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Conference Committee

Lisa Finkelstein, Conference Chair
Committee Members:
Mariangela Battista:                    Program Chair
Robin Cohen:                             Workshop Chair
Adrienne Colella:                        President Elect
John Cornwell:               Site Selection
Lisa Finkelstein:             Conference Chair
Eric Heggestad:              Conference Evaluation Chair
Kurt Kraiger:                             Past President
Dave Nershi:                             Executive Director
Ryan O’Leary:                Co-Chair, Placement
Tracey Rizutto:              Volunteer Coordinator
Deborah Rupp:              Program Chair-in-Training
Eduardo Salas:              President
Kevin Smith:                              Co-Chair, Placement
Annette Towler:             Local Arrangements
Conference Committee Strategic Planning Goals
Conference Committee Goals:
1.    Present the world’s best conference on workplace psychology by featuring cutting edge work in science, practice, and education.
Contribution to SIOP Strategic Planning Goals:
            *Goal 3, Organization of Choice of I-O Professionals (through effects          on member satisfaction and retention). 
            *Goal 1 (Visible and trusted authority on work-related psychology).
            * Goal 4 (Model of integrated scientist-practitioner effectiveness).
A.    Use appropriate feedback measures (post-conference survey and on-site mechanisms) for identifying success factors and areas for improvement related to the conference experience.
At the June conference planning meeting, Eric Heggestad (conference evaluation chair) reviewed extensive findings from the recent conference survey and the new non-attendee survey. We were pleased to find that overall our members (academics, practitioners, and students) were quite pleased with their Atlanta 2009 conference experience. For example, 92% of respondents responded strongly agree/agree to the question “Overall, I was satisfied with the conference.” We began to discuss areas that were suggested for improvement and will continue to discuss changes that can be implemented to make Chicago 2011 an even better experience for more of our members.
The survey underwent significant changes for this past conference, and we had the addition of the non-attendee survey. We opened discussion on (a) any further changes needed to the survey, and (b) the frequency with which we should consider repeating the non-attendee survey. We will continue to discuss these issues throughout the year.
Each of the members of the SIOP office who was actively involved in running the conference also contributed feedback in a post-conference document compiled by Dave Nershi and we are outlining specific action items for changes based on their experiences.
AUGUST 20 PROGRESS UPDATE: Eric Heggestad will be transitioning off as conference evaluation chair and Lynn McFarland will be his replacement. Eric is on-boarding Lynn into this position. She will incorporate the suggested question additions into her preparation for next year’s survey. We will be adding a few more follow-up questions concerning the upcoming Hawaii conference, and will be rotating in some “hot topics” questions that we have decided to bring in every few years.
Based on Dave Nershi’s post-conference notes from the SIOP office staff, we will be making the following changes:
            * The use of i-clickers will be discontinued for this year. 
* The ambassador program will continue, and the matching process been transferred to Kim Smith-Jentch, who will incorporate a matching system she has been using with her e-mentoring research.
* We will be changing the terminology “invited sessions” to “invited speaker” – several people thought invited sessions implied the audience had to have an invitation.
* We will not be having an auction at the closing reception; logistics were too difficult
* We will be moving the time of the Town Hall Meeting and changing the name to make it more appealing.
DECEMBER 22 PROGRESS UPDATE: No news at this time, though we will continue to discuss any more potential improvements at the conference meeting coming up on January 21, 2011. 
B.    Continue to successfully manage and actively promote needed modifications to the 3 full-day conference format.
We have had three years of the 3-day format now and we believe it has been a successful change to our conference. People now seem to be becoming used to this as our new standard. There are a few ways we may be able to continue to improve its success. 
First, we want to continue to monitor the history of sleeping room usage across the week to determine the most effective way to distribute our block with the Hilton.
Second, we want to continue to promote the activities that occur on Saturday, most particularly the Closing Plenary with Keynote Speaker and the gala Closing Reception. Although these have been advertised in the past there still seem to be members who book flights for Saturday that seem to have forgotten that there are good reasons to stay. Although it is a long week for many folks, particularly those who come in for workshops, we want to continue to explore ways to get people to stay and enjoy all the conference has to offer. 
AUGUST 20 PROGRESS UPDATE: We used the history data that was available for the past several years and redistributed our block with the Hilton.
In an October TIP article put together by Program Chair Mariangela Battista and myself, we emphasized (with great enthusiasm, we hope) why people should plan to stay until Sunday.
DECEMBER 22 PROGRESS UPDATE: In each of our January TIP articles, Mariangela Battista and I again promoted the three day conference and emphasized that must-see activities happen through Saturday evening.
C.    Feature sessions that are relevant, forward looking, and cutting-edge.
Program Chair Mariangela Battista has many exciting plans already underway, as outlined in detail in the Program Committee Goals. In brief:
            * they have begun to narrow down several “hot topics” for            communities of interest. 
            * they have topics for four Friday Seminars chosen. 
            * the Thursday theme track will be “Managing HR for Sustainability.”
            * the Saturday theme track will be “Leveraging Data to Drive        Organizational Decisions.”
            * they are developing two Master Collaboration sessions to highlight           a collaboration between an academic and a practitioner.
As part of our Alliance for Organizational Psychology (among SIOP, EAWOP, and IAAP Division 1) we will feature a keynote address from a key member of the alliance, to be determined following a meeting of the Alliance in Australia in July.
We are in the process of narrowing down a short list of potential speakers for the closing plenary. We have several in mind that will bring in a perspective on what we do from outside of I/O that will be exciting, thought provoking, and stimulate new ideas in our members. 
AUGUST 20 PROGRESS UPDATE: All of the above mentioned activities of the program committee have progressed very nicely, as outlined in Mariangela Battista’s program goals update report, also in this briefing book.
Kurt Kraiger has sent out an email to the Alliance, requesting the name of the speaker from Hanan Sinangil, of Division 1 of IAAP. We should have this information in the next couple of weeks.
I have been working on gathering information on the potential closing plenary speakers, and hope to have that speaker secured by the end of September at the latest.
DECEMBER 22 PROGRESS UPDATE: All of the theme tracks, master collaborations, Friday seminars, communities of interest, and invited speakers have been finalized. Also, acceptances for the main peer-reviewed program track have gone out. Thank you to Mariangela Battista, Sara Weiner, and Deborah Rupp as well as the Executive Office for all of their work on this.
The Alliance speaker will be Dr. Norbert K. Semmer from the University of Bern, who will give a talk entitled “Occupational Health Psychology: The “Stress-as-Offense-to-Self” (SOS) Perspective.
The Closing Plenary Keynote speaker will be Dr. Robert Cialdini. Dr. Cialdini is the consummate Scientist-Practitioner, and a spot-on model for our celebration of science and practice. He has conducted over 30 years of research to earn an international reputation as a leading expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation. In fact, in the field of influence and persuasion, Dr. Cialdini is the MOST cited living social psychologist in the world today. In addition to leading a prolific academic career, Dr. Cialdini is the President of Influence At Work, an international consulting, strategic planning, and training organization based on the Six Principles of Influence.
D. Decrease the perception of a Science-Practice Gap.
In line with Eduardo Salas’ presidential goals, the committee is exploring ways to decrease this perception.
We will feature marketing for the program that emphasizes the theme to “Celebrate Science and Practice.” We are currently working on a t-shirt logo to capitalize on this theme.
We are working on ways to enhance the celebration of science and practice at the Opening Plenary Session. For example, Ed Salas is working to have a coin developed for Executive Board members to award to SIOP members that are exemplifying the scientist-practitioner model. We will think of ways to incorporate this into the plenary.
We will consider new ways to highlight academic-practice collaborations in the program. 
We are working on ways to leverage the data from the survey to demonstrate that there are more similarities than differences between the groups. 
We will think of ways to facilitate networking between academics and practitioners at the conference to form collaborative partnerships.
We will be coordinating with Joan Brannick and Tammy Allen, head of the science-practice taskforce, for further ideas.
AUGUST 20 PROGRESS UPDATE: Although we are still in the planning stages of this (as expected) several email conversations have occurred and ideas for highlighting Science-Practice collaborations are being formed. 
Eric Heggestad and I have been thinking of what we can highlight from the conference survey to demonstrate the similarities between academics and practitioners on many issues. We will be working on a TIP article for the next deadline. 
DECEMBER 22 PROGRESS UPDATE: Ed Salas and I have put together a special EB session entitled “Celebrating our Science and Practice: Looking Inward.” The abstract for this session reads as follows:
            The profession of I/O psychology, and SIOP particularly, has been perceived          by some to be a group sometimes divided by factions based on the differing             interests of the academics and practitioners that comprise our field.              However, we submit that we must come together and celebrate both—our  science and practice. Fortunately, we are also a field comprised of people         trained to help organizations with these very issues!  In this invited panel, experts in the areas of conflict management, diversity in the workplace,           change management, and cultural issues will “look inward” to apply best      practices from their focal areas to provide us with evidence-based             suggestions to improve our society for all stakeholders.
The panelists include Julie Olson-Buchanan, Kizzy Parks, Scott Tannenbaum, and Georgia Chao. 
The Master Collaboration sessions (organized by Mariangela) are as follows:
·          An Academic-Practitioner Collaboration to Create High Engagement Executive Assessment & Development Experiences
Lee J. Konczak, Senior Lecturer, Washington University in St. Louis
David E. Smith, President, EASI-Consult, LLC
·          Creating a Leadership and Management Development Framework: An Internal-External Collaboration
K. Adam Ortiz, Managing Partner, Executive Leadership Consulting
Beth Moore, Vice President of Talent Management, The Guardian Life Insurance Company
Eric and I wrote an article for the January TIP where we highlighted the similarities and differences between the conference experiences of practitioners and academics, according to the conference survey. 
At the January conference meeting one agenda item is to finalize the ways we will highlight the celebration of science and practice during the opening plenary and in other ways throughout the conference.
2.    Continue to develop and refine innovations to make the 2010 Conference a great member experience.
Contribution to SIOP Strategic Planning Goals:
            * Goal 3, Organization of Choice of I-O Professionals (through       effects on member satisfaction and retention). 
A.    Explore new uses of technology and other innovations to enhance member satisfaction with the conference.
Last year we premiered the eShow conference registration process, which was thought to be wildly successful. This cut down on member time at the registration desk, lines crowding the area, etc. We will continue to use eShow and will also explore some of the additional functionality that the process might have to continue to increase our innovations to the next level.
We will continue to focus on ways we can reduce printing costs and use electronic documents wherever practical.
Last year we also tried to use iClickers in a limited capacity and this did not work well. The logistics were too difficult to manage in this type of multi-room, multi-session setting, and presenters and audience members did not find them to enhance the experience. This innovation will be discontinued for the Chicago conference.
We will work with the SIOP office on ways to increase our activity on Facebook and Twitter to communicate to members, heighten excitement about the conference, and enhance a sense of community among members.
AUGUST 20 PROGRESS UPDATE: We will continue to use eShow for registration, but will also be adding functionality so that vendors can select booth locations.
As mentioned above, we are discontinuing iClickers.
DECEMBER 22 PROGRESS UPDATE: No further activity here. At the January meeting will be discussing the enhanced use of Facebook and Twitter during the final months before the conference.
B.          Examine Chicago location to facilitate logistics for members.
The conference committee met on June 11 at the Chicago Hilton and toured the facilities. The Chicago Hilton has many wonderful features to highlight, including its location, its history, its many elevators, and its spectacular ballrooms. Although it has enough space for our conference, the meeting rooms are quite spread out and some are small or have potential line-of-sight obstacles. Furthermore, there is no electronic signage as we have had in the recent past. Therefore, we do think that getting accustomed to the layout may be a challenge for some members. We plan to work on ways to make our members ramp-up time as quick and efficient as possible. We will have “human arrows” to help point people in the right direction, and may increase our number of volunteers that are placed in a guidance capacity.
Dave Nershi and I also met with representatives from two hotels within walking distance from the Chicago Hilton. One of those is a very nice property right next door, but is a smaller boutique hotel. The other is close by and large, but not quite of the caliber that we believe our members may prefer. We will continue to consider these options as well as considering other ways for members to find reasonable hotel rates in the event of needing overflow (e.g., using the “Room with a View” hotel finder service).
Our local arrangements coordinator, Annette Towler, is beginning to work on a restaurant guide for the many options in the city, but will particularly work to focus on lunch options walking distance from the hotel, as there are only two places at the hotel for lunch and no access to a food court as we had last year.
AUGUST 20 PROGRESS UPDATE: In our TIP article, Mariangela and I described the hotel a bit, and will continue to alert the members of potential challenges. Dave Nershi has selected rooms for sessions and meetings that are least likely to pose a line of sight issue. 
We have decided to use Room with a View. We also are still considering whether to book overflow rooms at the hotel next door and will have a decision on this soon.
Annette Towler has begun her research for the restaurant guide.
DECEMBER 22 PROGRESS UPDATE: We will be using Room with a View for sure, who promised us they will not put anyone in the dive hotels that are not far from the Hilton! We will make the final decision about a block of rooms at the Blackstone Renaissance across the street as we see the numbers coming in.
Annette Towler has made a lot of progress on the restaurant guide.
C.            Continue to focus on our constituents.
We will continue to review the open-ended comments for some changes that may enhance member experience at the program. The “Conference News” insert (combining local arrangements, errata, and other info into one document) was well received and we will continue to think of ways to improve that document. The size of the name on the nametag was adjusted last year and may have gone to far to increase the size of the first name in relation to the last, and we will adjust that. There are several small issues like this that can enhance convenience and minimize annoyance to members that we will consider addressing.
We are also planning a fabulous and exciting Chicago-themed closing reception to leave the conference on a high note!
DECEMBER 22 UPDATE: I have been researching bands for the closing reception and hope to have some quotes soon. We will be working on more details for the reception at the January meeting.
D.           Enhance opportunities for networking and feelings of inclusiveness for all members.
Last year Membership Chair Adrienne Colella lead the development of the Ambassador networking program for first time attendees. This was a success and we will continue this program and look for ways to heighten its impact.
We will continue the Newcomer reception and work with membership to find ways to improve and perhaps extend the networking opportunities that stem from that event.
Mentioned above under “technology,” we will try to increase SIOP’s use of Facebook , Twitter, and LinkedIN, perhaps in a way to increase feelings of inclusiveness and allow individuals to interact before meeting at the conference. 
Last year there was a very successful Speed Mentoring event headed by Mark Poteet. We will connect with him and other SIOP subcommittees to work on other possible networking activities at the conference.
We are thinking of possible events or other ways of bringing back a “small conference feel” to the big conference for those members who have been attending for many years and feel as if some of its intimacy has been lost. At the same time we realize that this is a big conference, which has great advantages, but we do want to at least explore some options in this area.
AUGUST 20 PROGRESS UPDATE: As mentioned above, Kim Smith-Jentch will be spearheading the matching for the Ambassador program. Mark Poteet is continuing work on the Speed Mentoring program. We have not yet made decisions on the other ideas but will continue to discuss. 
DECEMBER 22 PROGRESS UPDATE: Kim Smith-Jentch put together information on the program to appear in the January TIP and the e-flipbook. Mark Poteet has progressed with the Speed Mentoring plans. We will continue to discuss ideas pertaining to the “small conference feel” at our January planning meeting.
E.   Continue to increase the “environmental friendliness” of the conference.
Steps have been taken in the last few years to “go greener” at the conference, and we will continue to explore ways to do this. For example, we will again feature a reusable green conference bag. 
The conference hotel has several green features such as their water filtering system and bags for recycling in each room. We will advertise these and other features.
We will work with the Thursday theme track subcommittee on Environmental Sustainability, who are brainstorming additional ways to green our conference.
AUGUST 20 PROGRESS UPDATE: We are looking into options for the most reasonably priced green conference bag and will definitely be using them again this year. We are waiting to hear ideas from the Thursday theme track committee.
DECEMBER 22 PROGRESS UPDATE: Nothing to report yet. We will discuss ideas at the January conference meeting
3.    Maintain communication and outreach with membership regarding issues such as:
·          Changes in program/scheduling.
·          Member communications about Conference planning decisions and Conference goals.
·          Conference activities and events.
·          Outreach to all members (e.g., international members, minority members).
Contribution to SIOP Strategic Planning Goals:
            * Goal 3, Organization of Choice of I-O Professionals (through effects on member satisfaction and retention). 
Mariangela Battista worked with her subcommittee to continue to improve the clarity of the wording of the Call for Proposals.
We will keep members informed of conference progress planning and preparation through TIP articles and the electronic newsletter.
We will coordinate with the International Affairs Committee, CEMA, and LGBT to meet their needs for their meeting, reception, and any other special events. 
We will work with local colleges and universities to help promote the conference to undergraduate psychology majors with interests in I/O psychology. We will coordinate with the Education and Training committee in these efforts. 
AUGUST 20 PROGRESS UPDATE: The Call for Proposals was clarified and is currently out, and the first conference TIP article was submitted. I have begun to coordinate with Mikki Hebl on ideas for outreach to area colleges.
DECEMBER 22 PROGRESS UPDATE: No news at this time, but I will coordinate with Mikki again before the January meeting to update the committee and determine next steps in promoting the conference to area schools.
4. Examine possible ways to enhance the 2009’s return on expenses to SIOP.
Contribution to SIOP Strategic Planning Goals:
            * Goal 3, Organization of Choice of I-O Professionals (via the         responsible financial management of SIOP). 
We may be facing some expense challenges at the Chicago conference due to Union rules particular to Chicago. This coupled with the general increase in overall expenses in contrast to Atlanta will require us to be careful in adjusting our budget to be realistic and reachable in order to maximize our return on expenses. After the budget is set next month we will have some more specific ideas of ways that we can meet this goal. 
AUGUST 20 PROGRESS UPDATE: As will be seen in the proposed budget, we will be proposing to slightly raise registration rates to handle the challenges we will have in Chicago to maximize our return on expenses. 
DECEMBER 22 PROGRESS UPDATE: The budget was approved with the change in registration rates. We will continue to discuss the challenges with union rules at our upcoming January meeting in Chicago.