Societies

  • Organising small scale events
    • The nature of events will obviously depend on your society
    • General points to keep in mind:
      • Always start planning well in advance
      • Pick the time and date carefully so as to maximise attendance
      • Go for free venues if at all possible unless the event is prestigious enough (or needs a lot of space) to warrant paying for something better
      • Make sure everyone in the committee understands their role for the event
      • Have basic contingencies in place – e.g. if you need audio visual equipment, bring a spare laptop and make sure at least two people on the committee are familiar with the room in case someone can’t make it
  • Advertising and promotion
    • Start advertising early – increase intensity dramatically in the last few days before the event
    • Emails, Facebook events and posters are the primary ways of advertising – but beware of student apathy!
      • Shout outs in lecture theatres can be very effective as well if they are snappy and funny
      • Never underestimate the power of word of mouth!
    • Depending on the size of your event, some organisations such as the MDU may offer to print and deliver your posters for free in exchange for advertising
    • Incentivise people to attend by offering free items or goods
      • Food and drink provided by a sponsor is a good example
      • Often, medical organisations such as MPS setting up a stall will often give away their own free items
  • Funding
    • Apply to the UKMSA
      • Please see the section on medical society funding. Also note that your society must first be registered (though this is quick and completely free).
    • Sponsors
      • Depending on the size of your society, this may prove quite difficult
      • Approach medically related organisations such as the MPS, MDU, BMA, Royal Society of Medicine, Wesleyan, Priory Group, John Bell Croyden, BUPA, Janus Consultancy, Elsevier, PasTest, Ace Medicine, Medisave UK Ltd etc.
      • There are also companies that supply medical goods (e.g. suture materials) such as Ethicon, Coviden, Ansell etc.
      • For smaller societies, local sponsors can often be a better source of funding
        • You may either be able to negotiate for a cash lump sum or discounts for your members in return for advertising
    • Approach the University Students’ Union for funding
      • They often have a budget set aside to help fledgling societies and are also useful for the advice and support (venues etc) that they can provide
    • Cut down on costs!
      • Try to keep overheads low by making use of free University venues wherever possible
      • If you want to serve basic food and drink, try to get this provided by a local sponsor in exchange for advertising for them
  • Networking with other societies
    • If there are similar societies locally, try organising joint events with them in addition to your other events
      • These can often attract much higher turnouts and are easier to organise as the work is shared between much more people (though this will depend on how well the two (or more) societies communicate with each other!)
    • Try networking with other branches of the same organisation
      • Large parent organisations usually host annual conferences to which all the University branches are invited
      • This is a good place to meet other medics and have fun (there are often socials!)
        • It’s also a good place to get ideas from other societies for new ways of advertising, ways of improving event quality etc.
  • Launching a new society
    • Why is it useful?
      • It shows significant initiative, leadership and creativity as well as being an exciting challenge
      • It provides good experience which will be helpful for both your clinical duties and other aspects of life
      • Benefit to other medical students
    • Creating a branch at your University of an existing organisation
      • If you are setting up a new branch of an existing organisation, the parent organisation will be able to provide a lot of support and possibly even funding.
    • Founding a novel society
      • Make sure you have done your research. For example:
        • What existing societies are already out there?
        • What is unique about your intended society?
        • Would you be better off joining a similar society?
          • Perhaps as an offshoot?
      • Seek support from at least one senior faculty member or consultant who can give advice and whose support provides a reputable backbone to the society (useful for funding purposes)
      • Recruit a committee
        • For a new society, try to recruit a relatively small, close-knit committee, preferably with people on board that may have had experience in other societies or at organising events
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