In the run up to MIPIM’s 30th edition we have been busy tracking down MIPIM veterans across the UK. We interviewed Linda Stevens, Head of Client Services at RIBA, to glean some insight into how the world’s leading property market has changed since its debut in 1989. Founded in 1834 The Royal institute of British architects is a global professional membership body driving excellence in architecture. This year marks the 5th year that the RIBA has attended MIPIM.
Describe your role at RIBA?
I am responsible for the specialist RIBA Competitions team – who run ‘best-practice’ competitions on behalf of clients – and the Client Services team – who manage over a thousand client referrals a year, helping clients to shortlist relevant practices for their project. My team also actively promotes our Practices (and what they do) at shows such as Grand Designs Live and MIPIM and, through the RIBA Client Liaison Group, we have a remit to help improve client/architect relationships and project outcomes by gathering market intelligence and feedback from clients and sharing it with our members so they can continuously review and improve what they offer.
How would you describe the first MIPIM 30 years ago?
At the end of the first MIPIM there was definitely a sense that it was a success
The first MIPIM, 30 years ago, was of course much smaller compared to today, which made it easier to cover more ground as it took place almost entirely within the bunker. The developers who agreed to exhibit at the first MIPIM probably did so without any expectation that it would still be going 30 years later, gathering momentum and credibility over time. But at the end of the first MIPIM there was definitely a sense that it was a success; deals were done, useful connections made. 30 years on, I am still in touch with people I met at the first MIPIM and meeting face to face is more impactful than it has ever been now most communication is done via digital platforms.
How has MIPIM changed over the years?
The biggest difference is probably the sheer scale of MIPIM, as well as the diversity of exhibitors and visitors. It has become a true international property market over the years and a valuable investment for organisations, whether they are operating globally or within smaller, multiple markets.
What importance does MIPIM play in the industry? Do you think the show’s relevance has increased or decreased?
Inevitably, MIPIM’s importance will ebb and flow depending on markets and priorities set by individual organisations. It is certainly relevant in 2019 with so much uncertainty around BREXIT.
Why is attendance at MIPIM important for organisations like RIBA?
The RIBA brand is recognized globally as a mark of excellence and we have a growing membership of 42,000 worldwide. MIPIM isn’t relevant to those with a predominantly domestic client base, but it’s a great opportunity for those working for commercial clients, whether they are exhibiting in their own right or with us on the RIBA stand. MIPIM is an ideal platform for us to discuss issues that are important to our members post-BREXIT and beyond.
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