A few weeks ago, I participated in Mapic, the annual global retail property trade show in Cannes, France, for the first time. It was an excellent event featuring incredible expertise and amazing professionals.
The main theme of this year’s event was Food & Beverage, which has become a globally significant sector, especially in the shopping center business. The message of the industry’s leading actors for F&B business was that the food and the design concepts should be fresh and that passion is the keyword for success.
One Swedish operator said that before, one tour to a new destination once a year used to be enough to keep up with trends in the business, but this year alone he has already made five trips abroad to get new ideas.
Other topics that were strongly emphasized at the event were the importance of conceptualization and co-operation, continuous development and an emphasis on humanity alongside digitalization.
Good concepts critical for tricky locations
Sami Maukonen, CEO of Amerikka Design Office delivered some remarks as part of a seminar titled ”The Nordics – A Nordic Perspective on global F&B trends”. He looked outside of the property business to share an example of excellent conceptualization, the annual Slush tech-centered event.
He explained that every year Slush draws 17,500 people to Helsinki from around the world in the middle of the dark and cold Finnish November. The phenomenally well-conceptualized start-up event draws entrepreneurs, investors, journalists and many others despite the unappealing conditions. In terms of the property sector, this suggests that even in difficult locations business can still be profitable — as long as the concept is right!
Another subject discussed at the event was importance of cooperation and transparent processes – no longer can anyone claim to know everything. Every project needs a tailor-made team gathered from the best experts. Furthermore, property professionals need to continuously develop and implement new ideas in their businesses to hold the consumer’s interest. Above all, however, we have to remember that even in the property business, everything is done for people and people have an eternal desire for human interaction. Digital services are a great help in many areas, but they cannot replace the human touch.
On a personal note, I was surprised by the open atmosphere at the event. Openness and respect for others is clearly essential for success in a field where constant development is a prerequisite for good business. In addition, it was satisfying to note that Amerikka’s design and conceptualization expertise is on par with the very best at the international level. We are discussing the same ideas as other property developers around the world, and the solutions we are planning are very smart, timely and on-trend.
A final key observation was that the cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg in Sweden were well-represented as investment destinations. However there was no mention of Finnish cities like Helsinki, Turku or Tampere as investment opportunities. And the sun was shining in Cannes.
The author is proactively trying to come up with space solutions that improve business for Amerikka’s customers in a changing world.