MIPIM, the massive expo for the international property and construction sector due to take place in Cannes from 10 to 13 March has been postponed until 2-5 June due to increasing concerns about coronavirus.
The annual event was due to be attended by around 26,000 property and construction professionals, including up to 5,000 from the UK, but organisers Reed MIDEM said at the weekend that it was postponing the event due to “growing concerns related to the coronavirus”.
Reed MIDEM chief executive Paul Zilk said: “Given the evolving context, the best course of action is to postpone MIPIM to June.” The move came as no surprise as France declared a ban on all events of more than 5,000 people and an increasing number of big-name attendees signalled their intention to pull out of the event.
Infrastructure Intelligence was due to be in attendance at MIPIM. Editor Andy Walker said: “We were looking forward to reporting from this high-profile annual event, but during the last week we were aware of a string of exhibitors and high-profile attendees who were taking the decision not to take part so it was pretty clear that this year’s event would have to be postponed.”
There are also signs that the coronavirus is hitting the construction sector in the UK too, with a number of firms banning non-essential travel, even within the UK, and instructing employees to hold meetings remotely or work from home where practical. Many firms are taking a sensible approach at the present time and restricting all but essential travel by staff, with one commenting “The wellbeing of our staff is a top priority,” when explaining their decision.
It seems certain that the industry is likely to be affected further by the coronavirus in the days and weeks ahead.