As the year 2019 is drawing to a close, the World Economic Forum’s imminence is felt strongly amongst those of us who do the yearly pilgrimage to the snowy mountain peaks of Switzerland.
Indeed, the most important event in the global affairs is due to take place in Davos during the 4th week of January 2020. If this is your first attempt to try and make the most out of the high-octane networking or you are simply strategically planning your January trip our guide is here to help you.
Last year CV Labs was set the collision course for Davos. We brought the Crypto Valley ecosystem to the Promenade in January 2019 and did that in a mere four weeks of prep time. We did it, quite successfully, if I may add. I personally am quite glad to have survived the WEF craziness. Right after I shared my first-hand impressions of the week: How Blockchain took over the WEF. I was fortunate enough to meet incredible people like Don Tapscott and Wyclef Jean.
This time around I am happy to share a number tips that could help you “survive” the Davos craziness and make the most out your week there. Do I wish I had a couple of these tips handy last time I was there…
Tip #1: Accommodation is your most valuable asset during the week
Finding accommodation in Davos (and the surrounding villages) is like finding a needle in the haystack. If you are set on Davos, please note — it’s quite small; finding the right accommodation is beyond difficult. Almost all hotel rooms are reserved for the attendees of the World Economic Forum. There are apartments and AirBNBs for rent but people start booking the best ones right after the Davos week is over, i.e. a year in advance. Another option is to check out the nearby village — Klosters. You reach Davos by train, it’s a 30 min train ride with a nice view. There’s a downside — the last train to Klosters leaves Davos around 10PM.
There are also taxis available, but they are expensive throughout the week. Pro Tip: tell the driver you work at a hotel and you didn’t expect it would be such a crazy week (works best in Swiss German). I got charged less when I did that. So, to sum up, start looking for accommodation as early as possible!
Tip #2: Have a networking strategy and leverage your connections
It is a super busy week for all attendees, thus plan what to do at least a week beforehand. Do your research early so you know what events will take place. Check within your network of contacts to see what events they are doing. Last year there was a dedicated app — DavosX; it lists a few events happening in Davos during the World Economic Forum week, so download it (once it’s out and updated that is)!
To get most from the Davos experience, plan your meetings and set up a strategy with your team/colleagues/like-minded individuals to “divide and conquer” the snowy mountain village. Trust me when I say this, you would want to attend as many different events as possible and they are all happening simultaneously. There is only one remedy: make sure the adequate colleagues attend the right events. Topics vary so make sure to send “techies” to technology events and your demagogues to political events.
Tip #3: Events, events and more events!
There are plenty of events happening in Davos (shocker!), especially on the main street, the so-called “Promenade”. You will meet a lot of entrepreneurs, investors, artists, decision-makers, politicians and other movers and shakers. Despite the fact that most folks attending Davos are VIPs, the VVIPs will be attending events in the high security zones, which are the following:
· Grandhotel Belvédère
· Hilton Garden Inn
· Hotel Seehof
Please note, hotel badges do not grant access to the Congress Centre, the Kongress Hotel or the Ice Village
Hotel badges are issued by WEF security. If you are invited or plan to attend in the security zone, you will be able to claim a hotel badge. This year, a one-time administrative fee has increased to CHF 200.- per the badge.
In addition to the price increase, the rules for hotel badges have also changed. The hotel badge will only grant access to the designated hotel during the day of the event to which guests have been invited. If a hotel badge holder is invited to several events taking place in different high-security hotels on different days, the badge will be automatically updated, and the person will have access to the designated hotels on the days of the respective events.
If you want to have a seamless experience, make sure you are invited to as many events as possible, every day! Since each hotel has different events throughout the week, you increase your chances to intersect with relevant people. Most of events are invite only, however there are few where you can buy tickets. Most of them are on Eventbrite actually.
Last but not least, people in Davos like to drink and it feels like the nightfall accentuates the networking. Pöstli is the most famous nightclub. It draws in the most relevant decision makers to its shore as the night falls. Tuesdays are always reserved for a Kick off Party and WEF Thursdays host the most famous Bollywood party. Don’t forget to check out Piano bar at the Hotel Europe — it’s a hot spot for everyone visiting Davos, with events happening there every night. For the hardcore networkers amongst us, come to the Ex-Bar, where networking is happening till sunrise.
Tipp #4: Prepare and dress well for Davos, a snowy cold mountain village.
Davos is located at an altitude of 1,560 meters, in the Swiss mountains. Trust me when I say this: it will be cold, very cold. Bring a really warm, puffy jacket, under layers, base layers and all other layers and don’t forget to wear the cold weather shoes, the streets are covered in ice and you might end up going uphill for some event, late at night, when it’s -25C. There are plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants where you can warm up along the Promenade. These places are also good for small meetings. Don’t forget to decompress and take a short break, away from the hustle and bustle of the Davos week.
I hope my tips will help you plan for your first (or not) Davos experience. Since it’s mostly about events and whom you meet at those events, here’s a list of our activities for the upcoming week
Eager to meet the future unicorns of the blockchain world, network with key players and investor or you just here to party? CV Labs is holding an array of different events during the Davos week. Here’s a list of some of our activities:
See to 20 companies pitch live on stage at the Postli club. Startups from the CV VC Portfolio and our close friends will kick things off on a snowy Tuesday. Blockchain heavy weights, like Charles Hoskinson, Riccardo Spagi and David Johnston will give inspirational keynotes in between the pitches.
3pm, Tuesday, 21.01.20 — Pöstli
After our Demo Day we will celebrate the end of our Incubation BATCH_02. Dance to the tracks of one of the most famous DJs from Switzerland — DJ Antoine. This is a great event to network with over 400 people and dance the night away.
7pm, Tuesday, 21.01.20 — Pöstli
Would you like to know more about the digital asset industry? This is a perfect event during to get insights from token issuers, exchanges, traders, technology- and traditional financial services’ providers.
3pm, Wednesday, 22.01.20 — InterContinetal
Are you a “techie”? This dinner is the best event to network with like-minded blockchain technologists. Enjoy delicious food and participate in the mind-boggling discussions about all things tech.
7.30pm, Wednesday, 22.01.20 — InterContinetal
Our Flagship event — the CV Summit will be held at the most exclusive location, Studio Grigio penthouse at the InterContinetal Davos. The sixth edition will bring insights from the industry players, regulatory experts, experts, corporates and many others.
10.00pm, Thursday, 23.01.20 — InterContinetal
Nicolai was involved with various startups for the past 10 years. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration with a major in International Entrepreneurship. Eager to learn more about the blockchain industry, startups and companies, Nicolai joined CV VC, where the cutting-edge blockchain technology meets traditional venture capital. In addition to leading certain events, his duties include overseeing the CV Labs Incubation and CV Competition process, as well as startup scouting activities. Nicolai contributes to the building up of the Swiss blockchain ecosystem and promotes the CV VC ecosystem among the global startup community and wider business partners.
Thinking of Coming to Davos During the World Economic Forum? was originally published in CV VC on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.