What Experts Are Looking for at MIPIM in Cannes


So many people, so little time. That certainly rings true for the upcoming 30th annual MIPIM (Le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier) conference, which will welcome 26,000 participants from 100 countries to Cannes, France, from March 12 to March 15.

The attendees span the “entire value chain” and “all asset classes” according to information on the website of MIPIM, organized by Reed Exhibitions subsidiary Reed MIDEM. More than 5,000 investors and 3,800 CEOs and C-level professionals will be given the opportunity to connect at the Palais des Festivals. There will also be various parties at hotels, on yachts and on the beach.

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There is an educational component to the event, with more than 360 keynote speeches and over 100 panels, sessions, workshops and networking socials. (Don’t forget to attend Commercial Observer’s sessions on investing and developing in the United States on Wednesday, March 13.) Attendees can learn about international investment opportunities, particularly in Europe, by viewing large-scale models of projects and booths dedicated to countries.

Mark Edelstein, the chair of Morrison & Foerster’s global real estate group, said he expects to hear about a whole host of issues at the convention. Among them: “[The] effect of Brexit, the timing of next correction, artificial intelligence, climate change, sustainability, the effect of technology changes on real estate including Amazon, We Work, self-driving cars, buildings with custom apps to provide various services, what’s going on in America, global events and plays involving 5G technology on real estate.”

The tech-focused theme this year is “Engaging the Future,” and tech companies have been increasing their presence at the event over the last few years.

“In my experience, MIPIM and other marquee conferences have started organically weaving in tech-led innovation to their programs, networking and communication,” said Aaron Block, a co-founder and managing director at MetaProp NYC. “Tech is truly legitimized by industry now. It’s just a question of how fast the merger between old and new will occur. The MIPIM folks do a particularly good job of this given their MIPIM proptech experience from New York City, Europe and Asia. This year there are a ton of interesting conversations around our real estate technology world.”

PropTech Lab, an invitation-only event at MIPIM, will bring together real estate and tech decision makers to discuss the growing influence of proptech. And, although not exclusively focused on tech, there will be a startup competition among the six innovative startups selected throughout MIPIM’s events in New York, Paris and Hong Kong.

Other tech-related conference sessions will include “Cities & Tech: Delivering a Sustainable Living Model” and “Tech as a Driver for Growth.”

Sonia Kaur Bain, a partner at Bryan Cave, said she looks forward to hearing about new technology, especially those “that are available to support interesting new working and living environments including coworking and co-living spaces that are trending in many markets. It would also be great to hear about developments in sustainability efforts for buildings and construction. I’m also curious to hear how different urban markets are addressing the challenges most cities face [like] changes in transportation, housing shortages, etc.”

Of course, coworking with be a topic of conversation as it’s a space that has been growing exponentially. One session at MIPIM is titled, “Workspace: New Ways of Occupying.”

Granit Gjonbalaj, WeWork (WE)’s chief development officer, insisted that “The timing for this is perfect, coming as it does with the flexible-working sector growing in size, and we look forward to hearing from other companies—both those who offer as well as those who seek space—in terms of their needs for the future.”