Making public sector dialogue central to MIPIM 2019

This year sees MIPIM celebrate its 30th year as a leading property trade fair. And as a relative newbie to the scene (2019 will mark his third year of attending), Lee Holmes, Public Projects Lead at Box Architects, reflects on the point and purpose of MIPIM. He also reveals why he will be engaging with so many public sector property professionals for what will be a very busy few days.

My thoughts and interpretation of the event prior to my initial attendance were more Wolf of Wall Street than the true reality of the event. MIPIM isn’t a singular event on the networking horizon, it is one of several beats along the marketing heart rate of the practice. The pulse quickens as the event approaches, as meetings are set up, events are diarised, and the all-important down time slots are scheduled to allow you to come up for air, reconnect with family life, check in at the office, take a deep breath and dive back in.

The event affords delegates an opportunity to connect face to face with investors, developers, clients and consultants as well as those all-important city and public sector property and investment officials. MIPIM works on many layers and is overwhelmingly large and unwieldly if viewed from the outside looking in. However, each delegate is on their own trajectory throughout the week and from the inside looking out, the event is navigable – if you have a plan.

As part of our approach to MIPIM 2019, we at Box Architects will be showcasing our involvement in the public projects, healthcare and education sectors. We will be aiming to explore approaches and opportunities with the many public sector officials in Cannes.

Key appointments at Box Architects have strengthened the public sector experience and coupled with the existing private sector experience within the practice, we see opportunity for crossovers. For example, Extra Care aided via our health and retirement living experience or SEND provisions (special educational needs and disability) which blur education, residential and care environments.

We are once again seeing an increasing involvement of the public sector in housing, not just supplying land and pushing for increased volume of housing, but also addressing a need for better housing. Our extensive involvement in the residential sector provides opportunities to share thinking between public and private sector projects.

It’s also clear from PQQs and pipeline frameworks that there is an increasing interest in an off-site approach. Interest in schemes requiring modern methods of construction in the health, education and residential markets are noticeably growing in frequency.

So there is a lot to discuss, and we welcome opportunities for public sector dialogue! However, the key to MIPIM and to working on public projects is understanding the slow burn, the meeting, the conversation, the follow-ups, and the potential opportunities; and there in a nutshell, as MIPIM draws to a close and delegates head homewards is where the real work begins.