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Those Davos nights
Piano bars. Drinking. Bobsledding. Karaoke... The World Economic Forum may be ‘committed to improving the state of the world’, but for many, next week’s meeting in Switzerland will mark a priceless networking opportunity, reports Trends.
January 23, 2010 12:04 by Liz Peek
For some, trying to attend Davos’ 100 or more events becomes a marathon. Some of the larger financial services companies sponsor luncheons and dinners; others find the best use of their time is lining up back-to-back client meetings, and skipping the formal sessions.
One financial executive whose company hosts various gatherings says that the energy of the forum seeps into the wallpaper. Even the conversations in the hallways are about global warming or financial regulation.
Some firms pulled out of the WEF last year, fearful that shareholders back home would carp about the outing being a waste of time. One beleaguered bank went ahead with its planned luncheon, but an insider reports that the staff scurried around ahead of time tearing down the décor and downgrading the wine selections to improve appearances.
The same concerns will impact American hospitality this year, some say, though most banking regulars are expected to show.
Some attendees have been disappointed that the political leadership of America has not participated more fully in the Davos sessions. Rubenstein says that last year American attendees were treated rather frostily by those who held that country responsible for the global slide and who felt they should play a prominent role in stemming such disasters in the future.
This year it is rumored that President Obama’s economic guru, Larry Summers, and the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, may be star guests. Their presence would perhaps confirm that the WEF is being viewed as the preeminent global forum, or that America recognizes more keenly its role as citizen of the world, an attitude sure to be welcomed by others.