• Industry Experts to provide valuable insights at MIPIM Asia 2011

    21 November 2011

    The 6th edition of MIPIM Asia will feature gold-standard conferences to help real estate professionals gain valuable industry insights and explore new business opportunities. The programme includes keynotes’ outlook on the impact of macroeconomics on Asian real estate, as well as tracks on cutting edge topics such as property investment in China and in emerging markets of South East Asia, sustainable urban development and retail in Asia.

    PRC Magazine met with MIPIM Asia Director C. Lam to discuss the exhibition’s growth since 2005 and the outlook for the 2011 instalment. We asked if there is anything new to look forward to this year.

    “This year we have double the number of retailers joining the exhibition,” states Lam. “Retailing has become a major focus for the event in 2011. Because of the financial uncertainties in Europe, many large companies have placed their expansion plans on hold, but for retailers it is different. Everyone is eyeing the China market and retailers view MIPIM Asia as a key launch platform. MIPIM provides an ideal opportunity for retail developers to learn about new developments in the Mainland.”

    Lam cites several examples of the retailers present this year for the first time and uses Gap as an example of the changing landscape, stating that Gap are planning to close 20% of their outlets in the US whilst at the same time opening between 15 and 40 new outlets in China whilst their Hong Kong flagship store has just opened at the recently completed LHT Tower in Central.

    Additionally various cities and local authorities are present for the first time this year and also there is growth in regional investors including pension and retirement funds such as APG, the world’s second largest retirement fund. “All these and more are here for the 2011 instalment,” she states.

    In reference to the successes of MIPIM Asia 2010 Lam says that there were lots of success stories after the show but that private companies don’t share specific details, but that given the uncertainty in financial markets, the organisers were happy with the 20% year on year growth of attendees and that the €1000 entry fee is obviously reasonable for people who really want to do business with major corporations and other industry leaders. 

    Lessons learned

    “The organisers make a great effort to listen to and learn from our clients about what it is they actually need. For example, last year 20 clients from China attended MIPIM in Cannes where they held a cocktail party that many people wanted to attend because it was a big party with great food etc. But after ten minutes the clients, who were from Chongqing, already want to leave because they were not used to talking business in a cocktail party of this size.”

    Lam continues, “In China people’s habits are different, in business they prefer direct recommendations or introductions, but European clients like cocktail parties as a relaxed way to meet people and mixing business with social situations is common practice. Asian clients don’t like to talk to strangers, so the organisers learnt from this and as a result now arrange networking lunches with themed discussions which are much more appropriate in this market. People feel more comfortable when they have time for more formal introductions. It is more tempting for Asians to join a focused group of 10 to 12 people to share their businesses and points of view and therefore this type of event is more productive, so organisers have learnt that Asians and Europeans have very different demands and are learning to change the platforms offered to link people together.”

    MIPIM Asia’s conference programme will also address current issues which are transforming the property market through industry segment topics and regional focuses, such as real estate in China. Lam states that MIPIM Asia will continue to develop more targeted conferences which remain the best way to attract more visitors to the event.

    Two keynote speakers will open MIPIM Asia’s official programme of conferences on Tuesday 15 November to discuss the best investment opportunities today and the major risks likely to affect real estate markets tomorrow.

    Hong Kong advantages

    “Hong Kong is global financial centre and research says most people like this location for a number of reasons. It has a huge geographical advantage. Most people find it easy to get here, Hong Kong has very few visa restrictions and for many it is still the gateway into China. Likewise it’s an easy place for Mainlanders to get to. MIPIM may expand into China later with additional events but nothing is planned yet and Hong Kong will always be our Asian base. We are committed to this city for the long term!”

    “There is only one event of this magnitude in the Asia Pacific where you will find more than 1700 of the region’s most influential professionals together under one roof,” states Lam. “In tough situations such as the current state of international finance, MIPIM Asia offers an opportunity to gather all these thinkers together to engage in in-depth discussions. The industry needs this event, it simply can’t be replaced by the many small events which take place throughout the year. People are busy but with this event they know who the speakers and the exhibitors are in advance so everyone can prearrange who it is they are interested in meeting. Then if they have extra time, perhaps they may make a few new acquaintances just because they are present.”

    On the following pages PRC presents the finalists of the MIPIM Asia Awards 2011.

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