Volunteering at SMACC

The email to say that you’ve been selected for the SMACC volunteer team is an exciting one to open. Looking ahead to my arrival in Dublin in June, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought there might be the chance of experiencing the famous SMACC atmosphere and hearing inspiring speakers but SMACC delivered a whole lot more. You can read about all the highlights of SMACC in many other blogs so I will focus on my experience as a volunteer.

Practical details

The conference was held at the Convention Centre in Dublin. In all, there were 25 volunteers. For some, Dublin was home whereas others had come from as far as Barbados. 8 of us stayed together in an AirBnB.

Social blog3events

We had the chance to see the city a little and to mix with great clinicians. Many nights ended in true Dublin style in the pub as well as the Gala Dinner night before the last day.
We were lucky to be invited to the Workshop Faculty reception at Teeling Whiskey Distillery:






  What did we do?

– A big part of the first 2 days was registering speakers and the 2000 delegates for the conference.
– We helped out in the pre-conference workshops (we were able to put down preferences for these)
– Answered questions blog7on the registration desk
– Signposted delegates around the conference venue
– Helped backstage in plenary sessions
– Took part in the Sonowars session, including:
  • blog8– Having an ultrasound done live on stage
  • – Playing the leprechaun crash victim
  • – Irish dancing to simulate lung sliding!

One thing of note is the variety of tasks. As a volunteer, there are early morning starts and you need to be prepared to muck in with whatever is required rather than always being able to do exactly what you want to. Having said that, the volunteer team are fairly flexible and could usually coordblog9inate so that you could get to the lectures you really wanted to attend.


– Being part of a great team – despite being from different professional backgrounds and corners of the world, we quickly formed a tightly-knit group, working together for the 4 days, socialising in the evening and living together
– Access to networking opportunities
– Making international contacts
If you’re a student interested in Critical Care and are keen to be involved with the
organisational side, apply to be a volunteer at DasSMACC in Berlin 2017. Apply here between the 1 st and 31st of November. For more updates follow @smaccjunior.

Blog post by Lauren Gault, SMACC volunteer 2016


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