How to be a Great Head Delegate, and Not Die Trying!
So, you’ve been entrusted with the position of: Head Delegate of an MUN Travel Team. Congratulations! Now what? While the position of Head Delegate is a huge a privilege, it also entails an array of responsibilities that can grow or shrink depending on your delegations characteristics, or the Model UN conference you are attending. Although many conferences provide specific information on the responsibilities of the Head Delegate in each event, here we have collected a series of recommendations and steps to follow so that your time as a Head Delegate is a success.
1- Accepting the challenge. Right after being named HD:
Know each team member: Make sure you’re acquainted with every delegate directly.
Communication: If possible, establish a reliable channel for communications, be it through chat, Facebook, Watsapp, etc, so that you can keep them updated.
Know your delegation as a team: Browse which committees they will attend (if they’ve been assigned already) and which topics they’ll be debating, so that they will be able to ask you questions.
2- Preparation. Before the conference,
Research the conference: Make sure you are familiar with the rules of procedure and conference policies, if they are any. Additionally, if the RoPs are different to those your MUN Society uses, make sure you distribute them to your delegates or at least, let them know.
Have all the information ready. There are 2 types of information the HD should have at all times:
General information on your delegation: registration number, names and identification of every delegate, arrival/departure dates of the delegates… To sum it up: all the main information on your team components.
General information on the conference: Rules of Procedure, conference policies, agenda, committee/event location…
Make sure that your delegates have all that information available, too. Although when the time comes it will probably come down to you, you can never be careful enough, and therefore group emails can be extremely handy in this task.
Check that you have a way to reach all your delegates. This means not only via email, but also in a more direct way, such as cell phone. Things always come up during conferences and it is almost inevitable that your delegation will become separated at least once, and checking you can contact your delegates before getting there will save a lot of time (and possibly upsetness!).
3- During the conference,
Ensure that your delegates know where they’re going and when they have to be there. Even though being HD does not entail following your delegates in an almost-motherly manner, it is part of your responsibility, and it does appear as such in many conference policies. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to do a quick run-through each day of general locations and schedule for your team, especially at the beginning of the conference.
Establish meeting points for official events. Even though coordinating the team for social events can be more difficult, for official conference events (speeches, programmed activities, tours, awards) meeting points are the best way to prevent your delegates from become scattered and having to look for them one by one.
Make sure you stay updated on your delegates overall experience and how their committees are developing. If there were any problems, it is essential that you are able to let the organizers know.
4- For Better or for Worse:
Be aware of the fact that you represent your team, for better or for worse. You are responsible for them, and you answer for them.
Remember that despite being “Head”, you are also very much a “Delegate”, and so part of your mission is finding the balance between work and play. Do not let the pressure of the conference prevent you from having a great time — you, too, can loosen your tie every once in a while!
Credits: Angela Portocarerro, United Ambassadors Editor in Cheif, entral Management Team.