31st October 2014
The Anabas team tried something new last week, by attending MIPIM UK, the inaugural version of the Global extravaganza held annually in Cannes, France. This one, held in Olympia in Hammersmith was a somewhat more modest affair.
The event was opened with a keynote from Mayor of London, Boris Johnston, who attracted rather a large crowd of protestors who succeeded in closing the main entrance to the conference on the first morning. His message (and their anger) was focussed on solving the medium term housing crisis in London, something many delegates inside were expressing keen interest in too. Not so relevant for Anabas, but interesting nonetheless.
Attending MIPIM UK was a bit of an experiment on our part. We made a very conscious decision to attend a ‘real estate’ conference specifically and it was an expression of our desire to interact with potential end users and property owners rather than our peers in FM that sparked the idea. It was certainly a different event from say the Facilities Show, albeit in this instance smaller, but we predict that will change as it matures.
The immediate thing that struck the team was the investment in some of the stands at the exposition, notably the one from Cardiff. The City of Cardiff appeared to have relocate to Olympia for the duration of the three day event, and in meticulous detail a large scale model represented the city and all of the ‘real estate’ opportunities in it.
Equally impressive was a similar model of Nine Elms in London, currently enjoying a significant investment in real estate development.
Our favourite model however had to be the new Leaden Hall Building affectionately known as the #cheesegrater (assumedly it puts the fear into The Gherkin just nearby)!
The exposition was dominated by ‘public sector’ stands over the usual private businesses, as well as a number of professional bodies such as RICS and RIBA (the RIBA space was a joy to be in, as it was like being in an architect’s studio – see this Vine from @iain_murray for a view of it https://vine.co/v/Oqr7A6JXwlQ )
The remainder of the stands were an eclectic mix of businesses which serviced corporate real estate such as software providers and managing agents, but it was clear there was a gap as far as Facilities Management was concerned, we were literally the only FM Company in evidence. A target rich environment you might surmise, and in some ways that would be true, but in reality we did not find ourselves exposed to many end users or ‘buyers’ of the FM services we provide, and in that respect it was a little disappointing.
However, there are reasons to be cheerful, we are on a journey as a business, and this involves looking at ways to be different, a stand-out in a crowded market place. The effort and time we invested into attending MIPIM UK was valuable, it exposed us to some new contacts, it profiled us as a business in a new space, and we learned some interesting new information on the direction and growth of this sector. Something that was evident was that the Corporate Real Estate market is very much back in action and hungry for new development and investment, this can only bode well for us as this is the market we excel in.
Find our posts from #MIPIMUK here https://twitter.com/AnabasFM