James Davies, managing director of The Wigley Group
This is my first MIPIM and after hearing so much about the event, it has been really interesting to see it from the inside.
We have toyed with attending MIPIM for several years and decided to take the plunge in 2018 for a few reasons.
We are a property owning and development company with our headquarters in Coventry. As such, we own parcels of land across the wider region and we thought it was important that we helped represent the area at what is clearly the premier industry event in the world.
This might seem perverse, but we also wanted to ensure that we got in front of the local authorities where our landholdings lie. It sounds counter intuitive to travel so far to see local authorities, but they are all here in one place, and contactable over a three-day period.
People are out here to do business and, to an extent, are away from the clutter of every day commercial life. They are here to meet people and companies and are therefore accepting of invitations for meetings or just on-the-hoof get togethers.
The areas we are primarily involved with are here under the Midlands UK banner and there is no doubt that brings collective strength to the area, and the presence is exceptionally strong.
Its pavilion hosts a string of seminars and events and has been constantly busy. However, for me, the fact that many cities no longer have an individual physical presence means that it is hard sometimes to pinpoint who you need to see when they are just under one collective banner.
More locally, Coventry and Warwickshire has a high profile at MIPIM and I have met useful contacts for the first time even though they are a part of the “home team”. I am far from the only new member of the partnership and that has to be good for the area.
There is a real energy about Coventry and Warwickshire and that clearly stems from the confidence of what we have to offer alongside some very notable recent successes.
This year has really been an exploratory mission for me, so that I can judge if we should come back and in what form. Certainly, from just a couple of days out here, The Wigley Group will be back next year with a very clear idea of what we need to achieve.
…If only it didn’t fall in the same week as the Gold Cup!