Money, Money, Money: How AMUN Uses Delegation and Representative Fees
Conferences are expensive! Have you ever wondered how AMUN spends the fees you pay? We strive to keep our Conference costs as low as possible. We think everyone should be able to participate in Model UN, and we don’t want our Conference to be out of reach. For example, holding the Conference when we do gets us a good deal on the hotel, and we work hard to make sure you have everything you need, but we also work to make sure we’re running an efficient organization. In this blog post, we’ll lay out some of the ways that AMUN uses your Conference fees and let you know about some of our other efforts to make the Conference as affordable and accessible as possible.
As with any other large conference, AMUN has a large number of expenses in order to host each successful and professional conference. Our largest expense goes to the Sheraton Grand Chicago for the meeting and office spaces. But that’s just the beginning. Our Conference infrastructure is also expensive. All those computers for researchers to assist you in Home Government, for reporters and editors in the International Press Delegation, and in the Delegate Services computer lab? AMUN assembles and maintains these networks. We own and rent specialized equipment to assist with document production. We want you to have copies of the forms, resolutions, and other documents you need to do your job well. We maintain systems to handle financial transactions and an extensive database of information about our schools, so we can execute seamless transitions from year-to-year. Each year, AMUN must update and maintain this equipment for the success of each conference. We pay to publish the Conference Program and to host an app for your use and information at Conference. There is, of course, the expense of the DJ for the legendary dance on Monday night of Conference. And think of the consumable office supplies: reams and reams of paper, pens, ink, toner, staples, envelopes, labels, binders, legal pads, and post-it notes. We buy paper and holders for credentials by the thousands.
How much stuff does AMUN have and move in and out of the Sheraton each year? Well, for most of the year, it fills a good sized storage locker in the suburbs, then we load it all into a medium-sized moving truck. (Packing and loading the truck, then unpacking it at the Sheraton, then doing it all in reverse on Tuesday night after Closing Plenary—that’s an adventure, and some of the most important, but unseen, work AMUN staffers do.)
Speaking of staffers. Did you know none of us who are part of the AMUN Secretariat get paid? We’re all volunteers who love Model UN and who love AMUN. We donate time and money to have the privilege of serving on the AMUN Secretariat and to be a part of running an excellent conference. It’s a life-changing experience in many ways, and you should consider joining our team! Being part of the AMUN Secretariat is incredibly rewarding; you meet lifelong friends and gain invaluable skills that you can use in the “real” world. Secretariat members participate in training throughout the year, both in-person and virtually, and they commit to being in Chicago both before and after the Conference concludes. Most of our staffers are young professionals or students, so we try to cover as much as we can, so cost isn’t a barrier to participation.
Conference fees help reduce the out-of-pocket costs for the AMUN secretariat by covering hotel costs and some meal expenses. We eat a lot of pizza (you can feed a ton of people for not much money!), cold cuts, and tacos. We have an annual “AMUN Thanksgiving” meal on Sunday night, and we take everyone out on Tuesday night for dinner to celebrate a job well done. During the day, and late into the night, AMUN staffers survive on soda (and fizzy water), Ho-Hos, Twizzlers, and the occasional banana. We have a crew of dedicated staffers who work behind the scenes and nearly around-the-clock to make sure the Secretariat is fueled, rested, and supported, so they can do the jobs you see at Conference.
The delegation and representative fees alone are not enough to cover all the costs of AMUN. Each year AMUN seeks sponsors to generate additional revenue to cover these remaining costs. AMUN provides the Conference Program and the Graduate School and Career Expo as services to the representatives of the conference, but they both generate funds. AMUN also seeks sponsorship and donations from local restaurants and office supply stores. These fundraising activities meet with different levels of success from year to year, but all donations are put to good use by AMUN.
We’re always looking for more ways to reduce our costs and increase our sponsorships. If you share our love of MUN and have a connection or idea for a local restaurant, office supply store, or other equipment mentioned above, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
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