James While - Account Director
If you’re anything like me, by now you’ve told your colleagues that you’re one of the chosen few to represent your company's interests at MIPIM.
And, continuing the assumption, you’ll have had a mixed response from said colleagues, from the green eyed jealousy of the unchosen many to the cynicism of those that simply see it as a jolly, to the few that consider it an essential networking tool for the business planning cycle.
The success of your trip is down to YOU. Nobody else. Assuming it’s in your hands, then I reckon you can manage your own success. And here’s how:
There are three elements here. Agreeing what success looks like and plugging that vision into the key business drivers of your organisation.
- Sit down with your colleagues. Ask THEM what, in their view, would aid their commercial imperatives? Which of their key accounts and projects are attending and what value (or potential damage) would a MIPIM hook-up have?
- The key here is to get your colleagues to tell you what they and the business needs. Once you’ve expressed and defined those KPIs back, you have no excuse for not doing your damnest to deliver them.
- Make sure you’ve trawled the databases to know which of your key targets are going. And, think about what you’re going to say that’s going to be memorable once you deliver that dreaded elevator pitch in Café Roma.
The second of our F words describes your doing mode once there. As with everything in life this is not a binary thing; I believe that a diary can be over managed and it’s worth thinking that a stable foundation needs intermittent, not continuous support.
It’s my belief that you should have 70% of your MIPIM activities as pre-arranged focal points. If you try to plan further than this then you will miss organic opportunities that may arise ‘out in the field’ and you will become frustrated that some of the ‘bankers’ you’d pre-arranged need to be moved and you’ve no space to move them to.
That 30% of free time is key. You will meet people you've not seen for years or you’ll meet new people that have something real and tangible to offer.
Leave space to accommodate these. It also allows a degree of mental peaking and troughing. You cannot, by definition, focus for 14 hours a day. Having pauses in your workload will allow a natural breathing space for relationships, that may not otherwise have happened, to blossom.
How many people have you seen come back from MIPIM with more cards than Paperchase littered across their desks and no clue as to how to manage them?
It’s an absolute truism to say MIPIM really starts once you’ve left.
The reason for this is simple - this is when you start ‘doing stuff’- making contact, moving ideas, collaborations, developments forward.
When you get back there are two key stages to your follow-ups;
The Wash Up: Go back to the Foundation. Look at the KPIs you and your colleagues agreed and give them back each and every point with your activity and success therein related. Then, decide the strategy to deliver the outcome; a visit, a meeting, a presentation, a financial model.
Out There: As quickly as you can, seize the momentum you’ve created. Get on the phone, drive through your agreed meetings and your agreed initiatives.
Make sure it happens. Because the only person that can do that is YOU.