So you have all seen what is going on in Davos on the internet and on TV and there is certainly something here for everyone. I’ve never been to Davos before, so I’m a freshman. For those of you who are newbies too, I thought I’d share some of my experiences and insights.
It is quite extraordinary, the most concentrated gathering of leaders from across politics, business, technology, communications, and academia from across the world. We all know that’s what DAvos and the WEF is. But it’s not until you get here and see it face to face that the size of this global ‘Über Class’ really sinks in.
That said, the global jet-set are all equal here. I said hello to Christine Lagarde on the pavement outside the post office on the Promenade. She waved. Other than peering at name badges everyone assumes they know you or should so are polite and open. Where else would that happen? The great thing is that conversations take place on an equal footing.
Whilst plenty of the delegates go to the conference centre there is also the Belvedere where you can chat to everyone in the Google cafe, the CNBC Lounge, the PWC Lounge or KPMG cafe. You go through the security with Peter Mandelson, Niklas Zennstrom, HRH Prince Andrew and Mick Jagger. I moved through to the Google bar to find a perch next to Imran Khan and then off to the CNBC Lounge where PR Hugo Foulds says “Andrew you know James Caan don’t you”. “Of course I do!” I replied.
The next question seems to be which parties are the big hitters going to tonight? Who is going to what and who is not invited? The FT events team are worried that too many PRs will come and the CEOs will not get in. The room holds 150 and 320 accepted – and in Davos, they come. How to get to the two trendy parties given by Matthew Freud and the Mittals after you have done Bank of America and McKinsey? And everyone is still trying to get on the list for Google. Then there is always the Hub on the Promenade where every day is a party and happy hour starts at 5.30pm.
Oh and I forgot Boris who was stationed beside an Ice sculpture of the Olympics all morning giving the same interviews as to why London 2012 will be so amazing, heady stuff!
There is a constant exchange of business cards and everyone wants to meet up in the future. Is this too good to be true? Time will tell. So having set the background I will report on the parties (well some!) next and what was discussed after a few drinks – and not the primed messaging of the day.