By Darren Southgate.
It’s without doubt the most important construction event of the year for thousands and having not attended in 2018, this year was going to be special for a number of reasons. Not least of all the launch of our practice, Southgate & Sarabia Architects Limited. MIPIM isn’t for the faint hearted, it’s all about forging relationships and striking deals, fueling business for another year. Southgate & Sarabia Architects have had a MIPIM to remember with Manchester, Leeds, Lincoln and Sheffield teams.
Our flight into Nice on Monday was eventful as Storm Gareth made ‘landing’ test the most resilient of constitutions. Little did we think the return flight back to Leeds would be the same; our plane into Leeds-Bradford landed but the ones before and after ‘bottled the challenging landing’ whilst our pilot declared it’s the worst crosswind in his nineteen-year career! Testing times all round!
Natalie and I decided to stay in Nice and travel in to Cannes each day via the TGV. For us, a fantastic way to focus on a clear start, middle and end to long days. Hearing broad Yorkshire accents talking shop on the TGV was reassuring that we were not the only ones staying in Nice, of course MIPIM’s reach is far and wide across the region.
Monday night we met up with about a dozen friends, we had dinner and found more friends cluster around tables as we entered and exited venues finding warmth, smiles and the promise of conversation at every turn.
During Tuesday we saw old friends at a Sheffield SPA event in their rooftop apartment. The ‘Innovation Corridor’ was discussed through a panel of experts, a topic extremely close to my heart and expertise. Drinks later on helped renew further relationships with our connections across the UK. On the TGV back to Nice, we had the most animated conversation with a Northern Irish elected official, it’s amazing what can be discussed and resolved in 30 minutes!
Wednesday for both of us saw back-to-back meetings and events gaining Southgate & Sarabia Architects access to public and private offerings. The Lincoln brunch has become more and more successful year-by-year, this year saw new opportunities present for us. Our midday event, a wine tasting, brought Rosé into focus as a great drink option for not getting too tipsy! We finished our day with dinner in central Cannes, to which we owe thanks to fabulous new contacts. Our turn next time peeps! We were getting real-time updates on Mrs May’s Brexit shenanigans through the evening, and we certainly didn’t feel any negativity about leaving Europe from our European hosts during the week.
Our big last day had the highlights of the week, with LS1 Club Lunch and dinner in Nice with our developer clients staying with us. Both events had their moments, but singing around the table late into the evening with a live band brought home the camaraderie that is forged throughout MIPIM, a very happy day!
Our planning and logistics all week had run perfectly, so why would our experiences at Nice Airport be any different. Let’s just say we managed to get on the plane in one piece!
Looking forward to #SASA01 MIPIM 2020. Pip Pip.