THE TRUTH ABOUT DAVOS: In Which I Register, Check-In, And Meet The Most Impressive Man Here

Davos Night

I’ve finally arrived!

I left Munich at 2pm this afternoon in a Mercedes van filled with other Davosers who had warmed up their schmoozing skills at the DLD conference. 

We drove for two hours across Bavarian farmland, dipped into Austria for a few minutes, then swerved into Switzerland. Another hour or so later, we turned up the road leading up a valley into the Alps. And 40-five minutes later, we were here.

(Incidentally, before I left Munich, while waiting for the Mercedes van, I met a man whose company I’ve had a lot to say about over the past three years: Arthur Sulzberger Jr. Arthur spoke at DLD and now he will be speaking at Davos. And he was standing there in blue jeans outside the Bayerischer Hof waiting for his own Mercedes, so I walked over and introduced myself. After a brief shock of recognition, he recovered. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Arthur and I are pals now, but it’s a start.)

That was half a day ago, and it’s 1am Davos time now,  so let me apologise in advance for any late-night typos or maudlinness or boneheadedness. I imagine there will be a lot to say over the next few days, and if I develop a backlog, I’ll never catch up.  So here goes…

I’m writing this in my hotel lobby, and Captain “Sully” Sullenberger just walked by. He’s the one who landed the plane in the Hudson a year ago. I stood up and shook his hand and said it was a privilege to meet him. And it really was. I don’t know why, but there’s just something about his coming through under pressure and saving all those people that made me almost choke up when I met him. I know it will sound strange, but if I only got to meet one of the thousands of impressive people here, it would be Captain Sullenberger.

Nouriel Roubini’s staying here, too, I just learned. Nouriel walked in covered in snow (it’s snowing) and said he had to be up at the crack of dawn on the CNBC set with Maria Bartiromo. He wasn’t ruling a late-night visit to the piano bar in the Hotel Europe down the street, where Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi will be singing, but I haven’t seen him on the way out yet.

Jeff Jarvis, David Kirkpatrick, Robert Scoble, and Loic LeMeur just came in, too, on their way to bed. Even if you’re not on CNBC, the “sessions” start early tomorrow.

I’m not sitting here in the lobby because I’m a stalker, by the way. I’m sitting here because it’s the only place in the hotel with WiFi.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  I made a grave error, I see now, in only bringing my iPhone camera, because it’s taking piss-poor pictures, especially in low light. But it’s all I have, so we’re just going to have to make do.

Here’s what it’s like to arrive at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting on a snowy evening…

First, there's registration. I almost made another grave error here...

This is a white badge.

That's important, because a white badge, I am told, is vastly superior to a 'yellow badge,' which is what the ordinary working press get.

A white badge gets you in everywhere--all the sessions, all the dinners, etc. A yellow badge, meanwhile, apparently doesn't get you into jack.

After you pick up your badge, you get your shwag bag. That's Justin Fox of Harvard Business Review getting his

What's in the shwag bag? Stay tuned. That's the next chapter...

Ah, well.

Hop into a grey shuttle, and it's off to the 'Club Hotel.'

(You don't get to choose where to stay in Davos. Publicis chooses. They buy up pretty much every hotel room in town and then resell them to attendees. Not a bad plan...)

Check in with the helpful frau.

Get your room key and public bus pass

The bus pass is handy for getting lost, by the way.

After dinner, I boarded a public bus I thought stopped near my hotel. By the time we were five miles down the valley, in the dark, in a blizzard, with no lights visible let alone a town, I realised it didn't. And my iPhone had just died. And I'd left the map in my room. And I don't speak German.

(But I'm here now, so it worked out OK in the end).

Also in the lobby: A table of free newspapers and magazines--all the world's best financial publications (except Business Insider) are right here...

And there's the lounge--the only part of the hotel with WIFI. I'm there now, 7 hours later...

When I was looking for a plug in the lounge that was big enough for my power-converter, I'm afraid I unplugged it.

Seven hours later, it appears to have rebooted.

In which you have only a few second to figure out which floor you're headed to...

Room 246 this way!


Perfectly fine, actually. The rest of the hotel reeks of cigarettes, but the room's fine.

Quite the slim bed. Good thing I didn't bring a spouse!

And then it's time to rush back down to the lobby to head for dinner with Jeff Jarvis. But wait, look who's coming in just as we're headed out...

It's Mashable's Pete Cashmore!

He's dragging an absolutely massive bag, on account of having to go from here to Canada, of all places.

But he has a lovely companion with him (sorry, girls)

Wait! I was mistaken. Robert Scoble hasn't gone to bed. He's here in the lobby, too! He just tweeted this picture of me and David Kirkpatrick

And check out how much better the iPhone 4 camera is than the crappy one in my 3GS.

What am I doing in Davos? Here's some background...

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