I gave a presentation yesterday at the Peddie School in New Jersey. Their Model UN club invited me to speak because they really enjoy the one or two conferences they attend every year and they’d like to get more involved.
I believe this is a common situation for many Model UN clubs, so I’d like to share with Best Delegate readers a few of the suggestions I made in my presentation.
Find local 1 or 2-day conferences to attend.
Many clubs focus on attending the large, 3 or 4-day conferences that take place in their region. These conferences are a lot of fun and an awesome Model UN experience, but they also mean arranging overnight accommodations, planning extended travel, and missing class.
Attending a local 1 or 2-day conference means you can travel back-and-forth on the same day, lower costs, and it’s easier to fit into students’ schedule. You also get to rack up Model UN experience — which makes you more competitive at the larger conferences — and local conferences are still a lot of fun!
Organize an internal 1-day conference.
Holding a conference for your own school is great for a number of reasons. Your younger members gain experience and your older members get the chance to chair. You can invite the rest of your school to participate, which is a cool way of publicizing your club by showing others what Model UN is like.
And if you’ve never organized a conference before, you get to learn how. Also, keeping the conference to 1 day and inviting only students at your school makes the experience much more manageable.
Reach out to neighboring schools.
There might be other Model UN clubs in your area that are in a similar situation — they like going to the conferences they already attend and they want to get more involved. Once you have experience running your own 1-day conference, you can scale it up by inviting a few other schools. You can take turns hosting or, ideally, each school decides to host their own conference, which also serves as a fundraiser for travel to away conferences.
And I’ve also seen neighboring schools band together to attend a conference as a single delegation — they pool resources, train together, and become more competitive.
A special thank you to advisors Anne Xu and Rich Maley for inviting me to Peddie! The students were wonderful and I had a great time. Good luck at YMUN next week and I hope to see you all again soon!