From Idea to Reality: How My Chapter Ran a Diabetes Tech Event

Contributor
Kylie Gallagher

Editor's Note: CDN chapters, get inspired for hosting your own events this semester! Learn about Kylie's experience putting together her first event, from start to finish, and how the CDN team can help turn your vision into a reality.

This spring, the MIT CDN chapter decided to plan and run a diabetes technology event. This idea came about during the winter check in meeting. In the fall, the chapter was idle, and I was looking for ways we could do something in the spring. Mary Jane and I brainstormed and eventually came up with this idea of having a fair with different diabetes technology companies. I thought this was a great idea. Going to MIT, a lot of the students like to learn about different technology and there are many students doing research on diabetes or diabetes related technology on campus.

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"Going to MIT, a lot of the students like to learn about different technology and there are many students doing research on diabetes or diabetes related technology on campus."

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Once we had an idea, we could start working on logistics. I had to figure out a location, a date, and a time. As a chapter we decided on the Koch Institute. This building is MIT’s hub for bioengineering research and has a large seminar room which could be used. It took some time to confirm a date and time as administrators can be difficult to deal with. However, we were able to confirm a date, 5/4 and a time, 3:30pm to 5pm. With these details, Mary Jane was great at contacting some of the large tech companies and their representatives. While Mary Jane worked on confirming the companies at the booths, I got busy making flyers and emailing many different mailing lists.

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"Once we had an idea, we could start working on logistics."

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The week of the event was quite stressful. This was when everything was coming together, and I really wanted everything to go smoothly. I sent reminder emails, directions to the reps, and put in an order of pastries and waters for the guests. My biggest worry was that no one would come. I would have the companies but no one for them to talk to. That worry quickly dissipated as students started coming into the fair. I had a booth at the beginning with CDN gear and a sign in sheet. We always had a few students walking around and ended up tallying about 30 visitors. I was so pleased. As our chapter’s first event, I would consider this one successful. The outcome made all the stress worth it.

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"As our chapter’s first event, I would consider this one successful."

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Looking back on the event, I learned a lot throughout the experience. I learned about booking spaces on campus, reached out to different people about how to best advertise the event, having to think about all the different details to ensure everything ran well on the day of the event. Mary Jane and the CDN staff were all very helpful. CDN also helped fund the snacks which I used as way to lure some more students into the fair. Looking forward as I graduate, I hope the chapter looks to continue this event next year. Maybe they can bring in a speaker or have students have posters explaining their research. Perhaps this year's fair is the beginning of an annual event!

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Kylie Gallagher attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated in May 2022. She worked with CND team member Mary Jane to plan and execute the MIT CDN chapter's first event this past spring. Presently, she is a Bioengineering PhD student at University of Washington.