Sean Beech, partner at Deloitte Liverpool...

This post was written 5 years ago and therefore may not be as accurate as more recent posts.

Sean Beech, partner at Deloitte Liverpool reflects on his recent visit to MIPIM

‘MIPIM by numbers’ was the closing theme of the Manchester stand at the annual MIPIM property conference in Cannes last week – 108 Manchester delegates, 46 business partners, and 21 events, including a European Cities forum alongside Amsterdam, Barcelona and Hamburg. The Manchester delegation included both the city’s Chief Executive and Leader of the Council. In contrast, Liverpool chose to have no MIPIM delegation.

This is not about Liverpool competing with Manchester – other UK cities attending last week included Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Edinburgh, Leeds, London (out in force), Nottingham, Sheffield, Stoke and York. The mix of international cities spanned western and eastern Europe and Brazil, with an especially strong presence from Russia and Turkey.

In the past, it may well be true that the well-publicised MIPIM excesses did not foster an appropriate business environment. MIPIM 2013 was very much a business event – perhaps quieter than in recent years, and undoubtedly more optimistic about growth and the regeneration agenda.

Liverpool must have a presence on such an important stage, and the city should start planning now to arrange a senior 2014 delegation, especially against the backdrop of the International Festival of Business next year and planning approval for Liverpool Waters.

The fact that some Liverpool businesses make their own arrangements to attend supports this need – during the week, I met with George Downing and David Fletcher from Downing, and also had meetings with Liverpool property lawyers from Brabners and DWF. In the space of a week, myself and Simon Bedford from Deloitte Real Estate managed to meet people who it would take us a year to see in the North West, and we returned with about 30 leads to follow up, including arranging for a Cork delegation to visit Liverpool next year, perhaps as part of the International Festival.

So, the message from me is clear – if we want to attract inward investment and promote the city as a place to do business, we need to play our part in MIPIM 2014. Manchester may do it bigger and better, but Liverpool cannot afford not to do it at all!

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