Manchester’s presence at the international property conference in Cannes got off to a strong start with 350 people attending the opening of its new beach-side pavilion.
After 17 years occupying a prominent stand over the main entrance of the Palais des Festivals, this year Marketing Manchester made the decision to move to a 5,000 sq ft tent next to La Croissette, the main road seafront boulevard, occupying the beach fringe within earshot of Mediterranean waves. The position puts the city shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Dubai, Istanbul and the Midlands, which all have pavilions of their own.
This year is Manchester’s largest delegation by far with 113 partner organisations. Opening the pavilion, Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, described it as “a comprehensive platform that befits the reputation this city now enjoys.
“It’s the biggest partnership, we’ve doubled in size over the past five years, and this shows the length and breadth of the Manchester offer.”
On the opening night, Liverpool joined the Manchester delegation at the pavilion, alongside representatives from Cheshire, Lancashire, London, and European cities such as Stockholm. The white beach-side tent obviously impressed both partners and visitors alike, and made a statement about how Manchester sees itself on the global stage.
Bernstein, in Cannes for his final year as the council’s chief executive, took the opportunity to make his usual headmasterly reminder to the Manchester delegation that “we’re here to work hard.”
However, Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, presented Bernstein with a bottle of whiskey as a farewell gift, with a message from absent Mayor Joe Anderson, saying “make your week as liquid as possible.”