This week's annual CoreNet Global EMEA Summit has broken the membership organization's own record for attendance at an event held in Continental Europe, with more than 400 senior corporate real estate professionals attracted to the Newport Bay Club, Paris.
Only the two previous EMEA Summits hosted in London have exceeded this level of participation, in part thanks to the UK Chapter's stature as the second largest in the world.
The event attracted a large number of corporate occupiers to present in the program include Vodafone, Siemens, Shell, Citigroup, Standard Chartered Bank, Coca Cola, and Nokia, joining many other leading corporate real estate experts including consultants, academics and economic developers.
Popular sessions at this year's Summit, which took the theme "Social Dynamics: Connectivity, Creativity, Relationships", to explore the global social change that has led people to connect across cultures and continents on both a personal and corporate level, included:
Social media expert Euan Semple delivering an engaging, thought-provoking presentation on social media and the world of work. "To simply call it 'social media' undervalues it somehow," he began. "For me, it's the incremental impact of the web on our lives." The core issue, Semple explained, isn't really about technology. Instead, "it's changes in the workplace that just happen to be speeding up due to technology."
A stark economic forecast from Catherine Lubochinsky, Professor of Economics at the University of Paris 2, who predicted continuing slow growth in the near term for both the US and Europe, with the solution being a review of the role of finance in the real economy.
A Pecha Kucha session debating the future relevance of structured and formal membership organizations and conferences (such as CoreNet Global) in a world that is changing due to social connections and impromptu relationships, connections, networks and work environments.
Leon van Leersum of REDEPT and Andrew Mawson of Advanced Workplace Associates both argued in favor of the motion, while Matt Fanoe of Coca-Cola / chair of CoreNet Global and Oliver Jones of EC Harris LLP argued strongly against it.
A closing wrap up from author and futurologist Bellini who argued that the future is already here and that that we are already in a great transition where there is a fundamental shift in global realities. Over the next 25 years the world will spend US $50 trillion on infrastructure, which is close to the size of the current world economy. The world will be rebuilt and there will be big challenges for the Corporate Real Estate ahead.
Delegates also enjoyed a varied program of break-out sessions and networking opportunities, including a gala dinner hosted at Disney Studios.
The Summit also welcomed members of CoreNet Global's new France Networking Group, which was launched in early 2011 and forms an important part of the organization's strong presence in the EMEA region, where there are also active regional Chapters in the Benelux, Central Europe, Middle East and the United Kingdom.
Sponsors included Johnson Controls, Compass Group, Regus and BNP Paribas Real Estate are Platinum sponsors of the Paris Summit, with Gold sponsors CB Richard Ellis, Jones Lang LaSalle and Global Switch, and Silver sponsors including Steelcase, Qube Global Software, Eurocres, Ahrend and Procos Group.
Daily reports and presentations from the Paris Summit are now available on the CoreNet Global website.
Each CoreNet Global EMEA Summit takes place annually in a different location in the region.