When you add everything up, a trip to Cannes for midem involves some investment. In fact, mention the word Cannes and people immediately associate it with extravagance. But as nearly two generations of midem professionals know, there are ways of reducing the bill and spending only what is necessary.
1. Decide in time. The difference between the first early bird rate and the walk-in rate is a couple of hundred euros. For me, that covers the price of a hotel already. Act now, and you can still save €100.
2. Check for flights. Prices for flights seem to have stabilised recently. But it is nonetheless worth comparing prices using sites such as Expedia, Orbitz or Skyscanner. midem 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 8pm so you can…
3. …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 takes 1 hour 30. 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.
4. 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 book hotels through midem here, from €75 a night. Be sure to book soon, the best rooms go quickly!
5. Eat, drink and be merry! Most restaurants now have menus posted very publicly. So you can make your own decisions. Obviously, anything along the Croisette is going to be more expensive. There are plenty of cheap eateries in front of the railway station. There is no law against eating sandwiches or pitta/shoarma for three days (the late-night one on Place Gambetta is an adventure). 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.
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 Wi-Fi at the Palais. There are also a number of cyber cafés in town. Free Wi-Fi 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 midem for 15 years, as well as numerous other Cannes entertainment tradeshows. He condenses tips, market news and apartment deals through his excellent website, Cannes or Bust.
Also be sure to check out midem.com’s handy “Prepare” section