Conference organiser Reed MIDEM has announced MIPIM 2020, already rescheduled to June, will now be replaced with a two-day event in Paris in September and a year-round online offer. However, regional attendees said it was “too soon” to be considering a September event.
The annual property convention attracts more than 20,000 attendees, and usually takes place in Cannes in March. The exhibition had already been postponed until June in response to coronavirus.
On Wednesday afternoon, Reed MIDEM said the event in Cannes was being cancelled and would return in 2021. Exhibitors and visitors have been told they can have their 2020 fees refunded or carried over to 2021.
A statement from organiser Reed MIDEM said instead MIPIM would be “transforming into a two-day, Paris-based gathering of real estate and technology leaders in September and a new online experience, MIPIM Connect, available year-round. The next edition of MIPIM in Cannes will take place March 16-19, 2021.”
Reed MIDEM said “holding a large MIPIM tradeshow in Cannes in June is not feasible given the rapid spread, devastating impact and uncertain evolution of the virus”.
Place North West has contacted Reed MIDEM asking for clarity over whether delegates and exhibitors would be asked to pay afresh if they wished to attend the Paris event.
North West city delegations due to attend MIPIM contacted their partners overnight to updates them on the situation. Local authority-led city and county representation at the global show is dependent on sponsorship from the private sector, with involvement available under a range of packages.
Communication from Marketing Manchester to partners, seen by Place North West, said the organisation “fully supports the decision” made by Reed MIDEM, but at this time is “not committing to the September event”.
The Marketing Manchester statement said: “At present it is unclear what proportion of costs paid to participate at MIPIM as part of the Manchester at MIPIM Partnership will be recoverable and refundable. The delivery budget is complex and involves paying substantial costs in advance of the event and not all suppliers are connected to Reed MIDEM.
“The process of negotiation with Reed MIDEM and supplier network could take several weeks to resolve; however, the team will aim to seek maximum compensation where possible.”
Following the decision in February that MIPIM was to be postponed, several large private sector companies announced they would not be attending the rearranged event in June. City delegations were cautious about recommitting due to the ongoing coronavirus uncertainty, and were already in conversations with Reed MIDEM regarding refunds if they chose to pull out of the new event.
Steve Cowperthwaite, head of Avison Young Liverpool chair of the Liverpool at MIPIM steering group, said: “The decision to cancel the rescheduled MIPIM 2020 in June was without doubt the correct one. Right now our complete focus is on the financial implications of this cancellation for our partners and getting clarity for them. Bearing in mind the urgent issues our partners are dealing with at the moment, it’s not the right time to be discussing the September event which they simultaneously announced yesterday.”
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council and MIPIM lead, echoed Cowperthwaite, saying: “Given the severity of the current situation, myself and the Manchester at MIPIM team at Marketing Manchester fully support the decision to cancel MIPIM and are relieved that there is now clarity following what has been a very difficult period.
“Manchester’s international profile is hugely important and has been increasing rapidly in recent years, in part because of events like MIPIM. We are fully committed to our international strategy and will continue to do everything we can to continue Manchester’s momentum when the time is right.”
Place North West spoke to a range of companies this morning who would have been attending MIPIM in March.
One marketing business which organises attendance at the event on behalf of several clients said the rearranged September date was “a terrible time, and so busy for business already. MIPIM should have been cancelled this year in order to give as much focus on making next year as good as possible. We’ve not even had those conversations with clients yet, MIPIM is very far down the priority list with everything else going on.”
Another company said the timing is “hideous” particularly given uncertainty as to whether children will be back to school by September.
The online offer, MIPIM Connect, will launch in April and be free for delegates who have registered for MIPIM 2020. The service will feature a range of thought leadership content, networking and business tools.
In response, one construction company told Place they struggled to see the appeal of moving the event online considering “there are so many other priorities”. An agent said “I struggle to see the appetite when so many businesses are just trying to keep things going”.