Belfast City Council
To work with Belfast public and private sector stakeholders to develop and communicate the city’s investment proposition to the global market.
Belfast was entering a new era of ambition, as the city took hold of its own economic trajectory and positioned itself for a period of sustained growth.
As one of the youngest and most academically gifted cities in Europe, its leading educational institutions consistently outperformed their British counterparts, and leading R&D centres reported significant productivity growth year on year.
Appetite had returned to communicate the city’s offer to the global market and to make Belfast into a desirable destination for investors and influencers.
Each year, the international real estate community flocks to Cannes for Europe’s leading property conference, an event that provides a direct route to development, investment and networking prospects for those in attendance.
With over 20,000 individual participants, 4,000 investors and 2,000 exhibiting companies representing 80 countries, MIPIM is the premier platform for major cities looking to expand their horizons and explore opportunities for growth.
By heading to MIPIM, Belfast was able to take its brand to a global audience and elevate its international ambitions, however it was important that a clear and unified investment narrative was agreed in order to create a powerful differentiation in a noisy environment, deliver meaningful leads and create a legacy that could build momentum for the city.
It was important that the narrative and messaging was uncovered from within the city and resonated with all stakeholder groups.
MC2’s work began with the formation of steering groups representing the various communities from within the city. From these sessions, the themes of talent, tax and technology were born and we then worked on bringing these messages to life throughout every aspect of the campaign, from design and media activity to the event programme and on stand content.
From here, the road to MIPIM began. Marketing a city to investors, developers and agents requires a focused and unified delegate team and we worked with existing stakeholders to bring together a group of 78 delegates, key public and private sector businesses and orgranisations that represented the city’s key industries. This established group enabled us to align all delegates around the city’s key messages and also meant that we had a formidable presence during MIPIM that was capable of exciting investor interests and educating foreign business about the city’s unique offer.
We also invested a significant amount of time mapping our key audience and identifying specific individuals and companies that we wanted to engage with during our activity. We worked hard during the build up to MIPIM to raise awareness of Belfast and communicated directly with our target list through bespoke, creative video mailers to invite them to a series of VIP lunches with key Belfast influencers.
We curated a unique and characterful event space and highly effective programme for the conference that would facilitate partnerships for the city and bring its message to an international network of investors and shareholders. Focusing on the themes of talent, tax and technology, we brought the city’s leading experts together to showcase the best of Belfast from its world leading Universities and wealth of up-and-coming talent, to award winning animators, film-makers and digital innovators. Alongside these messages, the region’s leading developers made use of interactive digital maps of the city to showcase the up-and-coming schemes ready for investment or occupier interest.
We also made sure that Cannes was able to experience the city’s personality with contributions from leading musicians, sporting stars and actors as well as Visit Belfast bringing the city to life through AR technology. Even the hospitality remained authentic with Belfast’s best loved drinks brands being served on stand, an award winning chef from the city flying out to cater for an exclusive delegation event and our very own Belfast Bar at Ma Nolans in Cannes to celebrate St Patricks Day.