There is nothing a med student loves more than free food.
When we plan for any sort of interest group meeting or elective, the majority of the planning goes into what food we're going to provide. Because unless you have the MOST interesting interest group in the world talking about the MOST interesting topic in the world at a time when there's no other meeting going on and right after an exam.... you better be serving food if you want anyone to show up.
While some people do have a few interests that they might be willing to head to a meeting about even without the lure of free food, the best way to ensure a crowd at your event is to send out an email with FUN COLORS promising FREE FOOD!!!. That way, even people who might not feel all that strongly about whatever it is you're trying to teach them will still show up.
Pizza is the stand-by, but to realllllly draw a crowd, some people get fancy. Indian food, Chinese food, sub sandwiches. But sometimes the amount of food you have to order is overwhelming, and pizza is just easier. Plus, it's cheaper, and still delicious. There were weeks last year when I ate free pizza for two meals a day like three days in a row.
This time of year is a heavy meeting time - all the interest groups are holding their first meetings, the non-credit electives are starting up, lecture series are beginning...
So let the season of free food (free = pre-paid in the Student Activities Fund of our tuition) begin!
to see stereotypes #1 and #2, click here and here
Editor's Note (can I be the writer and the editor?): The only other way to ensure a crowd at your event is to make it mandatory. Unfortunately I don't have that power, although i would love to write a mass email to all the students, "Come to Global Health 101 - or PERISH." Somehow, I don't think that would be ok.