Davos is the clear alpine leader in the global meeting market with more than 400 events per year. With good reason: Davos has a rich tradition in hosting congresses. Here, you will find the most modern congress centre in the Alps, which even attracts the World Economic Forum (WEF) – this has made Davos a household name in the international world of business. Davos offers 100 different meeting rooms with a capacity of over 15’000 participants.
Meetings and congresses were first held in Davos back in the 19th century: famous guests and doctors from across Europe stayed in the popular mountain health resort to exchange their latest findings. In 1923, Davos doctors organised the first international congress. The Physical-Meteorological Observatory followed in 1925, and Albert Einstein opened the first university course in Davos in 1928. This elevated Davos to the status of a congress city and it began to be recognized as a meeting point for the intellectual elite.
In order to fulfil this claim, the political and economic powers in Davos are pulling together. And even the residents are standing behind this ambition. The much quoted “Spirit of Davos” is no apparition. It is in fact one of the reasons for Davos’ success as a meeting place. Here at 1,560 m above sea level, despite the city infrastructure, nature is the headline act and gives the congress delegates the feeling of being a small part of a whole. It is this atmosphere that makes it even easier to find compromises and solutions that would have been unimaginable elsewhere.
In order to fulfil this claim, the political and economic powers in Davos are pulling together – and even the residents are in full support of keeping it that way. The much quoted Spirit of Davos is not a myth. Instead, it is one of the reasons for Davos’ success as a congress city. Despite the city infrastructure, here at 1560 m above sea level, nature is the headline act and gives the congress delegates the feeling of being a small part of the bigger picture. It is precisely this atmosphere that makes it easy to find compromises and solutions that would be unthinkable elsewhere.
But Davos is more than just a congress city: it is home to a variety of renowned research centres, such as the National Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, numerous specialized clinics and hospitals, and it is at the forefront of energy research, education, and science. And all this in natural surroundings at 1,560 m above sea level: this is what fuels the globally renowned “Spirit of Davos”.
The annual World Economic Forum (WEF), involving around 3,000 internationally renowned economists, politicians, scientists and businessmen, is the figurehead of Davos as a meeting place. The annual meeting of the WEF displays the “Spirit of Davos” to the whole world – familiarity in a global village, networking in an intimate atmosphere and the advantages of a city infrastructure set in imposing mountain surroundings.
The conference organizers acknowledge this dedication with their loyalty. Not without reason: in other congress cities, there is usually limited time for delegates’ business meetings and leisure programmes. However, the mountain village atmosphere of Davos facilitates a clear focus on the congress and leaves plenty of time for other things.