There are two things that are never in any doubt during MIPIM; your calorie count goes through the roof, as do the number of conversations you have in one day.
The latter though is what MIPIM is all about, the former is merely a survival technique to give you the energy to keep talking (and standing).
I was once told by a former boss “you don’t win any business out at MIPIM”. I have also heard some people say “no one does any deals at MIPIM anymore”, whilst others tell me “only go to MIPIM if you have a deal to be done”; or “we only send our transaction based team”.
The thing about MIPIM, however, is that it is unique in the way it brings so many influencers together in one place for four days at a time. In that one week on the sun soaked Riviera (ok, I’m hoping some blind optimism will force the weather’s hand this year) you can make as many new connections as you will from the rest of the years’ networking combined.
Admittedly many of those connections are just fleeting conversations, or maybe prolonged drunken drawls, but in today’s socially connected world, you just don’t know where that conversation might lead. Maybe not that day, maybe not even in the weeks that follow, but it could just lead to a new appointment either directly or indirectly in the months or years after.
I go to MIPIM with a number of hats on; to show current clients some love, to arrange client press coverage and help with their events, and to look for potential new clients.
The trick to generating new income from MIPIM, I believe, is as follows:
- speak to anyone and everyone, you never know what they need or who they know
- always have your wits about you
- always make a good impression
- take notes about who you met, what you discussed and what follow-up you agreed
- create a human connection – don’t do a hard sell (this may just be a personal style though)
- send LinkedIn requests that day and follow on Twitter
- follow-up within a fortnight (but not the first few days back) with a personal message or call
- be active on social media to ensure your face and name gets and stays in front of them to remind them who you are and what you do
- follow-up again a couple of months later with a good reason to be in touch
I can confidently say that every year I have been out to Cannes, I have established a connection that has led to new business. On some occasions this has been almost immediate from the person I shook hands with, on others it has come 12-18 months later after many follow up conversations and meetings. Sometimes it has also come from a recommendation from someone I first met out at MIPIM.
It was also a drunken conversation with a former client by the side of a current client’s yacht that set the ball rolling on me launching my own PR agency.
I’m a wordsmith, not a mathematician, but the formula is simple; the more conversations you have, the more chance there is of having a positive impact on business development, which is what you are there for. So eat as many breakfasts, lunches, dinners and canapes as you can in one day, just make sure you are talking about business and life to as many people as possible in between mouthfuls.
To arrange a conversation with David (or Christine) out at MIPIM to discuss your PR needs, or to see if his team can help with your final preparations and MIPIM media engagement (or just to consume some calories with him), call him or 020 3325 6326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.