Robert McQueen – My first time at MIPIM 2023! 

11th April 2023

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MIPIM  |  Tuesday 14th – Friday 17th March 2023 | Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France 


MIPIM is the world’s leading real estate event. Spanning across 4-days, the exhibition, conference and networking functions bring together international property professionals in Cannes, France.    


It’s been two weeks since my first time attending MIPIM, and now the dust has settled, I’ve just about caught back-up with my emails! I thought it would be worthwhile to share my first experience of the event and a few tips for those planning to go next year.  

Attending the MIPIM conference in Cannes can be an exciting and valuable experience for anyone in the real estate industry. 

I was accompanied by our Managing Director Derek McFarlane. We set off on the first flight from Glasgow Airport, early on Monday morning, fittingly leaving the Glasgow wind and rain, for more strong winds at Heathrow. After I got some colour back in my knuckles, we quickly boarded our next flight to Marseille, to finally get the sun!  

One night in Marseille (which is a story for another day), and then we were off to Cannes by train early on Tuesday morning.  

When we arrived in Cannes, I was taken aback at the sheer size and scale of the event. That, and the dress code I had obviously missed (blue suits, white shirts and lanyards)! We picked up our passes to the event and made our way to the London Stand, which would be our base for the duration.  


What then followed was an exhausting, but incredibly beneficial and enjoyable time of networking, meeting old friends, making new ones and catching up on key industry trends. A special thanks to all who hosted us or shared their time during the week most notably ADP Architects, HLM Architects, HDR, Swish Fibre, Collins Construction and MNP 


It was an interesting few days, and I took a lot away from it. Not just an expanded network and connections, but key insights that are shaping the future of the construction industry. My main conversations at MIPIM were around sustainability. Being sustainable in this industry requires a complex approach, which involves more than thinking about how buildings are built. We often focus so much on the construction of new buildings, but it is also good to focus on reducing operational carbon; from decarbonising electricity supplies to improving energy efficiency of buildings. Now, we must tackle the more difficult task of reducing embodied carbon. 


We will be back next year and I am already looking forward to it. I have reflected and here’s where I’d do things a bit differently:  

  1. Book early: Wherever you’re travelling from, get your bookings sorted as early as possible. Accommodation is expensive and planning a route from the UK can be complicated if you leave it too late.  
  2. Plan more events: The greatest benefit are the meetings that took place around the actual MIPIM event itself. Whether that was a coffee, lunch, dinner or drinks in the surrounding bars and cafés. The main event had a more ’corporate’ feel, but the real opportunity to build trusting relationships came from a more relaxed setting. So, be openminded to where events happen.  
  3. Pace yourself: Getting around MIPIM is exhausting (I know, champagne in a beach club is tiring), but constantly being on the go and doing 25k+ steps a-day, does take its toll. Pace yourself, and try not cram too much in the diary, to allow yourself some time to unwind and relax.  
  4. Engage in sports: There is plenty that goes on around MIPIM so bring running and/or sports gear – whether for a morning run, tennis, paddle or even swingball. Doing this type of networking can make it far easier if there’s an activity.  


Before leaving, there were a few practical tips I had read about that really helped me, so I thought I’d share for anyone else making their first venture in 2024:  

  1. Bring sunscreen: A lot the networking events at MIPIM take place outside so it’s best to be prepared for the sun  
  2. Wear comfortable shoes: Smart trainers were very much acceptable as they are in most business environments now 
  3. Bring a gilet or something warm: Once the sun has set, it gets cold at night 
  4. Bring LOTS of business cards: By lots I mean digital business cards!  
  5. Plan well in advance of what you want from MIPIM 


All in all, we had a fantastic time and gained lots from it – the journey was worth it. We look forward to returning in 2024!  


If you want to swap MIPIM stories with Robert, you can contact him with the details below: 

Robert McQueen 

Director – Buildings and Places, UK and Europe  

[email protected]