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External Relations
Creating a Conference Invitation| Places to Promote Your Conference | Registration | Creating a Country Matrix | Creating a Website | Creating a Database | Assigning Countries | Communicating With Schools | External Relations: Problems

The fourth phase of running a successful Model UN conference is organizing logistics and external relations. This will mean mailing out invitations, country assignments, travel information, procedural rules and background guides. Keeping the conference participants informed and up-to-date is crucial to the success of the conference. Make sure that participants traveling to your conference have all the information they need, like directions to the venue and information on accommodations and transportation.
If your conference maintains a website, it is important to keep it updated. The sooner you are able to post information like background guides and country assignments, the more prepared your delegates will be.

Prepare and order all of your advertising, mailing and print materials. Distribute them to members of the Model UN community, local chapters of UNA-USA or other relevant Model UN-related forums, databases and websites. Make sure to add your conference information to UNA-USA's Model UN Calendar.

It is important to create a timeline to help manage each task and to show you when each step should be completed. Leave extra time to deal with unexpected problems prior to the conference.

Creating a Conference Invitation

The first thing you send to schools should be an invitation to your conference. An invitation should include:
  1. The name, date and location of the conference;
  2. A letter of invitation from conference organizers;
  3. What you will offer students;
  4. Location details;
  5. Resources you will offer teachers;
  6. Information on who staffs your conference;
  7. A list of organs being simulated and topics being discussed;
  8. A tentative conference schedule;
  9. Description of conference fees, if any (if none, recognize your funders);
  10. Contact information;
  11. A conference timeline (including due dates for advisors):
    1. Registration due date,
    2. Country assignments mailing,
    3. Hotel deadlines, and 
    4. Position paper due dates;
  12. The registration form; and
  13. A "Country Matrix"

Places to Promote Your Conference

Promoting your conference is an important step in getting enough participants for your conference. There are countless ways you can promote your conference, below are some examples:

  • UNA-USA's Model UN Calendar
  • Your Local UNA-USA Chapter
  • Ask your school for mailing lists
  • Ask other Model UN conferences for their mailing lists
  • Advertise in other conferences' programs
  • Set up a website

Registration

Registration for your conference can be done in several different ways. You can have paper registration forms or online only registration or a combination of both, depending on your needs. Your registration form should include:

  • School
  • School contact information
  • Name of advisor
  • Advisor contact information
  • Name of school
  • Number of delegates
  • Names and ages of delegates
  • Listing of countries with directions to indicate preferences

Creating a Country Matrix

All conferences must have a country matrix. The country matrix explains which countries are represented in which committees.

Tips for creating a matrix:

  1. Create a spreadsheet with every country's name and all of the committees being simulated at your conference.
  2. Go to each commission's or committee's website (via www.un.org) and see which countries sit on the body.
  3. Mark off the countries that sit on each specific committee.
  4. Explain any abbreviations on the bottom of the matrix.
  5. Show the total number minimum and maximum number of delegates needed per committee.
  6. Clearly mark which committees can have double delegations, if any.

Creating a Website

Your conference website is the best way to get information to your delegates and attract new schools to your conference.

What to include on your website:

  • The name, date and location of your conference
  • Fees and registration information
  • Delegate resources
  • A discussion area
  • Advisor resources
  • Important news and events
Things to keep in mind:

  • Update your website frequently.
  • Make sure all spelling and grammar is correct.
  • Keep it simple -- not everyone has Flash, for instance.
  • Do you want to create a mobile version of your site, or a mobile app?

Creating a Database

To keep your participants' information organized you should make a database that includes all their contact information, assignments, etc. Your database can be anything from a specially designed web database, to an Access database or even an Excel spreadsheet.

What your database entries should include:

  • Name of school;
  • Advisor's name;
  • Advisor's contact information;
  • Country assignment information; and
  • Fees due

Assigning Countries

Things to keep in mind:

  • Assign all of your Security Council countries first.
  • Make sure you have equal regional distribution.
  • Try to give schools one of their choices.
  • Larger schools should get larger countries.
  • Make sure all countries with "controversial" or relevant positions are represented.
  • Keep organized records of all assigned countries.
Once you've assigned countries to all of your participants you should send a letter or email detailing their assignments, including what country they are, which committees they are a part of, and how to get in touch with you. If you are making background guides available online, state that in your letter and direct them to the web address.

Your letter should also include any important reminders or new information about deadlines.

Communicating With Schools

When dealing with schools it is essential to make sure all of your communications are effective. Communication should take place via phone, fax, e-mail and regular mail. When calling teachers, make sure that you call at convenient hours and you are calling for a good reason. Also make sure you follow up with teachers when they leave messages via e-mail or telephone.

What should be included in mailings:

  • First mailing:
    • Country Assignment Letter
    • Background Guides
    • Delegate Guides
    • Advisor Guides
    • Committee Representation Forms
  • Second mailing
  • Confirmation of Conference details
  • Directions to Conference
  • Any New Details

External Relations: Problems

  1. Should we do online registration, paper registration, or both?
  2. We do not have a large budget to print invites.
  3. Where can we get a list of contacts?
  4. Multiple schools want to represent the same country; what should we do?
 
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