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MAPIC celebrates success of new digital platform

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MAPIC digital

Reed MIDEM, the organiser of MAPIC, is celebrating the success of MAPIC Digital Live which took place from 17 – 18 November.

With the physical event in Cannes postponed to November 2021, this year’s MAPIC took place on a fully virtual platform, allowing attendees to safely access a wide range of educational sessions and networking opportunities from home.

Over the course of the two-day event, over 2300 leaders in commercial real estate, retail and leisure explored a range of topics, with three major trends being discussed. These were the increasing development of mixed-use spaces, the customer experience, and the digital-physical complementarity.

The virtual platform proved effective, with attendees organising 1,272 virtual meetings. The programme also included 25 live sessions and 114 expert speakers, with between 150 and 460 people participating in each one.

Supporting the industry

“Whether from the UK, Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, China, Italy or France, a consensus emerged during the MAPIC Digital debates using analysis of how the industry is evolving,” says Nathalie Depetro, Director of MAPIC.

“All stakeholders agreed that the real estate and retail sector had rapidly accelerated its transformation into lifestyle and experience destinations. It is crucial to set up a solid collaboration to define the community of uses of tomorrow in the territories – and we hope MAPIC Digital helped to support exactly that.”

Francesco Pupillo, director of LeisurUp, says “The retail and leisure industry has demonstrated its resilience many times in the past and there is no doubt that once the immediate health crisis is over and we adapt, customers will happily return to physical places.

“The spectacular rebound in the sector this summer is proof of this. Retail will recover and pivot towards more personal experiences, strengthened by the integration of digital at all levels.”

Key trends

One of the key trends discussed during the event was mixed-use developments. For instance, Matthijs Storm, CEO of Wereldhave, spoke about how his company is committed to integrating residential, medical, food & beverage and other sectors into its commercial projects, with a target of 25% mixed-use space in its centres.

Meanwhile, Thierry Cahierre, Redevco’s Managing Director for France, said that “although single-use spaces are becoming obsolete, we shouldn’t simply pile up different use cases. It is important that any combination of uses must share an interest in being together, so as to create a real community of uses.”

Cristina Santos, MD Property Management, Spain and Portugal, Sonae Sierra also explored the benefits of integrating co-working spaces in shopping centres.

Collaboration and transformation

Many speakers also talked about the importance of collaboration, and of creating something new.

Gérard Gazay, vice-president of the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropole and mayor of Aubagne, said: “we must not pitch city centres against suburbs, but work towards mutually enhancing offers because it is commercial development that brings these two living spaces together.

Winston Fisher, CEO of AREA15 in Las Vegas said: “Don’t focus on what was, ignore the past, don’t try to fix it, create something new.” Philippe Journo, CEO, Compagnie de Phalsbourg, agreed, saying: “the golden years when we spent little and earned a lot are behind us. The past is the past, now we must look to the future and change things.”

The customer experience and the experience economy were also topics of discussion during the event.

“Entertainment doesn’t dilute the retail experience, it intensifies it,” said Jonathan Doughty, Global Head of Foodservice, Leisure & Placemaking, ECE, while Reinhart Viane, Business Development Director, KCC Entertainment Design, said: “There should be no more boundaries between entertainment, food and beverage, living, working and shopping.

“Entertainment should be the glue to bind these together. Without doing this shopping centres could make themselves redundant.”

A more local approach

Professionals in this industry know the importance of understanding a local market and choosing the right mix for each location. For instance, Carmila offers a more local and responsible offer, supporting innovative brands, said Sébastien Vanhoove, Carmila’s Deputy Managing Director.

When it comes to food and beverage, Ian Sandford, President, Eurofund Group said:  “it isn’t just important, it is “mission-critical…it’s not just the amount, it’s the variety of the food.”

During the event, speakers also explored the rise of digitisation and how it can improve the customer experience. Digital is vital in helping retailers engage with their customers.

For instance, Enrique Martinez, CEO, Fnac Darty said:  “a brand like ours has the capacity to transform traffic from digital to physical. This is quite rare and we can use this new power to attract customers back into the physical world”.

CK Chan, head of Tmall and Taobao, Hong Kong and Macau, Alibaba Group, agrees: “In the past, brands needed to open stores to create brand experiences for the customer. Now they can do that online and the audience is much wider.”

“Like the industry, we are learning to be omnichannel with the MAPIC and LeisurUp Digital platform. It was a new challenge for us and we are very proud of its success. We look forward to seeing you in Cannes next year for a digitally enhanced edition of MAPIC but also for a first physical edition of LeisurUp,” says Depetro.

Sessions will be available to rewatch on the MAPIC Digital Platform until 31 December 2020.

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charlotte coates

Charlotte Coates

Charlotte Coates is Features Editor at Blooloop. She is from Brighton, UK and previously worked as a librarian. She has a strong interest in arts, culture and information and graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature. Charlotte can usually be found either with her head in a book or planning her next travel adventure.

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