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Reed MIDEM, organisers behind events including MAPIC and MIPIM, is set to launch the first global leisure event at this year’s MAPIC, a day before the main MAPIC event which takes place in Cannes between 13–15 November. The launch of a dedicated Leisure event aims to demonstrate that the ability to incorporate experiences is fundamental not only for retail spaces, but for urban places as well.

The full-day event will invite leisure operators ranging from e-gaming and theme parks to live music, museums, art galleries, wellness and food, as well as retailers, brand owners, suppliers, urban planners, media, architects and property developers. The participants will gather to co-create new sustainable business models in order to build the lifestyle destinations of tomorrow.  

Nathalie Depetro, Director of MAPIC, commented: “As the digital revolution has caused consumer behaviours to transform, customers are now craving experiences, conviviality, socialisation, education and new discoveries. Supporting prosperous leisure time will be a challenge for the entire industry, as cities and districts have to become better places to live. We are committed to embracing this change, which is why this new event is being launched at this specific time.”

This first edition of the event will consist of a full dedicated day integrating networking with a jam-packed conference programme, with key topics including Emerging Leisure Concepts, Screen-Based Entertainment Concept and IP-Based Entertainment Concepts, as well as a total of six Learning Sessions with themes ranging from Becoming a Destination: Shopping Mall Repositioning with Entertaining Experiences to Food & Leisure: The Winning Combination.

A keynote will be delivered by Andreas Veilstrup Andersen, Executive Vice President of Tivoli Gardens, the world-renowned amusement park located in central Copenhagen, speaking on the topic of Leisure: The Cutting Edge of Urban Enchantment and exploring how leisure and entertainment plays a crucial role in the attractiveness of cities.

He said: “There is a fine line between retail, attractions and other types of leisure, and that line has become thinner over time. Things are changing rapidly, and we will see all kinds of destinations competing with each other in the future. Given that tourists and visitors are now buying expectations, experiences and memories, operators need to look at what they are offering as a whole, with a view on what the customer gets from that experience.”

In addition to the stand-alone leisure event, MAPIC itself will have an extensive leisure component, offering a series of leisure talks and workshops and an exclusive leisure zone. This further highlights the importance of leisure and retailtainment, which offer new opportunities and diversified new revenues in an industry where changes in consumer behaviour and declining footfall has taken its toll on physical retail pure players. As traditional anchor tenants require less space, leisure can be used to fill the surplus square footage, while offering customers something which cannot be replicated online. It also provides other benefits such as increased dwell time, increasing repeat visits, widening a centre’s catchment area and differentiation from competitors.

Research from Leisure Development Partners in partnership with MAPIC, published in a white paper this month, showing that bringing a leisure concept into a retail space increases its footfall by 2-4 per cent and the retail spend by between 2 and 16 per cent.

The MAPIC and LDP white paper on how leisure in retail can help create footfall, entertainment and personality can be found here.

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