October 1, 2012
On a budget at MIPCOM & MIPJunior? Your stay needn't cost an arm and a leg, says CannesorBust.com's Leahy
You’ve probably sunk quite a lot of money already in your production or service. So you obviously want to be careful about splashing money around Cannes, where the sky really is the limit when it comes to spending. But there are ways of saving considerably on the day-to-day things in Cannes for MIPCOM. The big risk in Cannes is getting dragged into expensive places with groups of other people. If it happens, well, relax anyway but make sure you make the most of the networking opportunity. And whatever happens, here are a few tips that can save some hard-earned euros.
1. Check for flights. Left it until the last minute? Don’t worry. Prices for flights seem to have stabilised recently. But it is nonetheless worth comparing prices using sites such as Expedia, Orbitz or Skyscanner. MIPCOM delegates also benefit from reductions with Air France. Nice is the nearest airport, but there are good train connections from Marseille and Milan if that helps. Try to arrive before 20.00 so you can…
2. …save on transport to Cannes. Taxis cost €90 or more, whereas the express bus shuttle service to Cannes costs around €15 return. But it stops at 8pm. The Noctambus 200 night bus runs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and costs only €1… but it takes 1 and a half hours. The nearest train station is Nice-St Augustin, at about 10 mins by foot. Trains to Cannes centre cost €5.20 and take about 45 minutes (same as the express bus). More details here. If you must take a cab, offer to share with others at the taxi rank.
3. Try to find the right hotel. Staying in Cannes is a balance between paying more to stay within walking distance, or paying less and shuttling in. Outside Cannes itself, the best options are the Cannes Beach in Cannes La Bocca and hotels near Juan-les-Pins railway station. There are shuttle services, plus cheap public transport. Just be careful about missing the last ones back, or ensure you are sharing with someone! You can still book hotels through Reed MIDEM here, from €75 a night. Be sure to book soon, the best rooms go quickly!
4. Eat, drink and be merry! Most restaurants now have menus posted very publicly. So you can make your own decisions. Inexpensive areas include Rue Jean de Riouffe, the Rue Meynadier and in front of the railway station. If you’re really on a budget (and believe me, you are not alone), arrange to meet for drinks after dinner. Avoid anything called a “lounge”. The hotel bars are very expensive.
5. Be prepared, with travel apps. Save time, legwork and money by knowing where you’re going, finding stuff more easily and connecting for less. Skype remains the cheapest way to call if you can find a wifi connection. Back up all your flight and hotel details using TripIt to simplify travel. Wayfarer offers free GPS for Java phones. Travel App Box has 15 tools such as phrase and clothes size translators, a tip calculator and more. If you’re attending MIPCOM as a group, take the sting out of calculating shared expenses with BuddyCalc.
6. Deal with emergencies. Get anything from notepads, pens, underwear, sunglasses, sticking plasters, after-shave and more at the Monoprix supermarket on Place de la Gare/Rue Maréchal Foch. Other shops: Carrefour (rue Meynadier) and Casino (rue Volta).
7. Stay connected. Delegates get free wifi in selected areas of the Palais, inparticular the Participants’/Buyers’/VIP Clubs (full list here). There are also a number of connected cafés in town. Free wifi can also be found at the Mairie (Town Hall), in many hotels… and of course, at McDonald‘s!
These are some of the most obvious ways to save money in Cannes. If you have any you’d like to share or have a specific question you’d like to ask, drop a message below.
Platinum lyricist and marketeer Michael Leahy has been attending Cannes entertainment tradeshows for 15 years. He condenses tips, market news and apartment deals through his excellent website, Cannes or Bust, and via Twitter.
Also be sure to check out mipcom.com’s handy “Prepare” section :)