Holly Porter on…hot topics at MIPIM

Guest post: Holly Porter, Founding Director of Surface to Air


MIPIM is a melting pot for the world’s property industry. Once delegates from the UK cross the channel and converge in Cannes, events from the past year get boiled down and conversations – whether with old contacts or new connections – tend to revolve around a few select themes. Here are my predictions for what will be the “hot topics” at this year’s MIPIM:

1) Brexit: the London stand is an established feature at MIPIM, but this will be first time when it will present itself while preparing to depart from the EU. It’s unquestionable that Brexit will feature heavily at MIPIM – both in general conversation and at the various formal talks and panel discussions. We should use it as an opportunity to show that, despite the outlook back home, London and the UK is still attractive to a global market.

2) The housing crisis: With the Housing White Paper only recently published, and the UK in the midst of a serious housing shortage, how we can make meaningful change in this area will certainly be a hot topic at this year’s MIPIM. With developers, financiers, city leaders, agents, local authorities, architects and planners all in one place at one time, MIPIM will provide the perfect platform to get to heart of this issue and hold genuine talks on how to solve it.

3) PRS: The new kid on the block or an old acquaintance that we’ve only recently reconnected with? Rewind to 1917 and the private rented sector accounted for around 90% of all UK homes. A change in mind-set is desperately needed here; the property industry is ahead of curve compared to the average homeowner so discussions about how we reverse misconceptions and instigate a step change in thinking back home should be high priority at MIPIM.

4) The weather: We Brits can’t resist the opportunity to moan about the weather – too hot, too cold, too windy, too rainy. Last year it was so varied we’re still remembering it one year on – who could forget “Wet Wednesday”!? At least if you exhaust all other topics and find a lull in conversation, you can always play up to the stereotype and fall back on this old reliable. Let’s just hope that this year the climate in Cannes gives us little to complain about!

About Holly: Holly is the Founding Director of architecture practice Surface to Air and has over 15 years’ industry experience. She is also the founder of industry networking event, Chicks with Bricks, which is holding a special MIPIM event while out in Cannes. If you’re available on Thursday evening, she’d love to see you there.

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