MIPIM Asia 2011 - Daily bulletin day#2 - life is a box of chocolates

So, another day full of intrigue, nuggets of prime property info, live linkups with retail folk in Cannes – and Godiva chocolates.

Mipim Asia day two began with an early breakfast in good company. High-powered leaders assembled in a riverside room of the Exhibition Centre to sip coffee and orange juice and listen to Aedas’ Keith Griffiths talk about the dangers of unthinking development. Then, however, it was time for this correspondent to be slightly in awe of speaker Ben Simpfendorfer, who gave a bravura performance assessing the key economic and investment ups and downs of the region, nay world. The former Chief China Economist for RBS and Senior China Economist for JP Morgan, author of The New Silk Road, and adviser to the China Energy Fund also, it turns out, speaks Arabic, Cantonese and Mandarin, as well as English. Makes you sick.

Still, optimism was the mood of the session, and the leaders left with a spring in their step not entirely powered by caffeine. Over in the main hall, the Northern Caucasus were still highly visible and audible, while there was some golf putting on the AET Flexible Space stand and greens of a different sort elsewhere. That’s because a sustainable theme emerged (see what I did there?) through sessions on eco-friendly infrastructure and housing, designing liveable spaces, and smart cities. Retail was never far from the centre stage, though, with a technically headache-inducing – until it worked – live link-up between Hong Kong and our friends at the MAPIC conference on retail taking place in Cannes, France. A separate event on the globalisation of retail brands featured, among others, Meagan Dietz from Godiva Chocolatier, who told the packed auditorium that the firm was employing chefs in some of its cafes to help ‘educate’ the people of China in all things choccy. This kind of education we like. Very much.

One member of the team got VERY excited about the #mipimasia word cloud (pictured above), which shows that we are the most talked about event in Hong Kong’s Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Then, after filming a series of Property Influencer videos with subjects including Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam (which will be appearing on a Mipim Asia website near you shortly), it was off to the Gala Awards sit-down dinner. Guests were to be treated to four courses, with awards between each, and a special crystal ball dance by artist performer Isaac Hou. Oh, and a box of Godiva chocolates to take back to the missus. Did we mention Godiva?

By the way, the ultimate award winner will be announced at 11pm. We’ll be sending a tweet out then for those not at the show (and for those who are).

See you all tomorrow…

P.S.: If you have missed any of the live sessions, you can see them all here: http://www.globalrealestateexperts.com/category/live/conferences-live-posts/

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