The organisations behind the Manchester and Liverpool MIPIM delegations have confirmed they are still planning to attend the Cannes conference, and are monitoring the situation regarding the Coronavirus outbreak “on an hourly basis”.
MIPIM is due to take place between 10 and 13 March, and is expected to attract around 27,000 delegates from around the world. There have been rising concerns, due to the location’s proximity to North Italy, where there have been several outbreaks of the illness.
A Marketing Manchester spokesperson said: “Marketing Manchester is continuing to monitor the potential impact that COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, may have on MIPIM 2020.
“Marketing Manchester is in contact with organisers Reed Midem who, in turn, are following guidance and advice from local, national and international authorities including the World Health Organization as it relates to travel to MIPIM.
“The safety and welfare of the Manchester at MIPIM partnership is our priority. At this present time, Reed Midem have published a statement confirming that the event will go ahead as planned. To this end, a series of additional measures have been put in place by the organisers to ensure the health and welfare of delegates to MIPIM.
“We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and communicate accordingly with partners and delegates.”
Steve Cowperthwaite, senior director of Avison Young and chair of Liverpool’s MIPIM steering group, said delegates were being kept updated: “In light of the announcements that some UK companies have taken a decision not to attend MIPIM Cannes 2020, our position remains, as discussed at the recent partners’ meeting, that we are in constant dialogue with Reed Midem, who are taking their instructions from the French and world health authorities, and therefore we will be attending MIPIM Cannes 2020.
“Additionally, we are closely reviewing advice from the UK Government, as to the safety of travel to France.
“At this moment in time, we continue to be advised that MIPIM Cannes 2020 will proceed, but obviously the situation is very fluid and is changing on an hourly basis.”
Marketing Lancashire said: “We’re watching developments closely and following Government advice.
“At present with all safeguards in place at airports, areas most affected operating self-quarantine and good hygiene and personal contact recommendations being observed – we are still planning to go ahead. If anything changes we will let our delegation know straight away.”
A statement from Cheshire & Warrington LEP: “The LEP remains committed to its presence at MIPIM 2020 but is keeping the situation under review.
“MIPIM is one of the key events of the year and we are excited by the programme we have in place, supported by speakers from across the UK. The discussions and connections that take place at MIPIM continue to evolve across the year – it’s far more than just a few days in Cannes.
“The welfare of our delegation is of course our main priority so we are monitoring the emerging situation and our approach will follow the specific guidance given by Public Health England (PHE). We will also monitor advice from UK Government and Reed MIDEM and respond appropriately if we need to.
“We are aware that some companies have withdrawn but delegates are still signing up for our events and we remain optimistic that we can still deliver a programme that allows our delegates to connect, learn and be inspired.”
The delegations were responding to news that several private sector names have pulled out of the event, including agencies Knight Frank, Cushman & Wakefield, CBRE and Savills, alongside developer investors Landsec and Grosvenor, accountancy firm EY, and Lloyds Bank.
In a statement to staff, Savills said the decision was in response to “global concern” as “MIPIM involves many thousands of people travelling from multiple countries across the world”.
While its central marketing team is cancelling its stand, café, client events, accommodation and transport, staff have been asked to deal with cancelling and getting refunds on their own flights, hotels and hospitality.
However, it is unclear whether staff from these firms would still be able to attend the conference at their own risk. Savills declined to make any further comment.
MIPIM organiser Reed MIDEM said: “We understand and respect the concerns of clients who have decided to cancel their attendance at MIPIM.
“The event will open for business on March 10. In the rapidly-evolving environment we are monitoring developments closely. The health and safety of our clients and staff is our priority.”