Whether you have been before, are making a first time trip or are simply considering getting involved, the World Economic Forum in Davos isn’t quite like any other event of its kind. Back in January the FTI Brussels team organised a major client event on-site and with a packed room at the Belvedere hotel – bringing together CEO’s, major stakeholders and international media – our foray into the Davos universe was a brilliant experience (not forgetting the requisite team selfie, with Michael Douglas nonetheless!).
At an altitude of 1,560m, a morning check of the Davos snow reports whilst digging out our sensible boots was first on the checklist. The population of the small ski resort nearly triples for the duration of the World Economic Forum, so with such concentrated levels of activity for such a short period of time, a trip to Davos requires more than the usual amount of planning to make the investment worthwhile.
FTI Consulting has been an Industry Partner of the World Economic Forum for seven years now, organising multiple events every year and supporting clients on media and stakeholder engagement around the annual meeting as well as WEF’s regional activities in Africa and Latin America. A month after the Forum’s 2017 flagship event, our thoughts are already turning to plans for next year’s meeting. Read on below for the Brussels team’s Dos for making any future trip to Davos as successful as possible.
- Logistically Davos can be very tough. Discuss with your C-suite team their wish to join ‘next year’ as early as possible, certainly no later than the end of summer.
- Budget accordingly. Davos is a ski resort and space is at a premium – hotels, apartments and B&Bs are extremely expensive. Consider staying in resorts such as neighbouring Klosters and have a car/driver available to shuttle you and your executives to the conference centre.
- Reflect on how you ‘find your space’ at Davos. There are many side-line events for which you do not need the main WEF accreditation and which provide incredibly valuable networking and discussion opportunities.
- Davos is a long-term investment. It ‘pays to play’ but as with any business action – it often requires a mid to long-term investment to see real gains.
- Contact the media early or use your media consultancy to help you build-up a contact list.
- Trust the pros. The conference services in top Davos hotels may be pricey but they are top notch, churning out many as 300+ events each during the WEF week. If you are organising an event, a prep visit to understand the space and meet the team is well worth the extra cost.
- Meet people. This is one of the world’s top networking opportunities and there are potential new business contacts everywhere, so say hello, sit down for a quick coffee and get the most out of it. Bring plenty of business cards.
- Keep calm. Even with the most careful preparation and as with every large scale event, even the best plans can go a little awry. Manage expectations and be ready to adapt.
Above all else, remember this is a forum for ideas – opinions are not only appreciated, but expected and contacts made at Davos can provide for long lasting relationships, spanning industry sectors and geographies in a way that would be hard to replicate anywhere else. The investment, both financial and logistical is substantial, which is why we would always recommend planning your attendance as early as possible, but with the right experience and background knowledge the World Economic Forum can be an incredible opportunity for any executive wanting to make their mark on global stage. If you are unsure where to start, contact the FTI team now and will be happy to help.
Read about the Don’ts in next week’s blog.
More on FTI Consulting’s Partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) here.
Contact the Brussels team who supported the Hydrogen Council launch in January 2017: Ivana Jemelkova, Senior Director and John Clancy, Senior Advisor, Ivan Pozgaj, Consultant and Harriet Barnham, Consultant at FTI Consulting in Brussels.