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26th Annual Conference Boasts Record Attendance, Impressive Speakers, and More

 
Industrial-organizational psychologists turned out in the thousands for the 26th Annual SIOP Conference this month, breaking the Society’s all-time attendance record with an impressive 4,637 attendees!
 
The conference included hundreds of sessions and posters on nearly any topic related to the workplace, as well as workshops, Friday Seminars, two theme tracks, and several elegant receptions. To kick off the week’s events, Conference Chair Lisa Finkelstein gave a brief introduction to the conference during Friday morning’s opening plenary session.
 
 
 
The plenary then continued with the presentation of several SIOP awards, announced by incoming Awards Chair Leaette Hough. (For a list of this year’s award winners, read the “Featuring…” section of the Web site!)
 
 
 
Fellows Chair Wally Borman then presented the newest 11 additions to SIOP’s celebrated list of Fellows. Society Fellows are distinguished industrial and organizational psychologists who have shown evidence of unusual and outstanding contributions or performance in I-O psychology, through research, practice, teaching, administration, and/or professional service. (For a list of this year’s Fellows, click here!)
 
 

President Eduardo Salas took a few moments to discuss his presidential coin initiative. Throughout the year, the Executive Board has been presenting coins to members who have done something to highlight the science and practice of I-O psychology. Salas announced those members who received the first round of coins. SIOP Foundation President Milt Hakel then gave an update on the Foundation, including the announcement of two new awards to be presented for the first time in 2012, the Wiley Award for Excellence in Survey Reasearch and the Hogan Award for Personality and Work Performance.
 
Incoming President Adrienne Colella then introduced President Eduardo Salas’ address with a humorous roast, including describing him as the “Most Interesting Man in the World.” Colella then discussed Salas’ career, achievements, and contributions to the field of I-O psychology, including his extensive background and impact on team research, ability to garner funding for I-O, collaborative efforts, and influence on graduate students and those he has mentored.
 
 
“In the late ‘80s, early ‘90s, Ed’s work in teams revitalized and regenerated the area of team research to become the very vibrant area that it is today,” Colella said.
 
Colella also listed some of the impressive statistics that accompany Salas’ career, including almost $40 million in grants, 25 edited books, 239 refereed publications, and many awards and book chapters. 

 

The rest of the week continued with a list of impressive invited speakers, including Andrea Goldberg, who spoke on the topic of “Collaborative, Virtual, and Open: How the Social Media Revolution Is Changing the Workplace,” and Norbert Semmer, who gave an address on the topic of “Occupational Health Psychology: The ‘Stress-as-Offense-to-Self’ (SOS) Perspective.”


 
 
 
 
 
This year’s conference also included the continuation of two special programs to help newcomers to the conference and field get the most out of SIOP. The Conference Ambassador Program (photo to the right), which began at the 2010 conference, helps welcome first-time attendees to the SIOP annual conference by allowing the “Newcomers” to select seasoned SIOP conference attendees (“Ambassadors”) to help them network with fellow professionals and provide a better overall conference experience.
 
The SIOP Practitioner Mentoring Program, which includes several types of mentoring, also held a second speed-mentoring event at the conference (left). At the speed-mentoring event, practitioners had the opportunity to participate in two separate 25-minute roundtable discussions with one or two seasoned professionals on predetermined topics of interest.
This year’s exhibit hall was also full with companies spanning the science and practice of I-O psychology. The SIOP Foundation also invited attendees to “build for the future of I-O psychology” at its exhibit booth by helping construct Lego buildings of famous Chicago landmarks.
 
 
The Hilton Chicago was also a wonderful venue for numerous receptions throughout the week, including the newcomers' reception (“How to Get the Most From the SIOP Conference”) and SIOP welcome reception Wednesday night before the conference, an evening reception Thursday, and receptions for CEMA, LGBT, and International members held throughout the week.
 
 
To close the annual conference, SIOP welcomed Robert Cialdini,president of Influence at Work, an international training, speaking, and consulting organization based on the “Six Principles of Influence.” Cialdini was a hit with the crowd, as he gave a brief overview of the Six Principles of Influence, approaches he considers to be the universally effective principles of persuasion, laced with humorous anecdotes and examples of research.
 
Incoming President Adrienne Colella also gave a few remarks about her presidential goals for the coming year. (Read more about President Colella’s presidential priorities next week on SIOP.org!)
 

 
Throughout the week, SIOP members and I-O psychologists from across the world gathered to celebrate the science and practice of I-O psychology. After the closing plenary, attendees said farewell to Chicago and the conference with a closing speakeasy-themed reception, complete with live music and a martini luge!
 
 
 
We hope to see you all again next year in San Diego!