Same sun, less fun as cities slash MIPIM budgets

Michael Hunt

Liverpool and Manchester have both reported drastically reduced levels of take-up for commercial sponsorship of their MIPIM stands in March.

Liverpool's budget has been hardest hit with only six private companies signed up – despite heavy price reductions – compared to 27 in total last year.

Taylor Young, Langtree, Merepark, Castlewood Property Management, Uniform and Keepmoat have each spent £4,000 to support Liverpool.

Liverpool Vision replaced last year's three-tier price structure of sponsor, partner and associate at £15,000, £9,000, and £5,000 respectively, with the new rate.

A spokesman for Vision said the agency had set itself a revised target of securing ten private supporters.

In addition to the private sponsorship, The Mersey Partnership, Liverpool City Council and Vision will each contribute. Details of how much are yet to be published.

The number of delegates travelling from Liverpool to Cannes but without officially sponsoring the stand is also not yet clear.

The annual event in Cannes attracted 28,000 delegates from across the globe in 2008. The figure is expected to drop below 10,000 delegates this year.

A shortfall in sponsorship has meant a cut in the entertainment being provided from Liverpool's party.

A spokesman for Vision said: "There will be no Mersey Beatles, no week-ending invitation-only party in Morrison's bar, usually the hottest ticket of the week, no alcohol on the stand and no end-of-week supporters' dinner."

Liverpool Vision said the focus will be on business meetings, sector seminars, both on the stand and on the yacht.

A redesigned stand will be in the same place as last year, which is R27.18 within Riviera Hall.

The picture is not quite as bad for Manchester, usually the biggest UK presence after London. Four property firms are spending the £15,000 price of being a main sponsor of this year's Manchester stand compared to nine last year.

Hyder Consulting, design consultants Taylor Young, and planning consultants Turley Associates are new sponsors this year.

Ask Developments is still involved as an associate, the third rank of sponsorship, while City South, Countryside Properties, Crosby Lend Lease, Dandara and Urban Splash have pulled out.

In total, there will be 35 companies supporting the delegation as sponsors, partners or associates, compared to 50 last year.

The Manchester stand will remain in the same location it has enjoyed for the past six years, overlooking the main entrance within Palais des Festivals. The stand number is B1.00.

Due to the reduced budget, Manchester will not be holding its usual gala dinner at the Martinez Hotel.

Nonetheless, Manchester will be hiring a yacht as a venue to host dinners for potential investors and will bring back The Manchester Bar, which was a first in 2008.

Marketing Manchester said the gala dinner had been replaced with a series of smaller, intimate dinners aboard the Manchester yacht, hosted by Sir Howard Bernstein.

Manchester has kept its three-tier menu of commercial packages to sign up to The Manchester Partnership: sponsor £15,000, partner £9,000, associate £6,500.

Main sponsor, Manchester City Council, had not disclosed its level of funding at the time of writing.

MIPIM takes place from 10 to 13 March 2009 in Cannes, France.

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