As the only delegate from Loughborough Students’ Union that’s been to conference before, I thought I’d share my unofficial top tips for surviving conference.
- Conference floor seating location
This is where you’ll camp for the majority of your time at conference. Make yourselves at home. Sit Near the stage entrance as this will give you the best access to the DPC desk if you need to challenge any calls or put forward any procedural motions. (For clarity the majority of the time you don’t chose where you sit.)
- Make friends with your delegation
Be it casual beers on the first night, some ice-breaker games, time on the Nintendo Wi or an awkward car ride to conference, get to know the others from your SU as they’ll see you in a tired and hungover state, and can make your conference experience miserable.
- Make friends with those around you
Just because we smash them at Hockey/Rugby/Random Sport ever year, doesn’t mean people from the University down the road are not genuinely great people. You make the first move of getting to the know them and what they’re about.
- Breakfast, Lunch and dinner
Hopefully you’ll be in accommodation that provides a breakfast services as standard. Make sure you feed yourself right up and play it strategically, so make sandwiches for your lunch (bacon/sausage cold are great), grab some fruit and some pastries and there you’ve got to keep you going. Many fringes, especially evening slots, have food provided to get you to go. Take advantage of this. There are also some lovely restaurants only 5-10 minutes walk away from the venue and many are open past 12.
Attend as many as you can, especially those that offer canapés and wine. It’s the only food you’ll get all day if you ignore (4)
- Get to know the agenda
There’s nothing worse than missing out the vote for NUS President or that one fringe you really like the sound of. You’ll get given a pack that includes the conference agenda and final motions. Put the agenda in your phone if that helps.
Conference is predominantly a casual affair, but ensure you wear something comfortable to sit in. Last year I wore NaSTA stash which started conversations that were usually helpful. If you’re planning challenging motions, bring a good pair of shoes. If you’re wanting to stand out from the crowd, a full costume can help. Last year a Robin Hood was spotted 3 rows down from our delegation.
- Laptop & phone use
Buy equipment that has an incredible battery life and be prepared to tether your internet. See (9) and (10).
Bring 4-way+ extension cable to Conference. This will secure you and at least one buddy power for the entire conference.
- Mobile Internet
Go unlimited as the WiFi has a habit of being the least accessible thing about NUS Conference.
Did I miss anything? Comment below.