SIOP’s 29th Annual Conference Brings Nearly Three Thousand I-Os from Near and Far to Hawaii
Industrial-organizational psychologists from across the globe gathered in Hawaii’s “Gathering Place” May 15-17 for a memorable event full of the latest research and practice in I-O psychology.
Two thousand, nine hundred and seventy four attendees gathered in Honolulu for the 29th Annual SIOP Conference, the premier event in I-O psychology and one of SIOP’s most unique and beautiful conference locations to date. The conference, always a highlight of SIOP’s year, was held at the Hawaii Convention Center with the official conference hotel at the beautiful Hilton Hawaiian Village. Attendees could enjoy a nice walk from the hotel to the day’s sessions or hop on a quick shuttle to the convention center.
International attendees made up a healthy proportion of attendance this year, with 566 international registrants from 36 countries. SIOP conference registrations from friends in the Pacific Rim region were particularly strong. Registrations from Australia more than doubled over last year. Attendance from Singapore and China nearly doubled, along with registrations from Korea tripling and registrations from Hong Kong five times what they were last year! New Zealand registrations were exponentially higher, more than quadrupling over last year. We also had a healthy number of registrants joining us from Japan again this year.
As always, the conference was preceded by a variety of workshops in which attendees could gain in-depth insight on specialized topics. The SIOP Foundation held its annual dessert reception Wednesday evening, which included the presentation of Foundation awards, fellowships, scholarships, and grants.
The opening plenary kicked off the conference Thursday morning with Conference Chair Robin Cohen welcoming attendees and then introducing Awards Chair David Baker, who presented this year’s recipients. (See the SIOP member page in the coming weeks for a listing of award winners.) Fellowship Chair Jerry Hedge presented the 24 newest Fellows, elected to the honor for their outstanding contributions of performance in I-O psychology through research, practice, teaching, administration and professional service. (The SIOP Fellows are listed in a full article here.) Foundation President Milt Hakel also brought members up to date on the Foundation’s Building for the Future activities.
Incoming president Jose Cortina announced the presidential address of outgoing president Tammy Allen with a humorous overview of Allen’s career and accomplishments, including video snippets of her colleagues and students describing her prolific publishing work, worth ethic, professionalism, and “powerhouse” reputation.
Allen’s presidential address focused on “Connections Past and Present: Bringing Our Scientific Influence into Focus.” During her address, Allen introduced the “Building Bridges” initiative, a campaign to grow I-O by making connections with students and the larger community where they live and do business. The initiative featured a booth in the exhibit hall where attendees could pledge to participate by taping their business card to a Building Bridges banner. (Read a full story in the coming weeks on the SIOP homepage!)
Following the plenary and the always-popular coffee break (there were four of them during the 3-day conference), the conference continued with more than 1,000 symposia, panels, posters, special events, and presentations on a wide variety of topics including women in leadership, workplace deviance, bullying, incivility, an aging workforce, talent management strategies, the impact of cultural differences in the workplace, worker turnover, mergers and acquisitions, performance management practices, workplace surveys, employment testing, hiring, social media in the workplace, and work and family issues. The conference offered attendees a wide array of presentations, including poster sessions and an impressive lineup of invited and keynote speakers. Also, Saturday offered several Theme Track sessions focusing on “Breakthrough: Expanding I-O Psychology through Connection.”
The rest of the conference continued with hundreds of sessions, including invited speakers, panel discussion, master tutorials, Communities of Interest, Friday Seminars, and poster sessions.
A highlight of any conference is the opportunity to network, greeting colleagues, and meeting new friends, and SIOP offered plenty of venues for those exchanges, including several lovely outdoor receptions for everyone as well as interest groups like international members, and LGBT and alumni groups.
The Exhibit Hall was bustling with visitors Thursday and Friday, with attendees looking over nearly 40 booths of vendor products and samples as well as poster sessions. The exhibit hall also featured a special booth from local Hilo Hattie’s gift shop, which showcased the world’s largest Hawaiian shirt!
Another popular spot was the Wi-Fi lounge and my.SIOP table near the registration desk and exhibit hall. At the my.SIOP table, Electronic Communications Committee members handed out SIOP swag—t-shirts, Frisbees, luggage tags, beach balls, and sunglasses—to attendees who participated in SIOP’s social media coverage of the event or several activities planned by the committee.
The conference also included several professional development opportunities, such as CE sessions, the always-busy Placement Center, and the fifth annual speed mentoring event, where attendees discussed various pertinent I-O topics with seasoned professionals. New this year was a popular Science Funding Speed Mentoring event. As a part of SIOP’s efforts to strengthen the science foundation of I-O psychology, this event aimed at assisting participants interested in pursuing scientific funding opportunities.
Bright and early Friday morning, SIOP greeted more than 120 runners taking part in the annual Frank Landy 5k Run, where participants ran through beautiful Kapiolani Park.
To round out the conference, SIOP outgoing president Tammy Allen introduced the closing keynote speaker and also thanked the many people who made the conference a success, including Conference Chair Robin Cohen, Program Chair Evan Sinar, members of the Conference Committee, the many volunteers and the SIOP Administrative Office.
The closing keynote address was given by Geoffrey Colon, Group Marketing Manager at Microsoft. During his speech, “The Brand Called ‘We,’” Colon dissected the influence technology has over the workplace and how I-O psychologists can brand themselves as experts in solving workplace issues created by this changing technology landscape. (Read his full slide deck here and a preview article previously published on the address here!)
Outgoing SIOP President Tammy Allen passed the ceremonial gavel to incoming President Jose Cortina, who outlined his goals for the coming year. (Cortina’s address will be covered in the following weeks on the SIOP website!)
The conference concluded with a festive island-themed closing reception that featured Hawaiian dishes and dancing, among other festivities.
Next year’s SIOP Conference will take place April 23-25, 2015 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, so begin making your plans now!
Aloha to our attendees, and we hope to see you all next year!