It was both David Bailey’s and my first time at MIPIM, and I have learnt a few things to aid survival outside the useful daily structure and impeccably good behaviour inside the Bunker…
1. Eat. If at all possible with a knife and fork, while sitting down in a proper seat, at a table. I think David managed this slightly better than I did, but my MIPIM diet consisted almost entirely of Perrier, canapes, Carlton Hotel nut bowls, and French cold and flu remedies (at least that’s what I think they were – the pharmacy staff seemed a bit confused by my sign language)
2. It doesn’t matter how nice your apartment, terrace and swimming pool is, you won’t have any time whatsoever to appreciate it!
3. Likewise, don’t bother bringing a book or ipad loaded with programmes. Never fear, you won’t have any chance to get bored, and you will have more room in your bag to bring home a wide variety of cheeses and your new collection of business cards.
4. Travel by train. Not just any train, specifically the Cannes Cannes Express. Stuff of legends, and for good reason – if you can manage to get on the guest list, you will find yourself in the company of a truly first rate group of people.
5. Book meetings, but reserve plenty of space in your diary for invitations and impromptu events. This space will not stay free for long, and if you are too regimented by planning every last second you are awake, you will miss out.
6. Pack suncream and ski wear. Based on this year’s extreme weather washout, you may need both.
7. Try not to look too surprised by who you see at The Martinez in the evenings.
8. Pre-empt the Thursday evening bottleneck of events – by setting yourself a challenge to attend as many as possible. We would like to hear what the record is for the most mileage covered in one evening…
9. Book a holiday soon afterwards. You will probably need one!
10. Try not to get too excited by the Macarons.
… Also remember, prepare your sea legs, keep in touch, and follow up with all the great people you will meet. A bientôt!
Sarah Lyndsey Smith
Associate Director – DLG Architects LLP