Taking stock of MIPIM 2019

21 Mar 2019

Director of Strategy & External Affairs, Ghislaine Halpenny provides our latest blog on all things MIPIM 2019. 

As the dust settles, and Cannes returns to a more normal pace of life, we’re taking stock of MIPIM 2019. What was hot, and what was not?



We were delighted to be the Government’s Programme Partner for a third year running, partnering with the Department for International Trade, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Office of Government Property and Homes England. This not only provides us with the opportunity to shape the content for the UK Government Pavilion, putting our members and their collaborators front and centre of discussions, but is a real illustration of the trusting and positive relationship we have with our public sector counterparts. The benefits of this initial outlay of effort ricochet throughout the year, and provide a stable base for both the informal and formal conversations that we spend so much of our time having – to promote the interests of the sector and ensure that the door is open for some of those more difficult discussions.

The wider UK contingent was out in force, with Metro Mayors aplenty, and slick, impressive performances from the regions – ably supported by the Homes England ‘Partners in Place’ programme. While the news of continued uncertainty from Westminster continued to frustrate many, the ‘B word’ was not a major topic of conversation. Short term investment decisions may be somewhat dampened by the environment in which we find ourselves, but sentiment around the longer term prospects are positive, particularly for those working with enlightened, commercially minded local and combined authority partners.

Following in our footsteps, we were delighted that the Scottish Government had a significant presence this year, partnering with the Scottish Property Federation to deliver a broad programme of events, attended by Derek Mackay, Finance Secretary of Scotland.

There’s a long way to go to escape the oft tweeted pictures of the sea of blue suits outside Caffe Roma, however, there was a notably more gender diverse crowd this year. It was clear that organisations attending had given (in the most part) greater consideration to the team they put forwards. While broader diversity is still lacking, we were thrilled that our partners for the OGP reception, U+I, kindly sponsored Isabelle Hease (Ellandi), a member of our BPF Futures Advisory Board to attend and represent the now 1,300 strong network. At the reception, we announced the launch of the 2019 BPF Futures Challenge, Partnering for Success: Reimagining our Town Centres. We believe that not only do we need to ensure that we provide the right opportunities for the more junior parts of the sector to progress, but that their voices need to be heard when considering the great challenges of our time. Watch this space for more details.


As we begin to think about 2020, and plan for another successful MIPIM, we have three key wishes:

  1. There was plenty of talk about Cannes' "sea of blue suits", but we also saw a sea of white faces. It would be great to see truly diverse attendance from across the sector, not just in gender, but BAME representation too. 
  2. The weather may have been extremely blustery, but not enough was said about the climate. In future years we need to see the industry as a whole grasp the climate change nettle in a proactive, collective fashion.
  3. And to move the real estate debate forward, we would like to see much greater learning from other industries – we cannot expect to be understood as the foundation upon which other sectors can thrive if we don’t open our doors to them too.