Bring Back the Mosh Pit, Say Some In Davos

As I blogged earlier, there was a major extension of the WEF Congress Center. A newer, grand hallway, lots more room downstairs, a bigger media center and the addition of a "health bar" that just seems to have smoothies on offer.


Most of the delegates seem very pleased with the new digs, the greater room for movement and the brighter hallways.

I miss the mosh pit.

Last year seemed to be particularly cramped, as participants squeezed into the waiting area for the Congress Hall to open. And that's a target-rich environment for journalists. Now delegates are 50 feet away. Before it wasn't rare to see eight European finance ministers huddled together.

And the VIPs, while still benefiting from their security teams, had to part the sea of bodies and took time, usually, to have a few words with faces they recognized.

Now, I'm sure there's an even bigger network for tunnels for surreptitious movement, like the one US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner emerged from this afternoon.

I'm also not keen on the special areas set up for the young global leaders, social entrepreneurs and technology pioneers. (Presumably, Mark Zuckerberg could occupy all three areas at once if it were humanly possible.)

Heard in Davos 2011 - Dispatches From The Conference
Heard in Davos 2011 - Dispatches From The Conference

I think it's progressive of the WEF, but it's also exclusive.

It started out with the areas being roped off. Now they've got signs like "Tech Professionals Only." I'm betting on bouncers and a long line of Tweeters with no dates being told "not on the list" on Friday. (Clearly "knowing somebody" is helpful at these places. The average age of the young global leaders' area this afternoon was early 40s.)

The spaces are also a bit like a zoo now. People stood outside trying not to stare as three roped-off tech pioneers worked on their laptops.

It was sad, but their surroundings of gadgets and plastic tables looked like WEF was trying to make it as close to their natural habitat as possible.