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Conference Committee Goals Report 2010-2011

June 2010
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

SIOP Vision: To be recognized as the premier professional group committed to advancing the science and practice of the psychology of work.
SIOP Goals: SIOP will become the…
1. Visible and trusted authority on work-related psychology. This includes:
·          Heightened awareness within lay, business, scientific, and government communities of the role and value of I-O psychology in improving productivity and well-being in the workplace.
·          Greater outreach to the broader field of psychology and related disciplines and organizations (including organizations outside the United States), policy makers, the public, and the media.
2. Advocate and champion of I-O psychology to policy makers. This includes:
·          Increased efforts to obtain federal funding for I-O research.
·          Increased efforts to monitor and influence policy and legislation affecting human behavior at work.
·          Heightened awareness among top managers in business about the value of I-O psychology and I-O professionals.
3. Organization of choice of I-O professionals. This includes:
·          Increased enjoyment and satisfaction of members.
·          More members in all categories, including regular, Student, International, Affiliate, and Associate Members.
·          Higher annual retention rate.
·          Increased support for SIOP members in their efforts to study, apply, and teach the principles, findings, and methods of I-O psychology.
4. Model of integrated scientist–practitioner effectiveness that values research, practice, and education equally and seeks higher standards in all three areas. 
·          Increased collaboration and dialogue between academics and practitioners where science informs practice and practice informs science.
·          Increased collaboration and exchange of ideas with non-North American I-O professionals.
·          Decreased perception of fissure between academics and practitioners.
·          Clear and rigorous means of evaluating the quality of graduate training programs.
·          Clear and rigorous standards for practice.
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.
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. 
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. 
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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. 
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.