Are you ‘MIPIM-ready?’
At this grey and dreary time of year, preparations for the most prominent and exciting event in the real estate calendar are well underway. With just over a month left in the countdown to MIPIM 2018, most firms have their agendas in place and are eagerly waiting to contribute their perspectives to this year’s theme of ‘Mapping World Urbanity’.
MIPIM has been uniting global property market leaders since 1991. As the world’s busiest real estate marketplace and the hot ticket event of the year, it’s often said you’re only noticed by your absence. This is where we have a vital role to play as PR practitioners to ensure that the exact opposite holds true for our clients.
In mid-March, Cannes’ balmy air becomes thick with lively exchanges of opinion and everyone is busy vying to be heard. Everyone making the effort to attend expects to leave with a lot more than a few soggy business cards and a bit of a sore head. However, most newcomers fail to realise it’s simply not enough to rely on a handful of contacts, a mediocre sales deck and the effects of chilled rosé to secure the most important conversations you’re likely to have all year.
Due to the nature of the event, showing up unprepared may be enough to spark a few conversations at the opening cocktail party but, as every MIPIM veteran knows, you’ll need a lot more than that to turn those into tangible business opportunities here.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
The secret to squeezing every ounce of value out of MIPIM is to come armed with a strong corporate brand identity and a clear strategy for delivering your message to the market. It sounds simple, but we find it surprising how many companies plan to attend without these vital assets in place. Every year, we work behind the scenes with our clients to develop these strategies well in advance so they have the best possible chance of standing out from the crowd.
This year, we are supporting the MIPIM presence of a long-standing client and leading real estate investment manager with a suite of content that answers many questions raised by this year’s conference programme. These questions include how will we live in cities in 2030/2050, what the new rules for investment and property development will be in a world dominated by cities, what the best strategies are for building future cities in a globalized world and what it will mean to develop and invest in real estate when cities rule the world.
The topic of global cities is now a regular MIPIM talking point. This is largely driven by the emergence of new industry challenges such as improving energy efficiency in buildings, increasing urbanisation and the use of sustainable materials for construction and development. These challenges are set against a backdrop of major economic and political uncertainty which leaves real estate investors with a series of major questions on the outlook for the sector. All of those investors come to MIPIM looking for answers. Every year, we develop specialist content in the form of research and tailored thought leadership to help our clients deliver their responses in an engaging and insightful way.
As a result of brand initiatives we deliver prior to the event, CDR clients may even find they have provided answers to these questions before even getting off the plane.
Talk about the market and it will talk to you
An example of this is our work with a leading global provider of fund and corporate services. We have been working with the business to prepare a series of snapshot surveys to capture investor opinions across multiple jurisdictions. Our surveys explore existing investor allocations and the sentiments driving them as well as the factors behind industry adoption of innovative technology such as AI and robotics.
This research will be used to open a forum for live debate at the event and our client will be asking MIPIM delegates about their own views on some of the issues we explore. In this way, our client is positioned as a true industry thought leader within the real estate’s noisiest global marketplace. We advise all our clients on the premise that if they talk about the market, the market will talk back.
In summary, it takes a lot of hard work and preparation to get yourself heard at MIPIM. It is always a good idea to begin building your brand reputation well in advance by assessing your marketing collateral, improving your content strategy and investing in creative ways to raise your corporate profile.
- We have been successfully deploying a range of tactics to help clients stand out at MIPIM for several decades. Our research-led initiatives continue to pay dividends for clients looking to leave a lasting impression. The findings of our research are usually revealed during the four-day line up but their impact resonates long after the event is over.
- We also spend a considerable amount of time forging relationships for our clients with relevant media and third-party influencers in the lead up to MIPIM. These valuable contacts have opened doors to many a private, members-only event outside the main programme (where high-level business is much easier to find).
- Our tailored approach to content marketing has proved highly beneficial for our clients when building brand awareness before heading off to MIPIM. For example, we developed a quarterly ‘Investor Sentiment Barometer’ on behalf of one of our real estate clients in preparation for MIPIM 2016 measuring investor allocations and views on emerging trends. The resulting media coverage has significantly raised their brand awareness and presented the opportunity to comment on global platforms such as CNBC and BBC News.
It may only be January, but we are confident that our clients are almost ‘MIPIM-ready’. For those of you worried about becoming this year’s wallflower, there is still a little time for some last-minute guidance. To find out more, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
Written by Victoria Sheridan, Director