Opinion and insights from Roythornes
The top six things we learnt as MIPIM newcomers
- AuthorShruti Trivedi
With the most influential property leaders from more than 100 countries all coming together to talk business, a trip to Cannes for four days in March was definitely worth the resulting exhaustion! As part of the Property and Planning teams at Roythornes Solicitors, my colleague, Jo Ladds, and I, Shruti Trivedi, have come up with six top tips to help you be prepared for MIPIM 2018.
1. Be physically and mentally prepared
Forget drinking champagne in the sun and visiting the beach; MIPIM is full of intense networking and action-packed days, strengthening relationships with clients and establishing new connections.
You will hear a lot of stories about MIPIM before you decide to go for the first time, but no one can prepare you for how full-on it can be. Not only do you need to plan and get ahead with who’s going to be there, familiarise yourself with a map of your future surroundings and pack the correct clothes, but mentally prepare and catch up on sleep before you go.
If you put in the work before you leave, you’ll be fully engaged and make the most of your time.
2. Be flexible
We were correctly advised to keep our MIPIM diaries free no matter how tempting it was to get organised and fill them with things we wanted to see and people we were determined to meet.
Although it’s a good idea to identify key businesses you are keen to meet with, a lot of unexpected opportunities do arise which you need to be able to work into your schedule. You don’t want to miss a golden opportunity because you are unavailable.
3. Get ready to burn some calories
It’s fair to say that we clocked up a lot of steps during our trip - my Fitbit recorded the highest number of steps I have ever reached!
Don’t expect to be sitting down all day in the sun – there is a lot of standing around and plenty of walking - from morning to night. Although staying somewhere central is a big help, it is really hard to describe the scale of the event until you’ve been.
Be sure to wear comfortable, blister-free flat shoes and your feet will thank you later.
4. Don’t rely on your phone
Being in an unfamiliar location, it’s easy to rely on your phone to get around. Unfortunately, this was not the best course of action for us. We ended up walking in circles a few times during the first couple of days. We learnt later in the week that it was much better to ask for directions; not only did we meet great contacts doing this, it was much quicker and we usually ended up in the right place, too.
5. Get stuck in
If there is one piece of advice I would pass on, it would be to get fully involved and be 100% committed to every networking opportunity.
I thoroughly enjoyed all of the relationship-building. It’s great to see people outside of their usual office setting as everyone is a lot more relaxed away from their never-ending to-do list. But, don’t let the occasion fool you - you are still representing your business and have a job to do.
Make sure you speak to everyone and anyone, be confident, engaged and genuinely interested in the person you are talking to.
As with all new business leads, following-up is crucial. Get the business cards out as soon as you get back and start to make those calls. Keep all contacts fresh; be friendly, and keep in touch.
Jo and I had a very successful first trip for Roythornes and came home with several new business leads. Knowing that the hard work paid off with these leads secured is a great feeling and one we want to replicate in 2018.