March 2016

26 years at MIPIM by John Rushton

26 years ago does seem like a long time ago, but when put into context people whom we met then we still know and many of those are good friends, and clients.

We decided to exhibit because Mrs Thatcher said we should “get into Europe” and, from my friends in the music and advertising business, I knew that their exhibitions in Cannes were extremely well attended. We duly signed up for a 4m x 3.3m stand at the first MIPIM.

That first year, at 11am on the first day, a Frenchman came to our stand and announced that he was French though born in a French colony, he worked in Paris with Parisians but didn’t like working with them and he was looking for a British design company to help with the marketing of his project in central Paris. We were appointed on the spot. We are still firm friends.

I have many examples of ‘first morning instructions’ where I could say with real conviction “we can go home now, it’s paid for”. But the real investment is meeting people whom you would never have met in three generations, these people you stay in contact with, telling them what you do, what you think, what other people think of you... and that investment really does show returns.

26 years ago we had only worked for UK clients in the UK. Before MIPIM this year we could show that we have had instructions for projects in 45 countries from Portugal to Kazakhstan, from Lithuania to South Africa. In a couple of weeks I expect we shall be able to add a couple more, from this year’s MIPIM. So MIPIM does ‘work’, as does MAPIC. I shouldn’t forget that we still work in the UK and we cover all aspects of the property profession and sector; corporate to projects, strategy to implementation, print to digital to environmental, destinations and placemaking, retail to residential, commercial offices to industrial... and mixed use of course (but you probably already know that). 

But we now have to work hard on the follow up, it’s no good collecting a stack of cards without remembering the conversations and what was important to that particularly contact. We have to remember everything, and in turn, we have to be remembered.

Now, in the following weeks, is the hard part... the follow up.