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“Engaging the future”

More topics, more international, more exhibitors: 30 years and going from strength to strength – MIPIM 2019.

Records

MIPIM’s Director, Ronan Vespart, had predicted that this year’s conference would deliver superlative after superlative. And he kept his word. The bare facts speak for themselves: 26,800 players from all sectors of the international property industry, around 5,400 investors and 560 political leaders from more than 100 countries flocked to Cannes for the 30th edition of the world’s leading real estate fair, Marché international des professionels de l’immobilier, or MIPIM for short. Between 12 and 15 March, the four-day, mega-event envisioned the future of an industry that is evolving rapidly, as reflected by the conference’s theme, “engaging the future”.

Digital viability

As Vespart explained during his opening address: “We are excited to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of MIPIM at this year’s conference. This year’s theme looks at the next 30 years of real estate and how the industry can contribute to creating a technologically advanced, sustainable and innovative future. The real estate sector is in the midst of a technological revolution. Catalysts of this transition include shifting demographics, climate change and advanced technology. The value of a building now lies in its purpose, not its physical construction”. For four insightful days, the conference explored digital innovation and environmental sustainability within the real estate industry. Discussions not only focussed on disruptive technologies, such as virtual reality, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, ample time was also devoted to issues surrounding the optimisation of real estate management and profitability in the digital age. At the same time, MIPIM also showcased changes in the industry’s major platforms including those caused by high energy prices, climate change and new government regulations.

Global outlook

Vespart is convinced that “perhaps now more than ever, the real estate sector will have to face up to global and societal issues, trends and developments, and the risks they create”. MIPIM has responded, including with a series of exciting new formats. Thus, for the first time, MIPIM featured a Young Leaders Summit, which provided a high-profile platform for a cross-generational discussion on a range of issues, including the city of the future. Other innovations in 2019 included the inaugural RE-Allocate Summit for institutional family offices and other capital owners, which complemented MIPIM’s RE-Invest Summit, which is in its eighth year and brings together the world’s foremost sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurance funds and other leading institutional investors. Continuing a trend that has emerged over the last few years, one of the conference’s highlights again proved to be the Innovation Forum, which in 2019 – in view of the increasingly dominant topic of digitalisation – focussed specifically on the Internet of Things, blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and 3D printing.

Strong brands

“Based on the animated communicative zeal that exhibitors and visitors once again demonstrated in Cannes in 2019, and taking this as a yardstick for the dynamism of the real estate industry, it would certainly seem as if there’s no need to worry about the sector’s future. And especially not about the future of those players who have succeeded in building up strong corporate brands”, says Harald Steiner, CEO of the European Real Estate Brand Institute. “This year, I not only noticed a visible increase in the number of attendees and exhibitors, but also an increase in the number of discussions and the volume of deals concluded”, said Steiner, who was delighted to see that conference transform into even more of a real working trade fair.

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