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Time for another interview about a MUN event. Today we have Tijana Istochka from the AUCMUN as a guest. The AUCMUN is the Model United Nations Conference of the Amsterdam University Collage. Although this conference is still quite young, it has shown remarkable growth in recent years.
Tijana explains to us how an event app has helped AUCMUN to optimize event processes and what benefits MUN events can generally expect from an event app.
LineUpr: Hello Tijana. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Please introduce yourself and AUCMUN.
Tijana: Hello. Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. My name is Tijana and I am a third year Social Sciences student at Amsterdam University College. I’ve participated in MUN conferences before, which is why I decided to bridge my interest in finance with that for International Relations by working as a part of the Finance Team of AUCMUN. AUCMUN is Amsterdam University College’s own Model United Nations conference, that is actually relatively new but is expanding quite fast. The sessions are held at the academic building of the university, and the conference is entirely organized by students of our university. Each year we work on growing and improving the conference, as well as providing a better professional, networking and social experience for the delegates that are joining the conference in Amsterdam from around the world.
LineUpr: How much time and work do you spend, on average, on the planning of an event?
Tijana: The planning of the event begins at the end of each school year, meaning that it extends over a period of 6 months. This year’s organizing team was composed of 19 students, divided into four teams – Finance, PR, Logistics and Secretariat – and all of the teams met and worked every week to plan and discuss tasks. Weekly hours usually vary depending on the nature of each team’s tasks, but we do try to work at a consistent pace for the duration of those 6 months.
LineUpr: What makes your event special? For example, we already had organizers of HAMMUN and EuroMUN as guests on the blog. What differentiates the AUCMUN from them?
Tijana: From last year when I got the position of Finance Manager for AUCMUN, to this year when I had the opportunity to be the Head of Finance, I have helped and watched the conference be established as a separate committee of the student association, extended to a longer conference and expanded to twice its capacity – all in one year’s time. What makes AUCMUN special then, I believe, is the enthusiasm, teamwork and constant efforts for improvement that go into organizing everything – from the smallest details to the running of the entire conference. Each member of the AUCMUN team is dedicated to making the experience as successful and enjoyable as possible for its participants, and at an individual level. I myself guided a group of delegates on a tour through Amsterdam, welcomed delegates at the opening of the conference and went room to room to observe and offer help to all the committees. We believe that personal connections are important in providing a satisfying and fulfilling experience.
LineUpr: Do you use printed products to distribute information locally? If so, which and why?
Tijana: We had discussed using printed products for the purpose of distributing information or promoting the event in general, but we decided that it’s more environmentally and cost-friendly to opt for digital solutions. A small number of flyers was printed out for the purpose of spreading the word around our university, such as offering the flyers to students who might be interested in joining the conference but had not seen the details online, but we didn’t use them outside of the academic building.
LineUpr: Have you already used event apps? If so, what are your experiences and If not, why?
Tijana: This was the first time an event app was used for the conference. I think that it was the first time the board had heard of event apps, how they’re used and why they are useful. The suggestion to use such an app came from within the team, and it was LineUpr specifically that we looked at and immediately liked.
LineUpr: How did you use the app before, during and after the event?
Tijana: Before the event we made sure that the schedule (including locations and times) was accessible, added information about our guest speakers and provided information about our sponsors. Also, we informed all participants about the app when we gave them the rest of the informational materials. We had explained to them how to find the agenda and details of the conference on the app, and that we encourage them to use it as it is even accessible without access to internet. After the event we brainstormed on how to maximize the use of the features provided by LineUpr for next year’s conference.
LineUpr: How did your guests respond to the app?
Tijana: We did ask participants for feedback on specific elements of the conference, including the app. We received positive feedback not only then, but also even before asking about the app specifically. The general opinion was that the app was very useful and most delegates said they were satisfied with how easy and straightforward the process of following the agenda was made for them. Almost all delegates were informed about all activities throughout the conference, which helped the conference run smoothly. I was receiving questions about the agenda from delegates who did not get a chance to download or understand how the app works, but when I tried to approach delegates myself to make sure that everything was clear, I almost always got the response that they had figured it out from the app. This was a clear indication to me that the app is helping in keeping the participants informed and the organizational team focused on overseeing everything else.
LineUpr: Why is the usage of an event app for MUN Events a great idea? How will the MUN event organizers and attendees benefit from the app?
Tijana: I think that as a participant of any conference, you don’t want to have to ask a lot of questions about the agenda or procedure throughout the conference, and as an organizer you like to know that you don’t have to answer a lot of them. This is because participants in a successfully organized conference usually have all technical information available to them and benefit from this by being able to focus on the non-technical parts. At the same time, this helps the organizers benefit by providing them with positive feedback and allowing them to also focus on delegating other tasks, and the conference in general. In that sense, an event app helps the conference run smoothly and successfully.
LineUpr: Thank you Tijana for the great interview. It is always a pleasure to talk with organizers of MUN events.
We are already looking forward to your next events and how we can support them with LineUpr.