Davos: It's a numbers game

A view of Davos, Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum runs from January 25 - 29.

Story highlights

  • Founded in 1971, Davos has expanded over the decades
  • Delegates attend brainstorming during the day, black tie parties at night
Every January, the world's leading entrepreneurs, economists and policymakers gather for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It can be difficult to wade through their agenda papers and discussions on economics -- so we've crunched some numbers to help you keep track.
1 -- If you can only take one thing to Davos, what would that be? A pair of good snow boots would be the most likely answer from a Davos veteran. According to Anya Schiffrin, wife of Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz, "the deepest fear of the Davos Man is ...slipping on the ice that forms when the winter sun meets the piles of snow that line the streets of this Alpine resort."
1: Davos is snowy -- so take some boots
6 -- There will be six World Economic Forums taking place around the globe in 2012. Tianjin, Bangkok, Puerto Vallarta, Istanbul and Addis Ababa will host the five other forums with a focus on their respective regions, each attracting high-level delegates. Davos hosts the first forum for the year, and sets the themes for those that follow.
6: The number of World Economic Forums
20 -- One regular Davos attendee spoken to by CNN estimates you can expect at least 20 party invitations during the five-day meeting. The quiet Swiss town inspires serious brainstorming during the day, but turns itself into a lavish corporate party paradise at night. Usually, internet companies such as Google, big banks and established funds will throw black-tie parties.
20: Average party invites for a CEO
41 -- The first Davos forum (known as the European Management Forum) took place 41 years ago, in 1971. That year, German-born professor Klaus Schwab invited 400-plus European executives to the Swiss town, where he sought to introduce European firms to U.S. management practices. In the same year, Richard Nixon became U.S. president and China joined the U.N.
41: Years since the first Davos meeting
64 -- During the World Economic Forum, a pair of beginner skies costs around €64 a day. You can hire the same skies for the same price for a weekend in February -- and have change leftover for a cappuccino to go. The arrival of international business guests makes the forum period a peak-season to visit Davos, when local businesses benefit.
64: Cost per day in euros for skis
380 -- The World Economic Forum functions a bit like a mini United Nations, employing 380 permanent staff from 56 countries based in offices in Geneva, New York, Beijing and Tokyo. Nearly 60% of the forum's employees are women. In Davos this year, the forum has hired 73 students as temporary hands for the gathering.
380: Number of permanent WEF staff
800 -- There are about 800 speakers at Davos this year. Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel will open the conference with a highly anticipated speech, coming as it does amid the eurozone crisis. Google's Eric Schmidt will share his thoughts on how digital revolution can deliver jobs, while Timothy Geithner, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury will address priorities for the economy.
800: Number of speakers at Davos 2012
2600 -- More than 2,600 participants from 105 countries are registered for the 2012 forum -- that's 100 more than last year. The delegates include more than 1,600 business leaders, 40 heads of state, 225 journalists, 200 attendees from academia and 100 representative from non-governmental organizations -- all big names in their specialized fields.
2,600: Number of guests at Davos 2012
40,000 -- CNN estimates that, on average, it could easily cost a paying delegate $40,000 to participate in forum at Davos. This price covers the attendance fee of $20,000 and a relatively comfortable stay during the forum -- although the budget for five luxurious days can be limitless.
40,000: Average dollar cost for a delegate