Incommunity: How Students Organize Events

A talk with the head of the Event Department of Incommunity - an organization of students and for students of Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design.

Incommunity: How Students Organize Events

Today we have a chance to talk to Ira Fedorova, a representative from a student organization called Incommunity - the best student-run organization in 2018. Incommunity is “a dream team with a great purpose: to make non-curricular student life more attractive and spectacular”.

Ira Fedorova

Irina is a third-year student of the Advertising and Public Relations program, a representative of Incommunity Organization.

Dear Ira, could you introduce yourself, please? What year are you in and what program do you study at HSE?

Hello guys! My name is Ira Fedorova, I am a third-year student of the Advertising and Public Relations Program.

Well Ira, have you ever participated in any extracurricular organizations before?

Yes, I used to organize extracurricular activities at school, and now I continue to organize them in students' organizations.

I heard the student organization that you are participating in is called Incommunity. Could you tell us something about it? When was this organization founded and what its main purpose is?

Incommunity is the student-run organization of our Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design. It was established in 2015. About the main purpose, we organize entertaining and educational events for students of our faculty. One of our other activities is to maintain our organization's Instagram account.

Could you tell more about Incommunity's organizational structure? How does this organization work?

The structure of Incommunity is kind of simple. We have the head of the organization and several departments: Event, SMM, Photo, and Design. Each department has the main person in charge, however, in the Event Department, there are two. These people control the work of the organization and hold events together with the participants.

How does Incommunity prepare for an event? What do you do to make sure the event goes smoothly?

At the end of each month, we make an event plan for the next month, usually a themed event (for example, Halloween), which is entertaining and educational at the same time. Then we assign people responsible for the event, call up in Zoom to come up with the event idea, test it within the team and organize it. Sometimes an event is prepared by only one person if he wants to realize his idea himself. I have hosted a lot of events, so before the event, I write down the moments that can interfere with the smooth running of it. We always take them into account when preparing and always know how to react to them.

As far as I know, organizing an event requires resources like money and equipment. How can your organization obtain these things?

This is a big challenge for us. Therefore, we come up with events that do not require additional funds. Moreover, we find all the equipment at home.

How can students know about the event of Incommunity and how can they register for it?

Before each event, we publish a post in our VKontakte group and Instagram account with a link to register, as well as send information to students' group chats.

Has Incommunity ever collaborated with other student organizations in and outside HSE?

Yes, we did a collaboration with the HSE Mafia (Professional Mafia Club), the Ингруп СтС (the Ingroup CtC - one of the oldest student organizations of HSE) and The Vyshka (​​an independent media about the student life of HSE students).

Very interesting. Did Incommunity and these student organizations hold events together? Could you tell us more about it?

With HSE Mafia, we have organized the mafia since 2019. We also hold НОЧЬ (Night - a night festival dedicated to HSE students with extracurricular activities) with Ingroup CtC every year. In 2019 we held board games at The Vyshka's birthday party. Sometimes other organizations themselves call us for collaboration, sometimes we ourselves offer it.

Does COVID-19 have any influences on the activities of Incommunity?

Yes, it does. COVID-19 has negatively impacted the work of our organization. Fewer people take part in our events and it is quite difficult to organize good events in Zoom. In 2020, we held very few events, but now, regardless of the number of people, we still hold 2-3 events per month.

How about challenges? What are the challenges that Incommunity faces the most? Do faculty and university help the organization with these problems?

The main challenge is that few people come to our events, that is why we try to make the events more and more interesting for them. Moreover, the department of Integrated Communications does help us a lot, for example, with properties: for Halloween 2019, they brought a popcorn machine and helped us a lot to make the event better.

There will be New Year and Christmas soon. Is Incommunity planning for an upcoming event? Can students from other faculties participate in this event?

We don't have any ideas yet. December is a difficult time for students, exams are coming soon. Now we are spending a lot of energy organizing an event for the Night. Therefore, we may not hold an event in December, so that it doesn't affect the quality of the event negatively. And of course, if we organize an event, then students from other faculties can take part in it. Sometimes we even have guests from other universities.

I guess we have talked enough about the organization itself. Let's talk about you, Ira. How did you find out about Incommunity and become a part of it?

In my freshman year I subscribed to the VKontakte group of Incommunity, and then I became interested in their activities and decided to become a part of the team. To become a member of Incommunity, I had to pass an interview which was the first time in my life with the head of the Event department.

When did you joined Incommunity?

I joined the organization in October 2019. It means I have been a part of the Incommunity for 3 years.

What is your position in Incommunity and how did you obtain this position?

I am now the head of the Event department, we work together with Ksyusha. At the end of the first year, the previous head of the Event department wrote to me that I had been working responsibly all year, so she offered me to take her position.

You mentioned the name Ksyusha. Who is she? Could you tell us more about her?

She is a second-year student in the Advertising and Public Relations program. Last year there were two main people in charge of the Event department, that were me and my partner. However, at the end of the year, she got tired of holding events, that's why now I'm heading the department together with Ksyusha. She is a wonderful person because she takes everything at ease and creates the right atmosphere at events.

Does Incommunity have any impacts on you? Did you find new friends or like-minded people here? What experiences does this organization give you?

Incommunity for me is an opportunity to realize my desire to hold events. I've been learning this since I was 12 and I'm trying to be better. I also really enjoy sharing my experience with junior students. Sometimes I come up with an event idea for 10 hours and worry a lot during the event, but for me, it's still like a dream come true.

How can you come up with an idea for an event? What is your inspiration?

This is a hard question because the idea for an event can come up anytime. Often the ideas appear before sleep, and they are the ideas for the best events that I have held. Mostly I am inspired by events that I have participated in before. I often take the basic concept of these events, and at the same time change the theme, and try to make it better. My biggest inspiration is from the event agency Встречные (the Vstrechnyye). When I was at their event, I tried to communicate with the organizers. They have very original and creative ideas and everything is thought out to the smallest detail.

As I know, the Advertising and Public Relations program also offers a specialization called Event Management, but you chose Advertising instead. Could I ask you the reason why?

For me, event organizing is an area that requires a lot of effort, but income is not always justified. I hold events because I am interested in them, for me, it is a hobby. I have the experience, and I can get more in practice. However, I chose the Advertising specialization, because I can get knowledge in this area only at the university.

What do you like about Incommunity?

Most of all I like the concept “for myself”. We do not host an event if we don’t like it. First of all, it should be interesting to the organizers, then it will be interesting to the participants. Moreover, most of our event ideas are original, they are invented by members of our organization.

Which event organized by Incommunity that you remember the most?

Among all the events I remember the “Прорекламируй это” (Advertise it) the most. It was held recently, in the middle of September this year. All the ideas I thought all myself. I even changed the concept several times, but everything turned out very interesting in the end. 30 people came, which is a big number for us. It was an event for freshmen in the Advertising and Public Relations program, where they came up with their creative advertising for different objects and target audiences.

In your opinion, should students participate in Incommunity? What experiences can this organization offer to them?

When a new person wants to join our organization, we always ask him “Why do you want to join us?”. It's because organizing events can be a different experience from what they have expected. Someone wants to learn how to speak in public, someone wants to improve their soft skills, someone wants to become an organizer. Incommunity has many areas for development, such as photography, design, and SMM. The main thing is to act.

For those who want to apply to Incommunity, how to get into and become a member of it? When and where to apply?

We are looking for participants 2 times a year: in October and January. To become a part of the organization, you need to go through a short interview.

Do you have any advice for students who want to be members of the Incommunity?

I encourage them to immediately understand what they want. We love active guys and always ask them what they want to do. For me, Incommunity is an opportunity to be in different roles and to learn in many ways.

Thank you, Ira, for this interesting conversation! One last thing, please, say something to our readers.

I wish the readers can do what they want to do now because there may not be so many opportunities to do so in our life. After that, your hobby can become your job. The important thing is to find something that interests you.

Interview by

Van Ly Vu