Be the change you want to see!

By Paul Morrish, Chief Executive of LandAid

Off to MIPIM 2020? First time? Good luck! Enjoy!

When I was appointed Chief Executive at LandAid, five years ago, no one told me about MIPIM. To be fair, no one told me I’d be strongly encouraged to throw myself into our fundraising challenges quite so energetically either. No mention of tough mudders, abseiling off tower blocks, nor cycling the length and breadth of the country, But they certainly didn’t mention MIPIM.

Perhaps that wasn’t surprising, LandAid is a charity that works to end youth homelessness. In the last three years we’ve been able to provide funding for over 500 homes for young people right around the UK.

The link, of course, is that every penny we raise comes from individuals and companies working exclusively in the property and construction industries. We couldn’t do what we do without the industry. In return, we help the industry work together to tackle youth homelessness and we champion those within the industry who want property to be a force for good.

So, this year’ll be my fourth MIPIM, and I’m beginning to feel like a veteran. But I remember distinctly what it all felt like first time round.

You’ll already have jumped the initial hurdles. You’ve managed to blag a place on the company’s MIPIM team; you’ve persuaded your husband or wife, that “Yes, it is work!”; you’ve got an Airbnb 10 miles from the Croisette that was so expensive you daren’t submit the invoice; and you’ve just worked out what the Croisette is.

Now you’ve just got to prepare. Business cards, comfortable shoes and a target list of clients you want to fit into your already disturbingly busy-looking schedule (for the full packing list check here).

And then of course there’s the reputation, and for many the reality, of MIPIM. Despite an impressive smorgasbord of thought-provoking content delivered by some of the most interesting, well-informed and thoughtful players in property, it is other appetites that grab the headlines.

Although the vast majority of the 26,000 delegates who arrive in Cannes in March behave impeccably, there are still too many who don’t, and who disgrace themselves, their companies, and the industry.

But, as Mahatma Gandhi so beautifully put it, you need to “be the change in the world you want to see”.

And there’s change afoot.

The profit imperative has not gone away (it never will). But barely a day goes past without another company outlining its social impact, or social value. Even investors are starting to ask, “But what difference will this really make?”

The industry has always been generous. There have always been charity days, bake sales, fundraising events, and charity partnerships. And the sums raised are not inconsiderable.

But what we are noticing at LandAid is that, finally, companies are treating their relationships to charities, and the work they do, with similar rigour they do other commercial decisions. They’re not looking simply to sign an oversize cheque for a good cause. They’re looking to make a difference, to have an impact. They want things to change, to get better. Their engagement with charities is a means to an end – not the end in itself.

LandAid works across our industry to end youth homelessness. We don’t partner with just one company, or even several companies. We work with over 160 companies and our ambition is to work with the whole industry. We are very clear about the impact we want to achieve, and how we intend to achieve that impact. Over the last three years, and with your support, we’ve provided around 500 homes for young people who’ve been homeless – in every part of the UK- enabling them to study, train, work, fall in love, and get on with their lives.

This has a huge impact. And it is an impact you enable us to effect.

At LandAid, whatever the headlines and the surveys may say, and notwithstanding the industry’s undoubted challenges, we know there’s much to be proud of as a property professional.

Ultimately, however, much will be down to you.

If you long for this industry to be the professional, progressive, successful force for good you know it can be, go to MIPIM, but be that industry. Do deals but talk to the person standing on their own trying not to look lonely. Network with your contacts but be curious and open to new ideas. Find your ‘familiar’ but challenge the orthodox. Have a glass of wine with colleagues but sit and talk to someone who actually lives in Cannes.

More than that, use the extraordinary opportunity of MIPIM to find out what the industry is doing to genuinely make the world a better place, and challenge it to do it faster. Exchange business cards but ask about sustainability. Attend panel discussions but ask about social value. Change the conversational dial and get talking about social good and why the property industry should be measured by it as much as by profit.

And if you run out of things to say, you can always ask: “So what do you do to support LandAid – the charity uniting the property industry to end youth homelessness?”

Looking ahead to MIPIM 2020

It seems like only yesterday we were flying out to Cannes for the 30th anniversary of the biggest property event of the year but here we are today marking the six-month countdown to MIPIM 2020. It also means we’re back with our Maximising MIPIM blog – a place where you can pick up hot tips, advice, and recommendations in the run-up to the main event.

MIPIM is all about people and connecting with each other, which is why are starting the week again with our ‘Go Dutch Dinner’ on the Monday night. A fixture of the MIPIM calendar for more than ten years, Go Dutch attracts a broad range of companies from across the property industry – from developers and investors to consultants and construction professionals. We host around 120 people each year, many of whom are regular guests, but we love to see new faces too. If you would like to join us, please contact

We’ll be back soon with more content to fuel your excitement and quash your nerves, but in the meantime, we’ve got you covered with a back catalogue of our greatest hits, from what to pack, tips for MIPIM newbies, a guide to new business meetings and much more.

Fleeing the beast from the east: your packing guide for MIPIM

While the UK is in the grip of winter, we can’t help but daydream of sunnier climes in Cannes. It’s an ambitious thought considering Cannes has been experiencing snowstorms and lows of -3, but we’re pleased to report that the weather forecast is looking distinctly brighter and warmer going into next weekend.

Our MIPIM packing guide often attracts a lot of readers and interest, which isn’t surprising given you probably have limited space and many scenarios to cater for.

Whether you’re opting for carry on or hold, we’ve got your back, with tips and advice on what to pack for the biggest conference in the property calendar.


  • Your business cards. Do something different and go for an embossed design or luxe card material. It’s often the smallest things that provide a talking point.
  • Flat shoes! We’ve seen enough shoe victims to really stress this point, as you do not want to be caught out blistered, sore and limping along the You can change into your fancy footwear once you hit your destination.
  • Layers, lots of layers. As we’ve learned this week, the weather can be unpredictable so pack for rain and sun.
  • And on that note, you also want to look and feel If you’re meeting with a top business target, you’ll want to exude confidence, so pack your smartest clothes.
  • Sunglasses (not just for selfies) and umbrellas (not just for sunbathing)
  • An assortment of medication; stock up on plasters, painkillers and medicine at the airport so you don’t get caught out with a bad headache or by dodgy mussels.
  • Tech – headphones for when you’re on the move calling back home, and portable chargers for when you’re between meetings and running low on battery.

And if you can spare the time, here’s what to bring back with you:

  • Check out the local pharmacies – they’re a treasure trove of delights and filled to the brim with brands cheaper than back home. We recommend Caudalie, Nuxe, and La Roche-Posay.
  • Explore Marché Forville, a local food market with an array of delicious cheeses.
  • Most importantly of all: lots of new contacts. Remember to note down who you met with and what you talked about. MIPIM’s only worth the investment if you do the follow up back home.

And if you do find yourself caught out at MIPIM then look out for our team who will be hand with our ‘in case of an emergency’ tins.

Help, I’m a MIPIM newbie!

In just over a month, the most influential players from across the property industry will arrive en masse for an action packed four days of networking, learning, and fun.

As one of the industry’s most celebrated (and famous) events, being new to the party can be daunting. If that’s you, then fear not as we have called on our MIPIM friends who know the tips and tricks for making it through what will be one of the best weeks of your working year:

  • Shoes, and plenty of them. Bring your smart shoes, fancy shoes, and summer shoes – but make sure they’re all comfy ones. Blisters aren’t a good look, especially when accompanied by tears.
  • Leave room for spontaneity and chance encounters. It’s where the magic happens.
  • Come rain or shine, you’ll want to be prepared. We all hope (optimistically) for wall-to-wall sunshine in Cannes, but experience has taught us better than to forget our umbrellas.
  • Embrace wellness and start the day with a run or an early morning yoga session. You won’t feel so bad when you’re sipping that glass of rosé later.
  • Protect yourself with lip balm and sunscreen by picking up one of our MIPIM survival tins. Lobsters are strictly for eating.
  • Check out MIPIM’s dedicated ‘first timers’ There’s complimentary breakfast and lunch, concierge, networking sessions with MIPIM pioneers, and a mysterious ‘welcome gift’!
  • Check out the conference programme and make the most of being there. MIPIM has organised a fantastic line-up this year centred around urban life in the future. Expect debate, trends and insights from those leading the charge worldwide.

MIPIM is a significant investment so it’s important to get involved and make the most of it. We’ll be bringing you tips and tricks of the trade over the coming weeks. Whether you’re a seasoned expert or newcomer, there’ll be something for everyone.

Thank you to our contributors for their top tips. Read the full list below and let us know if you have any others to add!


Women Talk Real Estate take on MIPIM

Walking along the Croisette in Cannes during MIPIM is one of the easiest times to see the lack of gender diversity in the property industry. As the industry gathers to do business in the sunshine, it is the men in suits that dominate the seafront restaurants and the sidewalk bars.

That vista across the streets of andrea-carpenterCannes should bring home to female professionals that, as a smaller proportion of the experts working in the industry, it is even more important to ensure that visibility counts.

At Women Talk Real Estate, we believe that one of the best ways we can do this is to use the stage at industry events and the media to raise the profile of our female experts.

Currently, around 14% of speakers at events are female. We think this doesn’t truly showcase the expertise of female professionals, or reflect the diversity of the industry we want going forward.

As we get more female experts on stage, it will have both an individual benefit and a collective one. For the individual, being on stage and in the media gets female professionals and their expertise recognised and can lead to better business opportunities and career progression.

For the representation of women overall, the visibility challenges stereotypes about what women do in the industry and it also provides more role models for younger generations.

We know that there is a strong universe of female experts to help stage diverse events so we are working with them and event organisers to make sure the two connect. We have a database of female professionals that are keen to speak at events and this is accessed by event organisers and the media.

Our database currently has more than 300 female professionals registered and we have seen invitations extended to 65 potential speakers in our first couple of months of being up and running.

We know that we can’t change the representation of women in our industry overnight but we believe that because visibility matters, practical initiatives such as Women Talk Real Estate can make a positive contribution.

If you are a female professional in our industry, register to join our database or get in touch to find out more.

Andrea Carpenter is a Director of Women Talk Real Estate

Packing for Cannes, whatever the weather

MIPIM is the ultimate business and pleasure destination, which makes packing your suitcase slightly more difficult.

Preparation is paramount, and lucky for you we’re on hand to advise everyone from the lightest packer to those who push the boundaries of what’s acceptable on an EasyJet flight…

Remember the below essentials and you will survive Cannes whatever the weather:

  1. Business cards
  2. Your best tailored suit…
  3. …and a nice dress or comfy khaki slacks
  4. A warm coat
  5. Comfortable shoes – a must
  6. Sunglasses – we hope
  7. Painkillers
  8. Plasters
  9. Suncream
  10. Chargers – including a portable one
  11. Umbrella – which we hope not to need

And if you do find yourself taking more than you planned, whether that’s business cards or marketing materials, as seasoned MIPIM veterans, trust us when we say that it’s possible (and advisable) to courier these things to Cannes in advance. You don’t need to burden yourself with heavy luggage and excess baggage fees.

We hope this has helped you, but if you do find yourself at a loss then come and find our team, and collect one of our ‘in case of an emergency’ MIPIM tins!

Meetings at MIPIM – the delegate list has arrived

Now the delegate list has been released and is being updated weekly, you can really start thinking about who you want to meet at MIPIM.

Where to start?

Register and review the list to see who you would like to meet. Don’t hold back – no one expects a wallflower at MIPIM, and you’re actively encouraged to network your socks off so don’t worry about approaching people who are attending. It can be a lot harder to secure these meetings back home than it is in Cannes, so grab the opportunity while you can.

Market yourself

While you don’t want to be hauling marketing collateral down the Croisette, it’s worth taking a summary about you and your business for your prospects to see on an iPad or take away with them. It’s important to tailor your marketing pitch so it can be easily modified for different prospects.

Think about what you can bring to the conversation that is different and makes you stand out from the crowd. MIPIM can be a crazy place – meetings are swift and the clock ticks quickly. You need to capture a prospect’s attention, so think about what you want to get out of the meeting and how it might also benefit them. Remember that they wouldn’t be meeting you if it wasn’t mutually beneficial, so focus on that and think about what the end result might look like.

Don’t overdo it

MIPIM is an investment, so it might seem to make sense to cram in as many meetings as possible while you’re out there. However, step back and take stock of that decision before you go any further. Sometimes the best meetings are the ones you weren’t expecting, so give yourself a bit of leeway in the afternoons and evenings. For those moments of spontaneity, remember to write down a short note on the back or front of the person’s business card to remind you about the conversation and especially anything you promised to send. They will prove to be very useful when you get home and need to jog your memory.

Finally, if you would like to ease your way into MIPIM and meet some brilliant people (including some of our own team) then come along to our annual ‘Go Dutch’ dinner. Places are limited so please contact us at: to enquire. You never know who you might meet!

Welcoming the new look MIPIM

Our good friends over at London at MIPIM have coined a new saying: FOMM (Fear of Missing MIPIM) and we couldn’t agree more. With a new website, theme and session formats, there is plenty to get excited about as we ramp up to MIPIM 2017.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Theme

The theme for 2017 is ‘A New Deal for Real Estate’, which addresses the impact of the geo-political and economic challenges facing the real estate industry today and creating new sources of growth. According to the MIPIM website, this means stakeholders need to adapt and rethink their strategies by collaborating with new players and creating new forms of business.

This marks a forward-looking theme after a somewhat tumultuous year, with a focus on collaboration, partnership and welcoming new players to the industry. It’s a yes from us.

New and improved sessions

As well as the usual events and networking parties, a series of new sessions have also been announced. These include: the predictive scenario, in which three different scenarios on a current issue are presented by an expert and/or CEO to the audience; the masterclass, a lecture by a leading player in the industry on a topic related to their area of expertise so the audience can pick up some useful tips along the way; and finally, the creative workshop – interactive sessions for delegates to apply design techniques and frameworks to generate their own ideas and watch them come to life.

So now we have a taste of the new look MIPIM, what next? With 23,000 delegates from across 90 countries, 2,600 exhibitors, and more than 100 conferences, we think this will be the best year yet, and one you definitely don’t want to miss. We certainly won’t!

What to pack for MIPIM

what to pack for MIPIM

Whether you’re a light packer that can manage with just a carry-on, or you’re the type that takes full advantage of the 20kg baggage allowance, there are some essentials that we recommend you take.

We’ve written about what to wear to MIPIM in a previous post, so including your business dress and several pairs of sensible shoes, there are a few other things to get into your suitcase.

Business Essentials

Business cards are an obvious one but remember to put some in your hand luggage as well as in your suitcase, as you’ll need them for networking on your journey down. Keep all of the business cards that you’ve been given together in a business card box or a plastic wallet so you have the contact details of those you’ve met to hand when you need to follow up.

We’ve mentioned marketing material before, ideally this will be electronic either on your laptop or tablet, or you’ll have shipped it over prior to your arrival, but again if you do have a couple of one-page promotional leaflets, keep a couple in your hand luggage just in case.

A documents wallet and notepad are good to bring for meetings, you don’t want to be stuffing pieces of paper into your handbag or pockets for them to get lost and you’ll need to write down the key points you have discussed.

Bring chargers for all of your devices with European plug adaptors. A portable charger that can be kept in your bag or pocket is really handy to give your phone some juice on the go throughout the day.

Sunny Cannes

Sunglasses are a MIPIM must-have both for the sun and to hide bleary eyes. While it’s likely to be overcast and cold in the UK, in the Cote d’Azur, temperatures regularly exceed 15 degrees in March and can even push into the early twenties on a good day if we’re lucky. This means sun cream is a good idea too, especially for brunch on the beach or al fresco drinks in the afternoon. That being said, as we’ve mentioned before it can get cold in the evenings so prepare for this too.

Medicine Cabinet

Alka Seltzer, multivitamins, Berocca, Remegel and plasters always make it into the Holistic apartment. With the lack of sleep, being on the go at events and meetings all day every day and some fun evenings out, you’re likely to not be taking the greatest care of yourself. So we recommend some damage control throughout MIPIM so your return to work is more manageable.

Stay hydrated

Carry a bottle of water around with you. You’re likely to be standing for the majority of networking events so it’s good to stay hydrated.

Advice for a MIPIM first timer


Your first time at MIPIM can be a bit daunting: with over 20,000 keen property professionals and hundreds of events going on, how can you quickly orientate yourself, get involved and get something out of it?

Many delegates have also been gathering in Cannes for some time, ourselves included, so here are some of the tips we’ve picked up over the years – some of which might be useful to even the most experienced attendees as well.

Personal elevator pitch

It is good to know in advance what you want to say about yourself when you meet new people. Keep it to 30 seconds or less, focus on what might be interesting to others and remember that it’s a personal introduction not a sales pitch.

You’ll introduce yourself and what you do many times at MIPIM and likewise other delegates will have met plenty of other people, so it needs to be fresh and ideally memorable. Not least to make sure you’re happy to deliver it again and again each day.

Also touch base with your company’s marketing and comms team – there may be particular information or messages that would be useful to share (and brownie points for doing so).

Set targets

Making sure there’s time to go with the flow is important but structure is important tool. Setting yourself achievable goals such as meeting three new contacts from a target sector a day, for example, is a good way to keep focus. And while sticking with people you know is a useful early strategy, most people at MIPIM are really receptive to meeting new contacts so if stepping up to someone new doesn’t already come naturally, force yourself. You’ll soon think nothing of it.


Have a look at the MIPIM programme in advance and plan the sessions you would like to attend. When you get to Cannes it is easy to get swept away and attend events that others are going to. Looking at the schedule with your goals in mind now will help you to pick out events that you can profit from and will also give you the opportunity to meet new people.

A few practical tips

  • Order your delegate pass now by post so that there’s one less thing to worry about when you arrive. Alternatively, if you run out of time you can also pick it up on your way through the airport to free up time when you get to Cannes itself, as the queues at the Palais can be enormous.
  • Be prepared to get stuck in the moment you arrive, or even before on the plane or train down. It’s a good idea to take lots of business cards (about 250-300), and keep some in your hand luggage.
  • The bus is an easy way to get to town from the airport and you’re more likely to make new contacts than in a taxi.
  • If in doubt head to Café Roma or the London, Manchester or other regional stand.
  • Look out for other posts coming up – what to wear and what to pack in particular.

And whether MIPIM excites or terrifies you, we hope these tips help to give you a head start before you touch down.