Socialising in the sunshine

As MIPIM gets into gear Jim Bauwens gets caught up in the social whirl and even ponders a midnight dip in the sea

Jim Bauwens
Jim Bauwens

Another bright and sunny day at MIPIM. Things always look better in the sunshine, don’t they?

Despite the snowfall in Belgium, which brought the country to a halt and made for record-breaking traffic jams, we did manage to get to Cannes and I was happy to be woken by the sun this morning.

With new-found energy, I’ve been into the labyrinth-like Palais and checked out the stands at MIPIM. Some, as always, look incredibly impressive. The conference still seems a little quiet, but I’m yet to decide whether this is because half of the delegates are still stuck in Paris and Frankfurt or whether this is a more muted and business-focused conference this year.

At DLA Piper we are keeping busy. I head up our retail team and my focus has been on meeting our developer and investor clients, both at our international retail brunch this morning and elsewhere at the conference, be it their stands, some of the conference sessions or at the numerous other networking events.

Although many of us in retail will be focusing on MAPIC in November there is still plenty of activity here at MIPIM. It’s such a huge real estate sector that there are always people to meet and new developments in the market to discuss. Of particular interest to me are some of the pipeline projects that our clients are working on; it’s very positive that although the economy is still volatile the major shopping centre owners are still looking to develop, refurbish and/or rebrand some of their shopping centres. It will be interesting to talk to some of my retailer clients after MIPIM and see whether their plans will match those of the landlords.

Tonight we are hosting a cocktail reception. With over 200 people already registered I hope we don’t sink the boat. But, hey, wouldn’t a swim in the sunshine be a good way to end another exciting day at MIPIM?

Jim Bauwens is a partner at DLA Piper