MIPIM UK – a spin-off from MIPIM, the largest property event in Europe, which descends on Cannes in the south of France every March – was held for the first time in 2014. Ahead of this year’s event on 19th-21st October at London Olympia, here’s our quick guide to getting the most of your time at this or indeed any other property event or trade show.
Plan your time
If you’re already in the habit of planning ahead of attending a show or conference, this will seem like an obvious one but you’re probably in a minority. It’s a crucial element to be able to make the most of your attendance. Check the MIPIM online database to see who’s going to be attending and don’t delay in setting up networking opportunities. Book meetings well in advance, and be sure to confirm exactly when and where your meetings will take place. Highlight any workshops or talks you want to attend, and plan your time around those. The programme schedule can be downloaded on the MIPIM UK website so you can find out exactly when everything will be going on. This will help you decide how many days you will attend and how much time you will spend at the show on each day. Be sure to leave plenty of time for organic networking.
…and plenty of them! Again it may sound like an obvious thing to bring with you to a networking event but you want to make sure that you’re going to have them to hand at all times to be able to successfully make as many new connections as possible. When you’re there, don’t just give them out but collect them from new contacts. As soon as possible, scribble a note on the business card or in the show guide to remind you about the discussion you had and any ideas you have to follow up later.
If you have any meetings with journalists scheduled, make sure you have an exact plan of what you want to say and what you’re promoting. Consider putting together some press packs to give out to media. A specialist PR consultancy such as Hopwood PR can set up meetings with journalists as well as making sure your media messages and collateral are in top shape.
Check everything is in order
From your accommodation to your badges, check that everything is set to run smoothly. If you’re in need of accommodation while at this London based event, the MIPIM UK website has a link to hundreds of hotels as well as information on how to get there based on the form of transport you’ll be taking.
Make sure your registration is fully completed ahead of time to avoid any complications upon arrival, and make sure you know how you’re receiving your badge. You can choose to get your badge via post, as an e-ticket (both should get to you approximately one week before the event) or upon arrival at the registration area (you’ll need to have a valid photo ID with you for this).
Get to know your surroundings
This includes both inside and outside of the venue, especially if you’re exhibiting at the show. Before you arrive at the venue, be sure to know where your stand is to make setting up an easier and less stressful process. Find out where your key clients and any potential new business targets are exhibiting. Being in London means there are a multitude of restaurants and other locations available for meeting contacts so networking doesn’t have to be confined to the show venue. See when you can schedule some off-site coffee, lunches, drinks or dinners into your days.
As soon as possible, plan what your agendas will be while at the event. You can the post them on the ‘exhibit’ section on the official MIPIM website, so that other attendees can see them. This will help to help promote your projects.
If you’re a Twitter user, find out what hashtags are being used for the event and when you should be using them, and raise your visibility before, during and after the show with plenty of online activity and interactions. You can schedule a lot of this in advance. Your PR agency or in-house marketing communications team can help.
After MIPIM UK
Put in place a plan for following up with the new contacts you’ve made during the event. Invite people to meet for a coffee and make sure you have something interesting and compelling to show them. At Hopwood PR, we can help you put together a presentation. Not everyone will take you up on this offer straight away of course. So put in place a programme of communications with all your new contacts. We’ll help you to produce interesting content such as e newsletters and white papers as a means of maintaining contact and keeping you in the minds of prospects and intermediaries you’ve met at the show.