The recent appalling events in Paris understandably threatened to jeopardise the event taking place this year. Not surprisingly some participants and exhibitors decided to withdraw, concerned that attendance was perhaps unwise, or possibly of questionable taste. Networking and celebration of any kind – even in a business context – was too soon for some. An entirely reasonable stance.
For the vast majority of us who did attend the event however, I would suggest that all were very respectful of what had recently occurred only a few hundred miles away. All were equally determined that they would not to be intimidated or that the freedom we all enjoy would not be destroyed by these callous and barbaric acts. The business community must surely play its part in taking us forward and not bowing to terrorism, and one of those ways has to be to recognise achievement and plan for a better future.
I would therefore simply like to say well done to the many exhibitors represented, along with the event organisers who must have faced some significant last minute challenges. The event was a success. Respectfully muted on a certain level, but I would also like to say how encouraging it was for the general sentiment to be one of positivity and progress across the shopping centre and retail arenas. After some challenging years, things are improving at a pace.
Our sincere, heartfelt condolences to all affected by the Paris attacks. However well done to France for keeping it’s doors open at such a difficult time and allowing us all the freedom to safely conduct our business in Cannes. The shopping centre and retail industries are all too aware of their important place in combating acts of terrorism and keeping the public safe. I am sure recent events will only steel the industry to be ever more vigilant and committed to delivering that safety to us all.
Julian Long, Managing Director, Foundation Recruitment