a structural issue with the industry.  The room agreed that it is within our own power to bring new voices into the room, whether that’s by including young professionals or giving up a space on the panel for someone not usually heard.

People pledged to help younger people attend; to support other companies’ efforts and celebrate their successes; to get stuck in with some advance networking.

Your MIPIM is just as fun, better connected, aware of its social value and environmental impact, and has a wider range of voices being heard.

Reed MIDEM have promised to reflect on the debate and answer as many questions as they can. Watch this space for a more considered response…

If you want to join the conversation, get in touch.

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