I visited the French Riviera as an adopted member of the DIT Experience Economy Team. The famous Côte d’Azur leaves a visitor breathless even before landing at Nice airport, offering the lucky window seat occupants a fantastic view of the crystal blue Mediterranean Sea and the magnificent Alps in the background. My final destination was Cannes, a popular location for the members of the global jet set and host – town of the world’s most famous film festival.
The very same venue where film stars walk the red carpet every spring - Palais des Festival – also hosts MAPIC - The International Retail Property Market, an annual event that brings together developers, retailers and leisure companies, all aiming to get valuable insights into the newest trends, projects and market information, as well as to benefit from the numerous networking receptions taking place every day throughout the city. Although essentially a networking event for retailers, developers and architects active in the retail sector, the venue also has a significant amount of space dedicated to companies active in the leisure sector presenting themselves to the over 8500 visitors who attend the event annually.
DIT was represented by the members of the Retail and the Experience Economy/Creative Industries team. We were using our time to see as many UK companies as possible and link them to the interested customers on the spot. The UK had a hospitality suite that the UK companies and trade advisers were using for one-to-one meetings. Much of our time was devoted to visiting the UK leisure companies who had stands at this year’s event, as well as architectural and consultancy practises looking to target potential developers from Europe, and the emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East. All the UK companies we met were positive about how the event works and the value to them of unearthing new contacts. DIT also organised a networking reception for all the UK companies and their potential partners on the second evening of the event.
The event had a very strong conference programme, with a number of major companies present as panellists. Naturally, the French companies had the strongest representation, but there were sessions presenting the US, China, India and other emerging markets. There was a dedicated leisure session, covering general trends in the leisure industry, and a session on investing into the UK retail market.
An event definitely worth visiting! DIT is now considering how it might help the UK leisure sector increase its visibility in future years and hope to see more UK companies at next year’s event. For more information, please contact the DIT Experience Economy team (Rozmin.firstname.lastname@example.org).
Monika Suknaic | Trade Adviser | DIT Zagreb | Croatia
Department for International Trade | British Embassy Zagreb | Ivana Lucica 4 | 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Tel: +385 1 6009 304 | E-mail: Monika.Suknaic@mobile.trade.gov.uk