The registration centre is the first port of call for the 3,000 delegates attending the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. (Carlo Pisani, swissinfo.ch)
It feels good to get your hands on the coveted badge that grants you access to the hallowed corridors of the congress centre – you feel like you belong here! In years gone by, registration took place in the congress centre itself, but the swelling number of delegates made that impractical.
This year alone will see 500 more visitors than in 2016 – a 20% increase. That’s globalisation for you! Delegates used to be herded into long queues along narrow corridors, where they would wait shoulder to shoulder. So a new, larger badge-issuing centre was set up a couple of kilometres out of town – serviced by a fleet of courtesy cars.
At the same time, journalists were moved out of the main congress building to a media village some 200 metres away, but still within the security perimeter. Journalists can hitch a ride back and forth on one of a fleet of electric buggies driven by enthusiastic volunteers.
Since its first event in 1971, the annual meeting of WEF (formerly the European Management Symposium) has always been held at the congress centre in Davos. But as the meeting grew from 444 delegates to 3,000, so did the building. After several extensions, it now occupies 12,000 square metres and can hold up to 7,000 people. The main plenary hall holds 1,800 people.