Mar 28 2014

Ecobuild, Expo Real, MIPIM – which event will triumph?

With the UK construction and property sectors in Construction towersearly stages of recovery, more property managers will be considering attending an industry event (or two) this year.  Whilst Ecobuild was held earlier this month, Expo Real runs 6-8 October, and the new MIPIM UK show runs 15-17 October.  Last year, UK visitors constituted the largest non-German number to the huge Expo Real in Munich; how will the events on UK home soil compete this year?

Last Autumn I was in Munich for two very different, but very popular events. The first was Oktoberfest, the 16-day festival attracting over six million people from around the world.

The second was a visit to Expo Real, the largest annual real estate event in Europe, where CONJECT had a major exhibiting presence. Fast-forward to a couple of weeks ago, I also attended EcoBuild 2014, the largest UK construction and property event. The difference was incredible.

I recognise that EcoBuild organisers are trying to develop the event year on year, but it was disappointing compared with Expo Real. The visitor numbers to Ecobuild 2014 marginally improved on 2013’s turnout, but it’s still 12,000 fewer visitors than in 2012.  We exhibited at Ecobuild last year, showcasing the next phase of our BIM software functionality. We noted that the event was less busy than we had found in previous years, and for this reason didn’t exhibit this year.

Expo Real, on the other hand, was packed with visitors (and exhibitors) from across Europe, the UK included. It’s many years since I have seen people queuing to talk to individuals on stands in our markets! Another point I noted was the presence of many high level executives, again from across Europe. I came away wondering whether the recession had actually happened.

The popularity of Expo Real reminded me of a previous trip to MIPIM in the French Riviera.  Whilst the MIPIM exhibition itself is not well attended, the executive level networking opportunities in Cannes are excellent. My impression is that business is done at Expo Real and MIPIM, whereas EcoBuild is currently a large shop window.

MIPIM UK – a new challenger to Expo Real?

Based on reports from last year’s show, it appears that the annual Expo Real event is growing in importance to UK visitors. I’ve seen an extract of the daily newsletter from the German Immobilien Zeitung – the largest real estate newspaper in Germany. The article says that MIPIM UK wants to entice away British visitors from the 2014 Expo Real in Munich (6-8 October), organising the first UK MIPIM on 15-17 October 2014, at London’s Olympia. According to Expo Real, UK visitors formed the largest visitor group after the Germans (it may not be very familiar to many in the construction space, but I guess it attracts a lot of UK property people with European interests).

It will be interesting to see at the end of the year how each of these shows have performed.  We will be watching with great interest as CONJECT will soon launch a new, fully hosted, facilities management solution into the UK, to extend our capabilities across the full asset lifecycle.


About the author

Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper is Managing Director of Conject Ltd. He has spent over 25 years within the construction and engineering software markets, successfully running sales and marketing teams. He spent a number of years at SAP within their E&C practice, set up and managed a distribution channel in Asia Pacific for a division of Misys and ran a sales and marketing team within CSB COINS. In 2000 he gained an MBA from Henley Management College.

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