Location: London, UK
Dates: January 10th – 12th
# of crises: 6
# of delegates: 110
Cost: Delegate fee £25, social pack £25
LSEMUN, an entirely crisis-focussed conference, is in its 8th year. The conference was well received, with delegates praising the quality of the crisis cabinets (including the use of the Deus crisis software) and good value socials. However, there were some issues with delegate training and the closing ceremony.
The crises offered were all extremely interesting and received rather enthusiastically by the delegates. From the Cuban Revolution to Ancient Egypt to a Star Wars cabinet, there were crises for every taste. Naturally, such a chaotic environment led to a few glitches in the sending of directives and information between the different cabinets and the backroom. One delegate in the Star Wars crisis said that, “with a small team responding, there were bound to be a few hiccups. But it went well largely”.
This year, LSE decided to modernise the method of communication with the use of Deus, specialised crisis software. This allowed for fast and effective transmission of directives and information to the backroom, though the system was vulnerable to failing internet connection. But the system surely allowed a quicker clean up after the conference!
Some beginners, however, complained of a lack of guidance on how to proceed in such a peculiar setting. One delegate from Nato vs Russia reported:
“I wish someone could have told me what I needed to pay attention to in the first place, like implications with funding and military strategies”.
The secretariat should think about implementing a quick learning session at the beginning of conference for the future. Most delegates viewed the study guides as detailed and accurate enough for the purposes of the conference.
While traditionally, opening ceremonies should contain guest speakers, LSEMUN’s ceremony had none – we believe this was an excellent call due to the peculiar nature of an all crisis conference, making keynotes an irrelevant element.
The closing ceremony was a more disappointing affair. After an exhausting weekend filled with homicide, scheming, lack of sleep and a little too much alcohol, delegates had to go through a lengthy closing ceremony, delayed by technical issues and rambling on way too many cabinet plots. All this was not helped by a chilly room.
Friday night was held in the bar Smiths of Smithfields, where a corner of the room was booked for our socials. It served original and delicious cocktails, greatly appreciated by many delegates. With happy “hour” lasting from 8 to 10pm, the prices were thought to be affordable by most delegates (taking into account that London rather expensive). There were a couple of issues: firstly, the booked space was actually shared with other customers, which led to the sensation of a loss in intimacy between delegates. Secondly, due to the excessively loud music, delegates were not able to properly interact with each other, leading to the early departure of a large proportion of the attendees.
The Saturday social received higher praise from the delegates: formally attired, we made our way to a private room in Sway Bar (small club near the conference venue) with a few couches and a £2500 bar tab, which means no one went thirsty during the night! This setting made the atmosphere much more intimate to dance and scheme with your fellow delegates. An issue on both nights, however, is that the socials were mainly focused on drinking and dancing, alienating non-drinking delegates from the party.
Logistics, Communications & Venues
Overall the conference was run smoothly, despite a few issues. In both opening and closing ceremonies, the rooms were not ready when delegates arrived on the premises, leading to an overcrowded and clogged hallway.
Registration was described by head delegates as easy and efficient. However, some delegates had trouble finding the correct committee rooms. There were also some complaints by head delegates on the ability of the secretariat to respond to pre-conference inquiries.
The conference venue itself, based on the LSE campus, was modern and spacious. Cabinets had plenty of space to scheme and cabinets were generally located nearby one another. In general, WiFi access was good but inevitably a few delegates had issues.
Right of Reply
Thank you for the positive feedback! LSEMUN is proud to be one of the only Crisis-centric conferences, and to have welcomed more delegates than ever before. Unfortunately, many of the logistical issues are ones that pertain to the LSE, not us (for a full list of complaints about LSE, please see Facebook’s ‘LSE Memes’). However, we will seek to implement a pre-Conference training next year and also to ensure conference information is sent out sooner in future. We are especially glad our revamped socials, especially Saturday, were enjoyed by delegates, as was the use of Deus. Thank you for the review – we look forward to welcoming delegates again next year!
– Benjamin Alford, Secretary-General, LSEMUN 2017