Top Eight Rules for MIPIM Cannes
While everyone goes Christmas mad around me, I am looking forward to 2018. One of the biggest opportunities for growing our business each year is MIPIM and I’m sure 2018, despite Brexit challenges, will be as rewarding as ever if we plan it right. After 11 years of trawling the hotels, coffee shops, bars, bistros, restaurants and marquees of Cannes, I should have nailed it. What have I learnt along the way?
Rule 1: Plan for the weather, all of it!
Typically, there is no typical weather. I have hosted beach parties with my ski thermals under by dress. I have prayed the marquee on the roof of the hotel will not be ripped from its screws as the Mistral howls. I have burnt my nose with a prosecco in my hand, and I have seen too many men go flying as their rain soaked, leather soled brogues let them down, while sensible women pay €30 for a €5 brolly during the day-long deluge. So take an umbrella, a mac, a warm vest and some sun cream and sunglasses.
Rule 2: Plan your schedule, in local time!
I generally start talking to clients and contacts in January. Are they going? Who else is going? What are they hoping to achieve? What events are they thinking of hosting or attending? Slowly the diary comes together. I break the day down into seven sections; breakfast, mid-morning meet ups, lunch, afternoon drinks, pre-dinner drinks, dinner and late night drinks. Some of these drink meetings might be coffee! The key is to plan your meetings in French time. My first year at MIPIM I was out by one hour all week – so check your calendar settings when sending out invites from the UK and add an hour!
Rule 3: Power is all that matters in MIPIM.
And I don’t mean influencers, decision-makers and the boss! I mean power for your phone, your laptop, your tablet – whatever your digital choices, you can seal more deals by giving free fully charged power packs, than by talking about your exceptional services, deals and insights! Everyone is constantly looking to charge up!
Rule 4: Live above a shop for a week
If your accommodation is above a restaurant, shop or café than you have got yourself a great location. Ideally you want to be within 10 minutes’ walking distance of 90% of events. Most days in Cannes you can top 20,000 steps. At 3am in heels your walk back to your bed can be a greater challenge than the London marathon. Don’t be proud about where your apartment is situated; just get it as close to The Palais as you can. Job done!
Rule 5: Find local friends and agents
Whether you are trying to host a lunch, dinner, drinks in a bar, or just meet a new contact it’s important to get the location and service right. And despite the prices, the French service can be appalling. If and when you find a good restaurant, use a great catering company, or locate a trusted agent to book your beach event for 120 clients, nurture them, tip them well and book them for the following year. They are priceless.
Rule 6: Don’t eat canapés in Cannes
These can become your staple diet if you don’t apply some discipline. Chances are you will end up drinking more than you would like (unless you have a strong will power), but back off the endless plates of these bite-size morsels. They taste gorgeous! But they are full of salt and fat, they make you thirsty and they are the primary source of ‘Cannes cramps’. If you do the drinking and the walking you might come back from Cannes 2lbs heavier. If you do the drinking, the walking and the canapés, plan for an extra 6lb!
Rule 7: Business cards are your currency
DO NOT ever run out of business cards. Its basic and you will look like an idiot if you do. Photograph them if you don’t want to carry them around, but you can only do that if you followed rule 3 and have power left. Any cards you get, write a note about the meeting, the deal or the conversation. By the time you land back in the UK they will all be a blur! And follow up on all cards, contacts and meetings within one week. After that you’ve missed your window and someone else will have made the contact.
Rule 8: Keep an open mind and agenda
Whatever anyone says about MIPIM, the more responsive, flexible and open to opportunities you are, the more you will truly benefit. MIPIM cannot be beaten for getting so many people in one place who all want to do business, they just happen to have a drink in their hand!
And when you get home plan a quiet weekend of sleep and normality, because you will have another busy week back at the office following up all those contacts and responding to all your business enquiries.
So to any first-timers planning for 2018 (MIPIM virgins) or those who think they need to refresh their approach, feel free to contact us. Our experience from small to large companies, and from public to private sector organisations ensures we will have seen the best and the worst way to approach this exceptional event.
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