MIPIM veteran Alex Bell, Roland Dransfield’s head of media, shares his thoughts on what’s changed and what he’s looking forward to seeing this year.
What I love about MIPIM in the seven years I’ve been going is the energy it generates – the sense of momentum that builds as the week goes on. Property is an exciting industry to be part of and to gather together property and political leaders from across the world in one space creates something inspirational. I’ll never forget Sir Howard Bernstein’s exit speech in 2017, and the sense of pride I felt in our city.
At Roland Dransfield, our ethos is to create purposeful relationships – to make introductions, hold conversations and build collaborations that make a difference to how people do business. MIPIM is the perfect forum to do just that – we’re well connected throughout the industry and it’s great to catch up with so many contacts and forge new relationships. What the world needs now is to see a strong and united Europe that wants to build a sustainable future.
Seven years ago, I started my MIPIM experience as a journalist working for the Manchester Evening News. I spent all my time listening to as many talks as I could fit in, learning about the developments shaping the way we live, work and relax in urban spaces - and filing stories to bring the news back home.
And despite now working in the public relations industry and seeing the digital revolution unfold, and even though print is moving to video I feel, as a storyteller, nothing has changed. It’s still about building a great story, about understanding what people want, about telling the human side and about seeing first hand all the innovations that are happening in property globally. Working with Gary Neville on the ambitious St Michael’s mixed-use development in Manchester centre has been a stand-out for me.
MIPIM is an important event for Manchester and for raising the profile of the city among world leaders. The Manchester Pavilion attracts huge interest and has been instrumental in attracting investment to the city – which is bourne out by the pace and scale of redevelopment and the world class infrastructure that we’re creating – securing Manchester’s place among the great cities of the world.
If you’d like to meet up in Cannes next month, get in touch with me at Alex.Bell@rdpr.co.uk. Alternatively, you can get in touch with my colleagues Lisa.Morton@rdpr.co.uk or Maria.Murphy@rdpr.co.uk who will be attending the conference with me.