Come back in June, folks.
A day after organizers of MIPIM — one of real estate’s largest annual events — said the show would go on despite big participants withdrawing on coronavirus fears, they reversed course and postponed it until June.
Prominent commercial real estate companies including Blackstone Group, Cushman & Wakefield, Savills, Knight Frank and PGIM Real Estate had pulled out of the four-day conference, which was to begin March 10 in Cannes, France. A 23-year-old woman tested positive for the virus there Friday, the first case in the resort town.
The event has been rescheduled for June 2-5. “The well-being of our clients and staff is our priority. Given the evolving context, the best course of action is to postpone MIPIM to June,” said Paul Zilk, chief executive of Reed MIDEM, which puts on the event.
Zilk’s statement was published on the conference’s website. It continued: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We believe these new dates will provide the international MIPIM community with the opportunity to achieve their business objectives.”
Keynote speakers on the schedule of the exhibition, conference and networking event included Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Organizers had been expecting close to 27,000 participants, but that number was surely dwindling rapidly as new cases of the virus, called COVID-19, began popping up in various places around the globe. It originated in China months ago and major clusters are now present in Italy, Iran and South Korea.
Because the virus spreads through the air, people have begun cutting back on travel and avoiding events and venues where they would come into contact with large numbers of potential carriers.