If someone asked me to describe organizing MUN with one word, I’m 99.97% sure it would be buzz. Why, you ask? Well, imagine being a bee, working its wings off in a hive. Or better – being queen bee in the hive. NO. Got it – Imagine being the HIVE itself. Countless info flying in and out, thousands of tasks being carried out simultaneously, thousands of people roaming around and everyone either screaming or politely screaming at you.
Now that you, hopefully, have it all pictured in your head and can’t seem to get the buzz out of your head, welcome to MUN Organizing 101: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here. So, how do you make sense of all the buzz, how do you put everything together to make anything work? Personally, I consider three key approaches that combined together function as a fail-safe framework of surviving the MUN conference you have brought on yourself.
First of all – buzz anticipation. Since you are the organizer, in theory you should be able to imagine when and what will happen. Having that in mind, use your past conference experience and common sense to add all the possible scenarios of what might go wrong (and by how much); yes, drawings are acceptable. This exercise provides you with a timeline that should enable anyone to avert crises before they even happen( as clichéd as it might sound) - this has proven itself useful on more than 2 LIMUNs, so the method works.
The second strategy is buzz management. Human brain has a ceiling value of the amount of info it can absorb, retain and pay attention to and I guarantee this level will be exceeded tenfold during the conference. What should one do in that case? Well, apart from the good-old ‘give it to someone else to take care of’ approach, I would advise simple prioritization into three rosters: ‘Background Noise’, ‘Ban Ki Moon wouldn’t approve’, ‘Borderline Catastrophe’.
don’t know where to find a room of one of the committees? Background Noise, by
process of elimination or simply consulting the handbook they should be able to
localize it within seconds (and of course there’s this one person that always
knows everything, you can ask them). Printer is stuck, Draft Resolution can’t
be printed and the projector is not working in the committee room? Ban Ki Moon
wouldn’t approve, that’s quite fundamental to the entire experience and obstruction
of the debate flow is a terrible mistake. There isn’t enough room for everyone
at the Closing Ceremony so some unlucky delegates have to be sent to smaller
rooms and watch the event live? Borderline Catastrophe. This is an ‘all-hands-on-deck’
kind of situation and although it is usually easy to anticipate, the backlash
from the disappointed delegates is enormous.
The third way of thinking you should apply is the all-holy flow that I have already mentioned, but instead of limiting it to the debate, take it into a broader context – the whole conference. Image being the delegate, what you do, where, how, with whom and how well informed you are. Then tune in the satisfaction factor and focus on issues that make you appreciate a conference or twitch in disgust with the organizers.
Having said all that, it is good to remember that MUNs aren’t organized in a day and the number of successfully organized conferences tremendously outweighs the failed ones. Remember all that, stay awesome and keep MUNing.
In case you were wondering why I poured this stream of semi-consciousness interwoven with quasi-effective puns all over your heads – everything happens for a reason! There is a fantastic conference coming this June, namely The Global Indian Model United Nations Conference and it’s bringing all the best MUN people from all around the world to host more than 5k delegates (sort of like MUN Justice League, but with more policies and less spandex). Anyway, take a look at tgimunc.com/apply and I’ll hopefully see you there!!!