The ultimate pre-MIPIM party: Yes Oui Cannes

We’re only three weeks into the year but MIPIM is already firmly in our sights.

Hopefully your flights and accommodation are booked, and you can now focus on the real purpose of your visit. We’ll be sharing some tips on making the most of MIPIM in our next blog, but before that we want to draw your attention to the industry’s famous pre-Cannes warm-up, MIPIM Yes Oui Cannes.

On Wednesday 28 February, key players in the property industry will come together to network and generate new business leads before heading to Cannes. Hosted and organised by our friend Derry Long, it’s a great opportunity to brush up on your networking skills and meet some friendly faces before the main event. And if that’s not convincing enough, all proceeds raised by ticket fees will be donated to the construction industry’s charity of voice, CRASH.

Tickets are selling quickly so we recommend booking sooner rather than later.

See you there!


Preparing for your MIPIM meetings

MIPIM meetings

You’ve booked your flights, bought your delegate pass and started thinking about marketing materials, but now is also a good time to get ahead and prepare for meetings, so that you can have as much time as possible on the ground in Cannes.

Getting started
Regular readers will already know that the delegate list is available for download to those who have registered online. Now is a good time, (if you haven’t already) to use this list to identify who you would like to meet and make contact with. The benefit of MIPIM is that people go with the expectation of networking, so don’t hold back from approaching people who are attending – many are more open to meetings here than back at home. It is also worth bearing in mind that not everyone will be available to meet you, so do adopt a fairly broad, but still targeted, approach.

Business meetings in Cannes differ to those back home: people are more relaxed and are primarily there for this purpose. Despite this, everyone has less time than they would normally, so meeting for a brief coffee as an initial introduction with the suggestion of meeting back in the UK is worthwhile and can bring greater results.

Tailor your pitch
It’s important to carefully plan your approach to individual meetings and make sure they are tailored specifically to the people you will meet. Consider a summary about you and your business and then, for example, a one-page PDF for each of your sectors or services so your materials will be easy to modify to suit the person you’re going to meet – and won’t require them to take away a heavy brochure (see last week’s marketing materials post).

When preparing content, think about what you can bring to the conversation that is different and sets you apart from everyone else. You need to capture and retain people’s attention when meeting them, so think about the end result – how could the meeting be mutually beneficial to both parties and what can you do that no one else does? Remember that they are also there to meet business objectives so treat meetings as a discussion about work that you’ve both done or how you can find future synergies.

Business cards stack

Take a new networking approach

For the purpose of MIPIM, consider getting photo business cards. Over a four day period, you’re going to meet a lot of people, so a business card with a professional headshot can be a useful way of making yourself more memorable to the people you meet.

Otherwise, write down a short note on the person’s business card, or on your phone if it’s easier. When you’re sorting through your collection of business cards at a later date, these notes will be a useful ‘memory jog’ and prove a nice touch when you follow up. Everyone likes to be remembered and there may be a few points that you discussed that could be worth looking up.

Once you’ve got the meetings secured and organised, you’ll have freed up a lot of time in the immediate run up to MIPIM and have your diary slots maximised while you’re there.


What marketing materials should you take to MIPIM?


MIPIM at Palais des Festivals Cannes

If, like many companies, marketing materials are at the top of your MIPIM priority list, or even if you’ve already started to get something prepared, we’ve put together several considerations, from concepts right through to logistics, to ensure that the marketing box is ticked.

Hard copies

A brochure or flyer introducing your company and the services you offer is a simple, straightforward way of disseminating information about your company. Make sure that someone creative has had input to ensure that it meets your brand guidelines and looks good, and that the layout and content are accessible and easy to follow.

Most importantly, make it stand out! Yours will not be the only brochure that the recipient will receive and you will not be the only person on their meetings agenda for that day. Anything that you hand out should have a clear purpose, underpin the impression you want to make and support with what you are saying. The time and cost that is invested should be justified by what you achieve from doing it.

And remember that people don’t want to carry around large, heavy brochures. Ideally, make sure it fits into a jacket pocket.


Given that the baggage allowance isn’t the most forgiving on EasyJet flights, you might want to consider using electronic material such as PowerPoints and PDFs. You can store as many of these as you like on a laptop or, more portable still, an iPad, opening them with Keynote or Adobe. These can then be tailored depending on whom you are meeting and aren’t reliant on the venue having Wi-Fi.

Adobe Slate is handy if you have some strong images alongside short and simple messages to create a visual aid, which can then be expanded on further through discussion.

Consider creating a digital portfolio of projects you have worked on with high-quality photographs. Projects are great talking points and demonstrate what your business can deliver.

The Google My Business app is great if you already have a Google Business account with plenty of reviews, since third party endorsement is key to evidencing the standard of your services.

Likewise, Mention is a useful app if you want to show what other people are saying about your business on social media or online. It shows that people are talking about you and that your company is being recognised for the work that it is doing. One thing to bear in mind is that this is a paid-for app, but you do get a 14-day trial to test the waters.

Last but not least, remember to also use social media as a marketing and social tool for MIPIM. We’ll touch on this further in a later post.

Tips for Marketing at MIPIM


Many of us have swathes of branded pens, USBs, and lanyards stored away in our desk drawers from numerous conferences that we have attended over the years, but the companies that gave us these things often do not stick in our minds. This can be because they haven’t made a link between the object and their company messaging.

So get creative. Think about what you are saying through what you are giving. And think small or useful. Giveaways will be put in pockets and carried around, then, if they don’t get lost along the Croisette, they will have to pass the aforementioned EasyJet baggage allowance test.

A few logistical points

If you are considering getting brochures printed, make sure you account for the graphic design process, print turnaround times, delivery and shipping to Cannes. The cut off point for shipping is in about a month.

If you do ship marketing material, bear in mind that business cards can take up valuable space and weight in your suitcase too. We find it easier to ship ours prior to flying.

Whatever you decide to do, bear in mind the purpose, the message you want to convey and the value you want to get from anything you produce. That will certainly point you in the right direction.

Arriving with a full schedule of meetings

Starting Blocks at Vacant Starting Line Before Event

Over 21,000 participants, with 4,800 investors on 350+ stands representing 89 countries – all in four days. You not only need to find the right people, but get time in their diaries to talk.

So how can you identify those who will make a difference to your business over the coming year, and how can you get in front of them?

We normally love spontaneity. But for something this important (and expensive) – it’s not the best approach. Planning ahead – and starting earlier than you think – is key.

These are the essentials:

  1. Make the most of time available by planning well in advance. In MIPIM terms, this means before December, not the end of February.
  2. Reconnect early with existing contacts – LinkedIn and twitter are both great for this. If you’ve started in good time, the Christmas season will help too.
  3. Go back to your business plan – who do you need to engage with and why should they speak to you?
  4. Consider how you’re going to approach MIPIM as a business. Are you flying the flag or making more personal connections? What will best help support this? (Note: the answer is rarely as simple as as a quick edit of last year’s brochure.)
  5. Make contact. Diaries fill up quickly, but many people who are usually super busy can squeeze in a quick chat near the London Stand if you time it right.

At Holistic, we work with clients to take the hassle out of this final step. Reconnecting with existing contacts and friends is quick to fit in and something that everyone can do easily. Identifying and then calling new people, however, is more of a challenge – it’s not for everyone. But we love it. And the companies we work for love that we can take care of it for them while they concentrate on everything else, including their day jobs.

We secure meetings, produce schedules and make the most of our own network for event invitations. We’re out there ourselves, too, so meetings are confirmed on the day to minimise no-shows and there’s always a point of contact nearby.

We offer an early bird rate before 6 November and strongly recommend getting started by December at the latest.

If this sounds like something that would help a colleague – or even yourself – let us know and we can send on some more detail.