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The WEF Theme Park

Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 | 5:45 AM ET

The hub of activity in Davos Tuesday will be the registration tent. Again, this had benefited from an upgrade. It's larger, preventing the typical rugby scrum of participants trying to get credentials.

Everyone gets the same color badge chain. But badge colors highlight the WEF caste system.
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Everyone gets the same color badge chain. But badge colors highlight the WEF caste system.

Even more exciting is the addition of golf cart transport between the registration area and the Congress Center. (You have to grade "excitement" on a curve here given how much time we spend cooped up in a tent full of space heaters.)

The two-minute ride is actually pretty fun as the cart skids along the snow. And the fences blocking off the path, combined with the stereotypical Alpine trees, chalets and snow-covered ground gives it the feel of a US amusement park's winter-themed ride.

After the ride, it's usually time for snacks and carnival games. A new snack bar in the registration tent takes care of sustenance and it's time for participants to try their luck at the Big Badge Game.

While the players have confirmation that they are registered, the big anticipation comes from what color badge they will get. The white badge is the most coveted, ensuring freedom of movement, deference, access to VIP areas and loads of orange-badged media types running up to you when you order a cappuccino.

At Tuesday morning's registration there were obvious looks of consternation as some members of a company proudly placed their white badges on while others looked in dismay.

For the last few year's I've had an orange badge that necessitated frantic calls to the WEF press people to gain access each day to the Congress Center. This year, arriving early I managed to score a purple badge that designates me as support side. The plus side? Access to almost all areas without special dispensation. The other plus side? People not immediately putting a wall of PR people between me and them when they spy my orange badge across the hall.

But it doesn't get me the privilege of WEF's famously hard-to-chew salami sandwiches.