MAPIC 2021 was never going to be quite the same as previous iterations – and so it proved.
Members of the Coverdale Barclay team headed to Cannes last week for the leading international retail property show, working with our client Rioja Estates to promote two exciting new designer outlet schemes – both at the event and in the international property, retail and fashion media – as well as meet both new and old colleagues and partners.
The first MAPIC since the pandemic struck was, inevitably, a different experience to the shows we’ve been attending for years. However, as we experienced, and as other property veterans with whom we spoke expressed, different is by no means bad.
These were our top take-aways from the event:
- Meaningful engagement became easier
A less busy MAPIC meant that meetings tended to be less of a rushed affair, with more time for discussions, negotiations – and old colleagues catching-up after two years in which we had only had a chance to speak via the cameras on our laptops.
While there were fewer attendees, exhibitors and guests had more time to discover new concepts and prospects that they might otherwise have missed among the hecticness.
- Leisure is king
While fewer organisations were able to make it in the end, there was a clear uplift in the number of leisure concepts and operators in attendance, with MAPIC hosting LeisurUp and The Happetite Food Forum this year.
With retail destinations being increasingly mixed-use, this shift reflected the changing – or evolving – market.
- There’s no replacement for face-to-face
It was great to be back networking with clients, colleagues and partners – old and new.
We’ve been working with Rioja Estates on this particular MAPIC to promote the Grantham Designer Outlet Village in the East Midlands of the UK, and the Malmö Designer Village in southern Sweden. This B2B campaign, which you can read more about here, focused on media relations, social media, and digital marketing – all of which were deeply important, particularly in reaching those unable to make it to MAPIC.
However, the opportunity to speak to retailers, F&B and leisure operators, as well as others, about the opportunities that these schemes can offer is undeniably important.
Face-to-face engagement will always remain an essential part of a B2B public relations strategy. Often, the old ways are the best.
The industry is now looking towards MIPIM in March 2022, also in Cannes (although likely a bit warmer), and which we very much hope will be another step towards normality.
If you would like to understand how we can support your PR and marketing strategy – ahead of, at, and after – MIPIM, please email us at email@example.com.