Among their goals is the desire to capture the attention of corporate occupiers of space, as well as the brokers, consultants and advisers who influence these corporations’ location selection decisions.

The growth of MIPIM has paralleled the growth of the global economy. Merger and acquisition activity continues to grow, China and India have rejoined the world’s economy, the EU has realised market and geographic expansion, and companies increasingly invest in technologies that enable them to manage across the time zones. One obvious result has been for companies to disaggregate their activities in search of competitive advantage (or at least parity). Companies invent it here, make it there and account for it elsewhere.

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So despite the occasional lapse into protectionism at home, at MIPIM, companies are all on the offensive, hoping to find favour with business leaders seeking to rationalise newly combined or expanding enterprises. And each location wants to be seen as a place where economic vitality will assure the wisdom of a big real estate bet. Many are good at attracting investment from the major companies. At the other end of the development spectrum, many places have also worked to encourage the creation of new enterprises, with angel, seed and venture capital schemes, university entrepreneurship programmes, and technology park incubators and accelerators.

But, perhaps because it is more difficult, few places have developed strategies for attracting smaller but growing companies, a select group of which are controlled by one of the world’s 3000 private equity investment firms. Some in-depth conversations with experienced private equity investors confirm the difficulty that promoters may encounter if they employ traditional investment promotion approaches in the private equity arena. However, matches can still be made.

And gaining the presence of smaller but established companies may be one of the soundest ways to strengthen a targeted cluster and develop critical mass of companies and employees, with increased upside and reduced business risk. Promoters may not find them at MIPIM, but these private equity targets can offer a strong supplement to the Global 1000 attraction and new venture start-up strategies already in place.

Daniel Malachuk works with business and government leaders on global direct investment strategies. He has advised many of the world’s leading companies and served in the public sector as director of White House operations.

E-mail:daniel.malachuk@gmail.com