Following days of speculation about whether the annual property convention in Cannes would go ahead as planned, organisers have postponed MIPIM to 2-5 June.
The French government on Saturday put a temporary ban on public indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 people due to the coronavirus outbreak. More than 100 people have contracted the virus and two people have died in France. Reed MIDEM expected around 27,000 people to attend the show from 10-13 March.
Hundreds of delegates were due to attend from across the North West and now face losing money on cancelled flights and accommodation as well as having to remake their plans to attend in June, if they decide they are still going.
Marketing Manchester has 95 companies signed as partners in its delegation, and more 200 individuals. The organisation said in a statement to delegates: “The health, wellbeing and safety of Manchester at MIPIM delegates is our number one priority and we fully support Reed MIDEM in the decision to cancel [the] event. In the spirit of collaboration we would ask for your continued support as we work out next steps.”
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council and MIPIM lead for the city, added: “Whilst we are undoubtably disappointed about the postponement of MIPIM, owing to the huge amount of work and planning that we always put in to make the Manchester Pavilion an informative and effective business destination within the overall MIPIM programme, it is absolutely the right decision given how things currently stand.
“Our international profile is hugely important and MIPIM plays a significant role in helping us showcase Manchester on the world stage. We are fully committed to our international strategy and will do everything we can to continue our momentum. In the meantime, I ask that you please adhere to the values of the Manchester at MIPIM partnership and support the delivery team at Marketing Manchester as they deal with the important task of mitigating the impact of postponement.”
Stephen Cowperthwaite, chair of Liverpool at MIPIM steering group, said: “It is unfortunate that MIPIM has been postponed until June, but as responsible citizens it is undoubtedly the correct decision given the vital importance of preventing the spread of coronavirus.
“We now have a lot of questions to be answered and arrangements to be changed to ensure that we can deliver the high quality programme that we had planned. We will be updating all of the Liverpool delegation at the earliest opportunity, so please bear with us as we assess the situation. Rest assured that we will continue to work tirelessly towards delivering Liverpool’s most successful MIPIM yet.”
Towards the end of last week, attendee companies starting with Cushman & Wakefield said they were withdrawing from the show to protect staff and limit the spread of the virus. Other business shows have already been cancelled or pushed back later in the year including Geneva Motor Show and ITB travel trade show in Berlin, which was due to begin on Wednesday.
In a statement on Saturday Reed MIDEM chief executive, Paul Zilk said: “The wellbeing of our clients and staff is our priority. Given the evolving context, the best course of action is to postpone MIPIM to June.”
Zilk added: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We believe these new dates will provide the international MIPIM community with the opportunity to achieve their business objectives. We are grateful to our clients for their support and constructive input during this challenging period, and we look forward to talking with them in the coming days about MIPIM in June.”
Reed MIDEM added in its statement on Saturday: “We will be communicating regularly with the MIPIM community to provide details of MIPIM in June.”