My day started on a serious note, with a heavyweight European Investment Briefing from the boys at CB Richard Ellis.
The very polished Nick Axford, head of the firm’s EMEA research team, said there is cause for optimism, as the investment market is picking up.
Apparently, retail property is being highly sought after across Europe, with shopping centres topping the list.
Girls, just imagine hubby coming home and saying: “Darling, I’ve bought you a shopping centre”. Sigh.
Nick also said that sentiment at MIPIM this year had improved. Of course, that is anecdotal, rather than based on the in depth analysis and professional insight of CBRE’s research team, but it is a view I’ve found echoed elsewhere.
On the Malcolm Hollis yacht in the evening, the building consultancy’s chairman John Woodman said much the same, as did their guests from Wardell Armstrong.
Things must be good in Nottingham too, judging by the size of their yacht in the next mooring.
Birmingham has come in for a lot of stick in the past for its MIPIM expenditure. Although admittedly I’ve not been in the bunker and seen our city’s stand at first hand, I have to say our presence seems low key in comparison to others.
While Manchester - with their brazen banner and balcony cafe overlooking the entrance to the exhibition - and Nottingham have gone for the “my marketing budget’s considerably bigger than yours” approach, others, like Coventry, have adopted guerrilla tactics, with posters outside their apartment and the Carlton hotel.
It’s hard to judge which strategy is best – and anyway, they say half of any marketing spend is wasted, you just don’t know which half.
Next year, maybe Birmingham should stop beating itself up, ditch that Quaker mentality and hire a yacht. Let’s get some of that swagger that Professor Parkinson said we lacked.
Ran into Gary Taylor of Argent (running late for the Leader’s dinner!) and Nick Payne of Masshouse fame on the Croisette. Before you get excited and smell a JV in the offing, they weren’t together.
Also caught a glimpse of Clive Dutton, still looking dapper.
Thursday’s big event, at least for the Brum contingent, is lunch on the beach. Apparently they’ve ditched the baltis this year.