As most of us know all too well, money doesn’t grow on trees – and when you’re on a student budget, you’re always on the lookout for great value opportunities. Attending Model UN conferences can be a significant chunk of any student’s finances, so it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the absolute maximum from your investment. Some conferences charge over 80 or 90 Euros, and in reality you get little more than you get from the better value events.
From the moment we decided to run Belfast MUN, we decided that making sure the delegates get outstanding value for their money would be one of our key principles. Now that the conference has been organised and applications are rolling in, I’m enormously proud of the level of conference quality we have been able to deliver for a delegate fee of just £20 – around €25.
Belfast MUN is a four day conference, beginning with the Opening Ceremony on the evening of November 11th, followed by three full days of Model UN. The Opening Ceremony is taking place in the Banqueting Hall of Belfast City Hall, with none other than the Lord Mayor of Belfast to make a welcoming speech to the delegates, and promises to be an extremely glamorous occasion, with complementary wine, soft drinks and refreshments. The actual conference takes place in the majestic and historical surroundings of the Lanyon Building, the famous centrepiece of the Queen’s University campus. The General Assembly will be held in the stunning Great Hall, and other committees will take place in rooms like the Senate Room and the Council Chamber.
But it’s not just debating on the agenda, there’s also a short coach trip to Stormont House where all the delegates will receive a guided tour around the famous (perhaps even infamous) Northern Ireland Assembly. We also have some excellent guest lecturers booked, including Daithi O’Ceallaigh – former Irish Ambassador to the United Nations, who can offer first-hand experience of what it’s really like to have a seat at the top table in New York, as well as a long list of other diplomatic postings around the world.
Those of you who live for the social side of conferences will not be disappointed by Belfast MUN either. We have a whole host of evening events planned, with even more currently in the works. Aside from the grand Opening Ceremony, we also have a pub quiz taking place in Bar Sub, the basement bar of the Students Union, which will be a great opportunity to solidify new friendships and prove your knowledge of all manner of topics. The final social event promises to be enjoyable for all delegates, we have secured free entry into The Speakeasy, a great student bar that offers something for everyone. Of course, there’s a DJ and a dance floor for those out to party, but there’s also sofas for more relaxed socialising, as well as an outdoor roof terrace and a pool hall full of pool and snooker tables. Plus, the drink deals mean it’s probably the cheapest place to drink in the city.
All of the above is already looking like a lot for your £20, but we haven’t even talked about lunch yet. I’m a big fan of lunch, and we haven’t skimped on it at Belfast MUN. For each of the three days of the conference, every delegate will get a Subway 6” sub, cookie, bag of crisps and 500ml drink. All of this for £20!
Everything you get for the delegate fee is just one part of why Belfast is the best MUN for your money. First of all, Belfast is officially the cheapest city for living in the United Kingdom. Whether it’s a drink in a bar, a ride in a taxi or a meal in the evening, you can always get great value. In addition to this though, we have worked with Visit Belfast to get all of our delegates official conference delegate passes, usually given to business people visiting the city. It entitles every delegate to a whole range of discounts across the city on tours and attractions and in bars, cafes and restaurants.
We’ve even secured a limited amount of great value accommodation for our conference delegates at hostels less than five minutes walk from the conference venue. You can book accommodation for the four nights of the conference, including tea & coffee and free Wi-Fi, for just £61 (around €80).
Finally, there’s travel. No, sadly we haven’t been able to do a deal with British Airways or Easyjet for our delegates, but Belfast is a very easy and affordable city to get to. Belfast City airport takes low-fare flights from airports across the United Kingdom, and Belfast International Airport takes low-fare flights from all over Europe. Particularly savvy delegates might be able to find a great deal by flying into Dublin Airport and taking either the train or a coach up to Belfast. Travel between Dublin and Belfast is simple, cheap (can be less than £10) and can take less than two hours.
And if you still aren’t convinced that Belfast MUN is the best value Model United Nations Conference, listen to this. If you’re a MUNPlanet Premium member, you can apply to win your delegate fee and even your accommodation for free! We’re giving five applicants a free conference fee, and one lucky applicant a free conference fee and accommodation. To apply, you need to be a MUNPlanet Premium member and fill out the applicationhere.