We are delighted to be amongst the first partners to sign up with Marketing Manchester for MIPIM 2015 and the first architects to do so, writes Steve Burne, managing director of AEW Architects.
This will be only my fourth year at MIPIM and the reason I resisted for so long was the notion that it was 'boys on tour' and the often mis-used explanation (excuse) that you can't measure the success immediately but it is about relationships.
It is certainly true that it has always been about getting access to people you wouldn't normally see and meeting new people that it would take forever to meet back home but the idea that work is not won as a direct result of MIPIM is a thing of the past. Over the last few years and in particular within the Manchester 'family', there has been much more focus on deal-making and work-giving. In 2014, we secured four new opportunities during MIPIM week and several others which followed and could trace their roots back to Cannes.
I would be lying to say MIPIM week wasn't enjoyable. When all is said and done, it is a week in the South of France, with good people and full-on social networking. But if you are prepared to work hard to meet people, be organised, attend the right functions and most importantly take advantage of the partnership….it is highly likely that it can be a successful and rewarding investment.
AEW is a 50-strong practice, specialising in retail, industrial, commercial, sport, accommodation and masterplanning, working for many of the region's leading private sector, contractor and local authority clients. We stick to our specialist sectors rather than pretend we can do everything saving our clients time and money by understanding exactly what they want.
To get the most out of MIPIM week, I firmly believe that you should take advantage of the opportunities brought about by the partnership. You only have to look at the calibre of the partners to appreciate its value.