As we shan’t be strolling La Croisette in person this year, on the eve of MIPIM 2016 we thought the very least we could do to look out for our favourite property marketers is to offer a few tongue in cheek “do’s” and “don’ts” on how to endure the excesses of La Riviera.
So here they are, our golden rules for surviving MIPIM 2016:
1. Before setting-off
Do check your reservation is at La Palme D’Or Cannes.
Don’t confuse it with La Palme D’Or Luxembourg. And certainly not La Palm D’Or Delhi.
2. Dress for Success
Do prepare for cocktails on a giga yacht (‘luxury’, ‘super’ and ‘mega’ are so noughties). This does of course assume that you’ve begged/stolen/borrowed a delegates pass.
Don’t dress as if you’re prepared to skipper the bloody thing (see title image).
3. At the airport
Do pass the time at London City Airport by inviting select clients to join you in a game of ‘luggage spoof’ (rules available on request).
Don’t be tempted to try and make a dramatic entrance to the event riding on the luggage carousel, astride your suitcase, chanting ‘La Marseillaise’.
4. On arrival at the hotel
Do repeat the following phrases, over and over,
- “We’re not going to go mad on the first night – it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
- “Just because it’s on fire, doesn’t mean it’s safe to put it in your mouth.”
- “No-one looks like the authoritative voice of property marketing with their tongue stuck to the vodka luge.”
Don’t listen to that little voice that says “Anything that contains fruit can’t possibly give me a hangover.”
5. Promoting your organisation
Do remember that it’s all about the yachts – nothing hollers “we’ve had an obscenely good year” more loudly to 30,000 of your fellow delegates (and twice as many interlopers) than a floating gin palace.
Don’t panic if arranging your yacht slipped off the to–do list. Bear in mind that most of the people you meet in the evening will have ignored tip No. 4 (above). So if pressed, simply wave graciously in the general direction of the marina and mumble something along lines of “We’d love to have you on board”. This doesn’t come without associated risks, specifics of which are detailed in point 7. (below).
Don’t, under any circumstances, invest in segways, fly-bys or ’prize draws’. They’re not yachts. Nuff said.
Do however box clever and ship out barrowloads of the following, for which you will be remembered and held dear forever by all your fellow MIPIMITES,
- ibuprofen (preferably 400mg Express)
- cheap branded wayfarers (see point 7. below)
- lighters (see point 6. below)
Don’t forget that conferences have the mystical power to re-kindle the urge to ‘tab-it’ in the most stalwart of reformed smokers. Gauloises take the need up to another level altogether.
Do remember that cigars count as smoking. Especially when they appear on Facebook (see point 13.).
Do wear them at all times, especially after the first ‘quiet night in’. This includes when presenting. Vuarnets and vintage Raybans are de rigueur. Avoid anything bearing the name of a car – it just sends out a “this is the nearest I’m ever going to get to one of these” message. That said, a series of cheap promotional frames can give you an acceptably shambolic air that suggests you know how to have a good time.
Don’t be alarmed if your audience don their own shades throughout your entire presentation. They’re only wearing them in case yours fall off.
8. Inviting people ‘on board’ (see point 5. above)
Do this only as a last resort. It might get you out of a short-term jam image-wise, but unless you’ve decided to throw it all in and set up your own travelling circus, you may find that you’ve inadvertently offered jobs to half the night-life on La Croisette.
9. At the client brunch
Do take time to relax with clients on the beach.
Don’t, whatever the size of the bet, “dare to bare”. Vilebrequins may hail from St Tropez but there’s a clue in the first four letters of the name.
10. At your presentation
Don’t open any presentation in Cannes with quotes about doing business with the French: e.g. “It is important to remember that the French have always been there when they needed us.”…
…unless it gets a laugh. In which case do experiment with a media-based throwaway about the threat of Brexit: “The Eurozone’s Facebook page has changed its current status from ‘single’ to ‘it’s complicated’.”
If all else fails do quote Phil Dunphy on property marketing: “Selling commercial property is 1% inspiration, 96% sheer hard work and 4% attention to detail”. You may need a flip-chart and calculator to get a laugh with this one, particularly if you’re on before ‘onzes’.
Don’t get carried away with the infra-red pointer during your presentation. The planes come in low enough as it is and the unscheduled shattering of glass, screaming of engines and appearance of a 747 fuselage between slides 4 and 5 is likely to break your audience’s concentration.
11. After the presentation/celebrating the deal
Don’t under any circumstances be persuaded to mark the event in ‘ink’ of the modern variety. “Mental in Magaluf 2010” was a fine tattoo back in the day when you couldn’t knot your own scarf/tie. “Mullered at MIPIM 2016” isn’t.
12. Evening Client entertainment
Do remember that between the 15th and 18th of March, prices in Cannes officially rise from ‘staggering’ to ‘jaw-dropping’.
Don’t put your card behind the bar under any circumstances. Not that we would, for one second, suggest that your peers might exploit your largesse. However, nothing puts the dampener on a thoroughly enjoyable week more than returning home to find that your company has bankrolled a late night round of ‘Le QVC spoof’ and that your Chairman is now the proud owner of a new set of titanium steak-knives, an Iron-Man Hoverboard and a Ronco nasal-hair remover (again, rules available on request).
13. Social Media
Don’t. Absolutey not. However tempted use social media. Reaching out to the digital world fuelled by a surfeit of sunstroke, sea-breezes and sleep-deprivation can only end in tears. The company blog is not the place to post pics of you and your best (soon to be ‘ex’) client ace-ing it at ‘pass the poppodom’. Nor is Linkedin the place to announce that the entire cast of ‘Ladyboys de La Poubelle” has joined your network. And at all costs resist the temptation to see if you can get #pokerpropertymonster trending on twitter after a night at Palm Beach Casino . And remember that everyone at home is enjoying the updates on Facebook, including your new found love of Davidoffs (see point 6.).
14. On returning to British Soil
Don’t be lulled into thinking that a towelling robe (even if it is from The Martinez), a jumbo-size Toblerone or a duty free bottle of Tia Maria are acceptable gifts for your loved ones after a week of indulgence on the Cote D’Azur. Nevertheless they may buy you time to book a return trip to Rue D’Antibes with them.
15. And finally
Of course we’ll miss everyone out there in the hustle and bustle of Cannes. Have a great time, stay calm and if it all gets too much remember the wise words of marketing supremo David Brent – “When all around you are losing their heads, you’ve probably underestimated the seriousness of the situation”.