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MIPIM 2022 – Back with a bang?

It has been well-documented that the pandemic has had an unavoidable impact on business events across the globe, with MIPIM, the much-anticipated annual international property showcase in Cannes, one especially high-profile event whose post-pandemic future has been questioned.

After months of virtual meetings, award shows, conferences, and ‘black-tie’ events, being able to re-connect face to face will have been a hugely welcome return for many. And here at Social, we know just how critical events are to businesses in terms of creating opportunities, driving innovation, and forging strong relationships.

If you’ve ever experienced MIPIM, you’ll know that it’s hailed as one of the best in-person?real estate and international trade and investment events?for a reason: a chance to make formidable connections, grow your and your company’s presence, and establish yourself?as a thought-leader in your?particular?niche.

After a three-year hiatus, there was plenty of excitement and speculation in the lead-up to this year’s event around what a post-pandemic MIPIM would actually look like. Would there still be a strong UK presence? Would the highly popular Caffe Roma remain impossible to get a seat in – and would we get to see the return of the Yorkshire Tea band?! We’ve taken a look at some of the key areas of focus for this year’s event.

Sustainability is central

This year, MIPIM focused on several topics: citizen-focused development, affordable housing, office innovation, real estate investment, sustainability and proptech – all of which have been at the forefront of conversations ever since the world went into lockdown.

Sustainability in particular is a critical consideration as we look ahead to the future of property and the industry’s contribution to wider global efforts, and so it’s only right that this theme is being discussed with a global audience – both as a critical factor in any economic strategy and in terms of preparations for events. For me personally, I love how Liverpool City Region’s innovative stand outside of the Palais des Festivals used rented furniture and had biodegradable giveaways, E-business cards, tablets, and reusable coffee cups.

UK collaboration

Encouragingly, Reed MIDEM has recently reported that visitor numbers from Europe and the Middle East reached a similar level to 2019, with over 20,000 delegates descending to the Côte d’Azur resort for a jam-packed few days of networking, collaboration and deal-making.

However, behind the scenes and in the lead-up to the event, the pandemic has shone an even brighter spotlight on Government and public spending – and even pre Covid-19, many local authorities struggled to justify the expenditure and reputational risk of going to the South of France. Now, with the pandemic, Brexit and many other social value factors affecting their spending decisions, will public bodies still see MIPIM as a worthwhile investment?

We are aware that fewer local authorities attended MIPIM 2022 than in previous years, however, some who attended reported that this gave the UK a much more structured approach. For example, the UK Pavilion was reported to be buzzing on most of the days, with regions packing the area out to hear from key experts, with a particular focus on the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda – something that I personally feel many regions have wanted for many years. In addition, this approach has offered smaller local authorities a much bigger platform and voice, which may have previously been lost in the noise. Could the future of MIPIM for public bodies mean greater collaboration and pooling of resources – working together under the UK brand – rather than the competitive approach that has understandably characterised MIPIM attendance in previous years? Definitely food for thought.

What the businesses ‘on the ground’ are saying

At Social, we understand MIPIM and its value, and with this in mind we’ve reached out to some of our clients and contacts to gain first-hand experience of what went down at this year’s event. Has the event been everything they hoped for? How did it feel to be networking face-to-face again? Will they be returning to MIPIM 2023?

We gathered some of their thoughts below:

Anna Heaton, Partner, Addleshaw Goddard LLP

“MIPIM 2022 in many ways was reminiscent of previous years – catch-ups, dinners, talks, panels, a sea of blue suits – but somehow it did reflect how things have moved on since I was last there in 2019. It sounds rather simplistic, but people seemed genuinely pleased to be amongst people, catching up on life’s ups and downs during the past couple of years and thoughtful about future challenges and opportunities: the need to build social as well as physical infrastructure and a non-negotiable attitude to sustainability with green-washing thankfully behind us for many of the bigger players.

“Big themes from government were levelling up, freeports, regeneration and partnerships with real interest from private sector investors in regional opportunities and collaboration with local and public authorities. Sectors like life sciences, logistics and housing were prevalent as well as discussions around how our cities and our workplaces will evolve post-Covid.

“For me personally, it was a hugely rewarding week meeting new and old contacts, listening to new strategies and plans and appreciating the talent and enthusiasm of the real estate industry. I’ve come away with new ideas and fresh perspectives to share with our team and it’s certainly an experience I would be keen to repeat in 2023.”


Tahreen Shad, Regional Partnerships Director, Lovell Partnerships

“MIPIM 2022 was very different to previous years. There were smaller delegations, those of which came with a renewed focus to learn, collaborate, and network. MIPIM usually has around 25,000 delegates; this year, it was reported there were about 21,000. That said, the key people we needed to speak to were there and the lesser footfall and clash of events meant space for more meaningful, quality conversations and greater exposure.

“In terms of topics at MIPIM, ESG was a huge talking point, as was the levelling up agenda. It was good to hear first-hand how cities across the UK can benefit. I was particularly interested in the North and discussions around infrastructure. Whilst we wait for the detail behind levelling-up to be released, the key challenge and ambition is how we can deliver energy efficient stock to get to zero carbon whilst dealing with the challenge of rising costs. This is a key area for me and one that will be a hot topic in conversations post-event.

“I am already looking forward to MIPIM 2023. The level of exposure and relationships cemented as part of the Liverpool City Region delegation was excellent and valuable time well spent. Thank you to all for a fantastic week!”


Cara Fautley, Commercial Development Manager, PlaceTech

After recent uncertainty and MIPIM not being able to go ahead last year due to Covid, I don’t think anyone knew 100% what to expect or had set expectations for this year’s show. Despite all of this, MIPIM felt busy, exciting, bursting with new opportunities, and there seemed to be a fresh outlook and new ideas on the future of real estate post-pandemic. After a three-year hiatus, there was a real sense of relief at being able to return to some kind of normality.


“From what I witnessed there seemed to be a lot more first-timers and new, innovative businesses present at the show, with a bigger focus on proptech. With people just starting to return to face-to-face networking events, there also seemed to be a lot of excitement around building personal relationships and finding new ways to collaborate.


“Personally, for me, the one key takeaway has been the real sense of urgency to digitalise the property industry and for property companies to be collaborating with the right technologies to help them achieve their business goals.


“I hope to be back for MIPIM 2023. It’s a fantastic way to build on and create new networks and the amount of business you can do in a few days is incomparable.”


Charlotte Scaife, Associate Director, Business Development, DB3 Architecture and Design

“I was cautiously optimistic that the conference and surrounding fringe events would be back to form. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed. It was great to attend with DB3, having been present under a different guise in previous years. It was the first time our MD, Nathan McNamara, Leeds Studio Director, Tom Hill, and London studio Director, Julius Steinert, had attended and they were impressed by the scale and organisation of the event. 


“It was quieter than previous years, with fewer delegates attending and the obvious absence of some of the UK’s significant local authorities which had a knock-on effect on developer attendees and subsequently other members of the property and construction family. That said, there was plenty of opportunity to meet some excellent contacts and with events being less congested the conversations were probably of a higher quality. 


“Climate, wellbeing, and housing were key topics along with the fact that travel has opened up, allowing the industry to regain its position and for global investment to push forward. There are some interesting new regions pushing themselves and it’s positive to see. 


“Positivity was certainly the main takeaway for me. People were keen to be meeting and the scale of project commitments seems to be at an all-time high. We made some fantastic new contacts, as well as catching up with some familiar faces, and learnt a lot.


“DB3 are already planning for MIPIM 2023 and will attend with a larger team, learning from our experience this year and improving how we approach future attendance.”



Dan Whelan, Senior Reporter, Place North West

“In the lead up to MIPIM 2022 there had been a lot of chatter among the North West property community about what the event would be like after a three-year hiatus. Those I spoke to said that this year’s MIPIM was different from previous editions, but not necessarily in a bad way. There were fewer delegates, especially from local authorities, but those who did attend spoke of a more productive MIPIM this time around.

“Those fearing MIPIM might have had its day had their fears put to rest as the professionals from across the globe descended on Cannes for some long-awaited face-to-face networking.

“MIPIM 2022 was my first, so I had nothing to compare it to, but the main thing I took away from it was its usefulness in allowing me to get in front of people I might not get the chance to speak to back home. I hope to be back in 2023 for more of the same.”


What’s next?

If the past two years have taught us anything, it is just how fast the world of work is changing, and in turn how quickly the industry needs to adapt and re-adapt to keep ahead of the curve. And the return of MIPIM looks to have made a big contribution to this for many of the businesses involved from not only the UK, but right across the globe.

Next, many of the UK’s 2022 MIPIM delegation will be heading to UK REiiF, the major three-day event set to take over the whole of Leeds from 17-19t May 2022. And with over 5,000 delegates signed up to each day of the event, will Cannes be a distant memory?

From my experience I feel that MIPIM is a great opportunity to get in front of key decision-makers – locally, regionally, and nationally. I personally have developed some fantastic networks from my time attending MIPIM and witnessed first-hand productive conversations taking place that simply wouldn’t have happened online or back home.

We’ll be heading to UKL REiiF this year to meet with other organisations working in the sector, but MIPIM looks certain to remain a highlight on Social’s event calendar for 2023 – I look forward to seeing you there!

If you’d like to find out more about how Social provides support at MIPIM and other events, please contact senior account manager Katie Paterson at