Knight Frank, Grosvenor and Landsec are among the major firms pulling out of this year’s MIPIM conference, in response to the growing number of global coronavirus cases.
Each firm has confirmed they have decided not to attend the event, which is set to be held at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes from 10-13 March.
Knight Frank said: “The evolving nature of COVID-19 in Europe has forced us to reconsider our presence at large multinational events.
“To that end we will no longer be attending MIPIM. The health and security of our people and clients is of utmost importance and this has to be prioritised over all else.”
According to the event database, 52 delegates from Knight Frank were set to attend the conference, including five from the UK.
Other attendees that have decided not to attend the conference include investment giant PGIM Real Estate, which had expected to host an exhibition at the event and send almost 40 members of staff.
The firm stated: “PGIM Real Estate has taken the difficult decision to not attend MIPIM 2020 due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
“The health and wellbeing of employees and our clients is, and always will be, our utmost priority.”
Cushman & Wakefield was the first big property firm to withdraw from the conference.
C&W stated: “The health and safety of our employees and our clients is our priority. With the rapidly increasing number of cases of coronavirus in Europe and the elevated industry-wide concern around attendance at large multinational events, we have decided to withdraw from MIPIM.”
Last week there were 133 people from the agency listed as attendees. C&W was an exhibitor at the event and had named 26 attendees from the UK alone, including Colin Wilson, chief executive of its EMEA business.
In its latest update to the market, MIPIM today confirmed it will be “open for business on March 10, in Cannes”.
It stated: “We are monitoring the situation continuously, including the developments in Italy, to ensure that MIPIM attendees have a safe and productive stay in Cannes.”
Other major agencies and landlords are reviewing whether to attend the conference.
CBRE stated: “Amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the health and safety of our staff is our primary concern and we continue to monitor and assess CBRE’s attendance at upcoming events and associated travel.”
Avison Young said it is “closely monitoring the situation and now reviewing our position”.
Aberdeen Standard Investments, British Land, JLL and BNP Paribas Real Estate are also reviewing the situation.