The event caused controversy in the UK regional press last year when Mayor of Leicester Sir Peter Soulsby blamed the Leicester Mercury for his decision not to attend after one of its columnists branded the event a “jolly.”
But, in an editorial for the Telegraph, Neil denied the event would be “a right old knees-up in the sun.”
The self-confessed film geek started a blog in 2011 in which he challenged himself to watch and review every film released in UK cinemas throughout that year.
But he wrote: “Sadly, my dream of sipping a cool beer before nipping off to watch a movie in the home of film premieres will not be happening. Instead, I will be helping to sell our city.
“In my paws will be business cards hailing “Derby, UK – Capital For Innovation” and I will be trying to hand them to as many influential people as possible.
“This is where we try to attract investment and, ultimately, jobs to our city. Is success guaranteed? No. But is it worth the effort? Absolutely.”
Added Neil: “Anyone who is anyone in the world of investors, local authorities or industry will be there. In 2014, MIPIM was attended by 21,000 individuals and 2,225 exhibitors from 93 countries.
“Some might say that Derby City Council’s representatives should save its money and stay at home. I profoundly disagree.”
“Who knows whether a well-placed word, combined with a business card, will have the same effect in France this week but what you can all be assured of is we will be trying our very hardest to make sure it does.
“Meanwhile, the cold beer will remain in the fridge and the film unwatched.”
MIPIM stands for Le Marché International des Professionnels de l’immobilier, which translates as “the international market for real estate professionals.”
Neil is part of a delegation of around 20 as part of ‘Team Derby’, which includes representatives from Derby City Council.
Last year Sir Peter refused to attend the event on Leicester’s behalf, blaming the Mercury’s coverage of his visit the previous year for the decision.
He accused anonymous Mercury columnist Fred Leicester of using his column to “whip up ill-informed popular criticism, basing it on inaccuracy”, after the conference was termed as a “jolly” in the piece.