Olaf Schmidt: Day one at MIPIM

Welcome to MIPIM 2016. The 27th ‎gathering of the world’s leading real estate professionals officially opens this morning in sunny Cannes. Yet again it is set to be an impressive turn out with well over 21,000 people registered to attend the event. Amongst them will be leaders from 89 countries across the world and from every segment of the industry.

Olaf Schmidt
Olaf Schmidt

Housing the World is the overarching theme for this year’s conference. Building a livable future is one theme, as well as the issue of where to invest in residential asset classes. Building smart mixed use, clean buildings in tomorrow’s world is also a theme we are seeing many more conversations around. Indeed DLA Piper recently commissioned research on the relevance of sustainable real estate and found 95 per cent of corporate occupiers’ surveyed considered sustainability as part of their business strategy.

Overall the mood is one of anticipation. We have a strong turnout this year, and I am joined by over 60 of my colleagues, from throughout our global firm – a true reflection of the cross border nature of today’s real estate industry.

As always, we have a busy schedule to keep and are hosting a series of lunches and networking events throughout the week on our boat the Lalibela. This includes our Nordic and French events on Tuesday evening as well as our Cocktail Reception on Wednesday which promises to be a great opportunity to catch-up with clients in a relaxed atmosphere overlooking the French Riviera.

So there is much to see and do here at MIPIM that it can be a little overwhelming knowing where to start. In that regard, the MIPIM website is packed full of information for the seasoned MIPIM veteran or the first timer – take a look at the ‘MIPIM essentials’ page before getting started.

• The first thing I always do is to download the MIPIM app, which is a major help when trying to navigate the conference. It also lists registered companies and visitors and allows you to communicate inside the MIPIM website

• Stay in the loop with Twitter and follow insights into all 10 panels and conferences using: #ricsmipim

• Use the MIPIM online database to schedule at least four meetings. MIPIM is the perfect opportunity to make new connections in the industry so be sure to get out there and network

• Perhaps an obvious one, but remember to bring enough business cards to last you for the duration of each day

MIPIM is a melting pot of the finest minds in real estate and I for one am looking forward to hearing from thought leaders about their projections for deal activity in 2016.

Good luck to everyone for a successful MIPIM.

Olaf Schmidt is DLA Piper’s global co-chair of real estate