International Dental Student Conference Working Group Report to the 2014 AGM
Note: This working group was later renamed the Dental Student Conference Working Group (DSCWG).
Membership: (Some appointed June 15, 2013 or later by the President) Toufic Boulos (Montréal) – Chair, Reza Entezarion (UBC), Dacre Hamilton (Saskatchewan), Heather Patry (Dalhousie).
Three approaches were used in order to consider the feasibility, implications and logistics related to FCDSA involvement in the IDSC beginning in 2015 or 2016:
- A survey was sent out to all council members and forwarded to students in the 10 dental schools in Canada. Students were asked if they envisioned an IDSC at a different location each year and how involved the FCDSA should be.
- A review of all documents from the 2013 IDSC held in Montreal was performed (budget, correspondence, marketing plan etc…)
- The IDSC working group approached the IDSC 2015 organizing committee for permission to serve as an observer to the committee in order to gather information on planning such a convention.
1. Survey results: 25 total responses.
- 76% agree that the FCDSA should be involved in the organization of the IDSC.
- 72% agree that the IDSC should become an FCDSA event.
- 76% agree that the IDSC should become a yearly event.
- 80% agree that the IDSC should be held at a different location every year.
The concerns mentioned by a few respondents were mainly with regards to FCDSA’s ability to host such a big event considering its status as a newly founded organization. Most suggest that the FCDSA should seek the help of previous IDSC organizers in order to learn how to effectively hold the event and avoid previous misadventures.
2. Review of the 2013 IDSC files revealed the following:
- A team of 3 students organized the event entirely.
- A total of around 10 volunteers were needed on site during the event.
- 834 students in attendance, 243 rooms booked with double, triple or quadruple occupancy.
- Hands-on sessions for 3rd and 4th year students with new technology in dentistry
- Scientific and clinical conferences, including a renown key-note speaker
- Social events, fashion show/talent show and gala diner
- Website, Facebook page, bank account, PayPal account
- Estimated room/food cost: 280,000$
- Estimated hands-on cost: 7200$
- Estimated sponsorship: 65,000$ from 31 sponsors (list available)
- Marketing strategy:
- Meeting potential sponsors at Dentistry events (Journées dentaire internationales)
- Follow-up by email
- Marketing kit with different sponsorship options available (available for use by FCDSA)
- Posters, Business cards, Advertisement in provincial dental association newsletter and/or CDA, Invites to all dental school administrations
- The rest of the cost was covered by participation fees paid by students.
3. The 2015 IDSC Organizing Committee agreed to have an FCDSA Council member serve as an observer on the Committee. The observer’s work is still ongoing. Findings will be considered by the Working Group.
Summary and Reflection
The vast majority of responders to the survey seem to agree that the FCDSA should be involved with the organization of the IDSC, and that the event should be held annually and in different cities. Staying in touch with previous organizers is highly recommended. Fundraising is a very crucial part of the organization, and should be done with a clear marketing strategy derived from that which has been used in 2013 by the Montreal IDSC organizers.
While more research is needed, here are some observations based on information gathered so far:
Advantages of FCDSA’s implication:
- Wider exposure of the event across Canada
- Ability to approach sponsors on the national level
- Opportunity for all member associations to be implicated in the IDSC organization
- Event to be held at different locations
- Event to be held annually
- Opportunity for a bigger variety of speakers to be present at the convention
Disadvantages of FCDSA’s implication:
- Difficulty of organizing communications between FCDSA and host association
- Lack of experience of host association
- Host city’s importance: is a less attractive city less likely to host a successful event? (Question asked by one of the respondents to the survey)
- Availability of resources in each school (available volunteers, space etc…)
- Willingness of sponsors to donate to one school and not the other
- The FCDSA observer should follow-up closely with the IDSC 2015 organizing committee and report back to the IDSC Feasibility Working Group.
- Ask the Council to extend the mandate of the IDSC Feasibility Working Group until the next AGM in order to complete its work.
BE IT RESOLVED that the mandate of the IDSC Feasibility Working Group be extended until the FCDSA 2015 Annual General Meeting, at which time the Working Group will present its final report.