My first Propski (And how it compares to MIPIM)

2020 was the 8th Propski and it welcomed circa 450 property professionals to the La Folie Douce Hotel in Chamonix.

The event has been, and still remains, a very London centric event. However, with AG being a very Northern focused business, we wanted to dive in and make an impression on it! So, we sponsored a ‘Propski North’ event in Manchester to promote Propski to the Northern community and this proved a great success and led to far more Northern accents echoing around La Folie Douce.

Propski offers a half or full week option and I went for the half week (as the majority do). I found this to be the correct decision for me as by the end of the half week, I was feeling pretty burnt out.

La Folie Douce is a beautiful recently refurbished hotel with fantastic, if slightly risqué, entertainment – you get used to seeing scantily clad performers descending from the ceiling in rolls of silk…….

What to expect! 

I have never skied before, and I was by no means alone. As part of the standard package, you can add ski lessons at all levels of competence and hire ski equipment, boots, poles etc. Generally speaking, the itinerary of my week was along the lines of the following: -

Saturday – Arrive, check in, get welcome pack, go to welcome party. This seems to be the main night out and people certainly party until the small hours, dancing on tables, drinking games and catching up with old friends!

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – Generally a repeat of the following; Breakfast (mixture of fresh and hungover people enjoying a continental buffet), ski or ski lessons, lunch, ski, attending an event – repeat.

Thrown in to the above was time spent in the hotel spa and open-air pool, which I have got to say is probably some of the best networking I have ever done!

For me, the ski bit was three 2-hour lessons every morning in the ‘newbie’ or absolute beginners’ group. This proved to be a great choice, as it enabled you to rapidly meet people who you would then knock around with and who would introduce you to others.

My two colleagues who attended didn’t have lessons, as they were competent skiers/boarders and they spent the days up in the mountains at various resorts with different groups of people – it is such a friendly event, even if you were to attend alone there was always a welcoming group to spend the day and evenings with.

Many experienced skiers/boarders did have lessons, simply to help them meet people. For me, having lessons is highly recommended.  By day three, I was able to go up into the mountains and tackle the green runs within the most amazing setting. 

Propski is such a great environment to expand your network. There is a common interest in skiing/boarding and therefore the conversations are easy and flow something along the lines of “do you ski/board?” “where have you been today?” “where are you going tomorrow?” “what is it you do?”. All of this moved along nicely by the social events and plenty of Mont Blanc biere!

The half week ends in race night, which anyone can enter and is great fun as people come down the slope with commentary via the Propski team

My return to the world of Business!

Since returning there has been a flurry of contacts from new friends and a real optimism that business will be won. 

So, in summary – I loved it!

A number of people have asked – how does it compare to MIPIM? So below is my brain dump of how Propski compares to MIPIM:

  • MIPIM feels like a business trip – Propski a holiday feel
  • Propski is fairly small and intimate – MIPIM is huge and can be intimidating
  • There are no business suits to wear at Propski, it is a very causal event
  • Propski is cheaper (certainly if you buy a pass at MIPIM)
  • I would say Propski is better for building relationships and MIPIM may be better for doing deals
  • There is so much going on at MIPIM that there is an overlap and you often miss events, whereas at Propski everyone’s on one agenda at one hotel
  • Both need planning and follow-ups to get the most from them

The overriding thing for me is I think Propski is more FUN!  It’s also a credit to the organisers and really delivers.  A final thought - along with having a great time and meeting new contacts, this can be great team building event, so I hope to see you and your team at Propski 2021!