The head of a large private equity firm once told me that he spends Davos in the lobby of his hotel with back-to-back appointments booked throughout his time there. For those who wonder why Davos exists–and why it costs so much–the answer lies in its limitations.

Davos is simply the global power elite’s family reunion. That’s easy to make fun of. The humor, however, is irrelevant to conference. Indeed, the WEF is probably as much a product of the need for a regular jamboree of corporate, state, NGO and media interests as it is the creator of such.

Here’s Henry Blodget’s epiphany upon discovering he was under-dressed even though he was in a mountain resort:

And that’s because Davos is now primarily a huge, high-level business conference, in which senior executives from the world’s largest companies take advantage of their physical proximity to meet in person with partners and clients and would-be clients–meetings that can end up being vastly more valuable than the price of admission.

One executive of a major multi-national told me this morning that he and a colleague will meet with 100 clients in the next three days. Their company sponsors the conference, too, because the branding and association is helpful, but there’s nowhere else in the world that they can cram so many high-level meetings into so little time with such efficient travel.


THE TRUTH ABOUT DAVOS: Here’s Why People Happily Pay $71,000+ To Come–And Why They’ll Keep Paying More Every Year
by Henry Blodget
Business Insider; January 26, 2011

Category: Think Tank

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