First Time Conference
Cindy Gao — Delegate Affairs 2019
November 23, 2018
PacificMUN understands that delegates who are new to Model United Nations may not know what to pack, what to expect, or how to efficiently navigate a conference. Our team has reflected upon past experiences to compile a user friendly introduction that includes topics such as basic necessities and expectations throughout the duration of the weekend. These tips are applicable to any conference, and it is our hope that the following information will provide guidance and relieve some of the nervousness that many first-time delegates may feel.
Delegates may wonder: “Why do we wear western business attire and why is it important?” In essence, western business attire is the international standard of dress code in the workplace and professional settings. As Model UN is a simulation of the gatherings of world leaders at the United Nations headquarters, delegates can better immerse themselves into the academic environment by looking the part; wearing business attire usually promotes seriousness among students, allowing for more profound and productive debate during committee sessions. Moreover, wearing proper business attire at conferences is a great way for delegates to familiarize themselves with formal clothing items, many of which will become a staple in one’s closet once he/she enters the professional job market. Believe it or not, most delegates actually really look forward to dressing up!
Western business attire, consisting of:
- Blouse or dress shirt
- Dress pants or pencil skirt
- Appropriate dress shoes — for delegates who choose to wear heels, we recommend bringing a pair of flats to change into during the breaks between sessions
- Suit and tie
- A casual outfit for Delegate Social
Note: As PacificMUN is held during the winter season, we suggest that all delegates bring jackets, umbrellas, hats, gloves, etcetera, due to the fact that participants will be walking outdoors to purchase their lunch and dinner.
For many first time delegates, the question of “What should I bring?” is one that can be quite difficult to answer. Below, our team has assembled a list of all the basic Model United Nations necessities that delegates should bring with them to any given conference.
- A bag for all supplies required for committee session, including:
- Laptop (if permitted)
- Writing utensils
- A document folder containing the following:
- Position paper
- Background guide
- (Optional) Research and notes
- Notepad or loose leaf paper
Note: As we provide wireless network to our delegates at PacificMUN, sub-subsection iii) may not be applicable since these documents can be electronically accessed. However, it is still helpful to have pre-researched papers and notes readily available for committee session.
What to Expect During Your First Conference
A first conference can definitely be intimidating to those who do not know what to expect, which is why we will be going through everything that a delegate needs to know in preparation for a conference.
We suggest that all delegates review our Rules of Procedure (ROP) Guide as well as our Position Paper Guide. These documents are comprehensive guides to navigating the way in which committee sessions are held and will show delegates how to properly write a Position Paper. In addition, extra research on a delegate’s country, foreign policy, and the topics are always encouraged. The more prepared a delegate feels going into the conference, the faster they can immerse themselves into the fruitful debate and start making new friends!
During the Conference
Once the conference begins, delegates can expect their weekend to be fast paced. After check-in, delegates will be guided to Opening Ceremonies, where the Secretariat team will go through a series of introductions and keynote speakers to set the tone for the weekend. Once Opening Ceremonies come to an end, delegates are free to go dine out before entertaining one committee session. This first session is less content-based than the rest, but will give a delegate a good grasp on the overall setting of committee sessions for the following two days. Delegates will be able to use this first session to familiarize themselves with their peers, Dais members, and the given topics. After being dismissed, delegates can return to their rooms to do some extra research if necessary.
The second day is when delegates will begin to flush out their topics, and start drafting resolutions in committee session. At night, the conference will host a Delegate Social, with fun activities such as dances. For PacificMUN, we have also incorporated a Midnight Crisis portion into all of our committees. This session, held during the early hours of the morning, will not follow conventional ROP, and will provide a fast-paced simulation of an unveiling crisis that is pertinent to the respective committees. The final day of the conference will consist of wrapping up resolutions, and end with Closing Ceremonies; final remarks will be made, and awards will be presented to delegates.
General Schedules and Time Management
The conference will provide a schedule for all delegates so our team at PacificMUN has compiled a very applicable list of tips and recommendations on time management. Model United Nations conferences can go by in a blur, and it is important to make sure that delegates manage their time well during meals and breaks.
- We always recommend that delegates bring a bag to carry everything they need, as running up to grab wallets and coats from their rooms can waste a lot of time! At some hotels, the elevators can be quite slow as hundreds of other delegates will be using them too.
- If delegates wish to sleep in for a little longer or get some extra research in the morning, we recommend purchasing some breakfast during the dinner break; this will allow delegates more time as they do not need to leave the hotel for food.
- For breakfast, those who choose not to order room service can try to order online or call in as lineups at breakfast places can be longer than expected. This will help prevent delegates from being late to committee sessions.
- We recommend either purchasing or bringing snacks to the conference, as some committee sessions run for a couple of hours. However, it is not professional to eat snacks during committee session but if you really need a refreshment, send a note up to the dais and take a short break. We would most like to recommend to eat during scheduled breaks.
- Instead of staying up late to work on resolution papers, delegates can arrange plans to work on them during lunch and dinner breaks. Do not overly stress yourself because of resolution papers and make sure to get enough sleep!
- Delegates should try to sleep as early as possible to prepare for the Midnight Crises. Take a nap before the delegate social or after as Model UN can be tiring!