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2012-2013 Conference Committee Goals

Submitted by: Robin Cohen

Date:  July 12, 2012

Committee Members:

Steve Ashworth:  Site Selection
Robin Cohen:  Conference Chair
Tori Culberson:  Volunteer Coordinator
Erica Desrosiers: Workshop Chair-in-Training
Mark Frame:  Consortia Chair
Adam Hilliard:  Co-Chair, Placement
Eden King:  Program Chair
Liberty Munson:  Workshop Chair
Rustin Meyer  Conference Evaluation Chair
Dave Nershi:  Executive Director
Matt O’Connell:  Co-Chair, Placement
Julie Olson-Buchanan Portfolio Officer
Doug Reynolds:  President
Irene Sasaki:  Local Arrangements
Evan Sinar:  Program Chair-in-Training

SIOP Vision: To be recognized as the premier professional group committed to advancing the science and practice of the psychology of work.

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

  • 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 (June 15, 2012), Lynn McFarland (Conference Evaluation Chair) summarized the extensive findings from the recent post-conference survey.  The responses to the conference continue to be weighed heavily on the positive side, with 90% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that they were satisfied overall with the conference.  Lynn shared that overall reactions were almost all more positive this year. 
The number of respondents planning to attend the conference in Houston was down slightly from San Diego (83% vs. 86%).  Houston is centrally located so we are predicting attendance close or equivalent to San Diego.   We plan on heavily promoting all of the great things that Houston has to offer and we are very excited about the conference especially after seeing the hotel and what is available to our members.
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.  We are taking all of these comments into account as we continue to plan activities and logistics for 2013

B. Continue to promote attendance for the full length of the conference.

We would like 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. We do plan to promote the Keynote, the Closing reception, and any other Saturday special activities heavily in TIP, on the website, and using social networking media.

C. Feature sessions that are relevant, forward looking, and cutting-edge.

Program Chair Eden King has many exciting plans already underway, as outlined in detail in the Program Committee Goals.  In brief:
  • They have narrowed down the list of topics for the communities of interest.  There are eleven of them including topics on things like the virtual workforce, learning agility and leader development, millenials at work and workforce resilience to name a few.
  • They have chosen the topics for four Friday Seminars.  They are Humanitarian Work Psychology, Multi-Level Issues, Qualitative Research in I/O, and Prevention of Bullying in Organizations.
  • The Thursday theme track (only theme track this year) will be “Making It Stick.”  Program chair-in-training Evan Sinar is working under the guidance of President Doug Reynolds to put together an excellent day of programming. 
  • There is one Master Collaboration session and within that session there will be four different presentations to highlight the successful collaborations between academics and practitioners.
  • There will be another IGNITE session and the topic is currently under discussion.

We have a short list of potential speakers for the closing plenary.  We are in the process of reaching out to those speakers to determine availability.  All of the potential speakers are very motivating and will align nicely with the theme of Extending Our Influence.   

D. Decrease the perception of a Science-Practice Gap.

  • We will consider new ways to highlight academic-practice collaborations in the program.
  • In our features to highlight the presidential theme of “Extending Our Influence” we plan to emphasize the influence of both science and practice.
  • Our master collaboration session will focus specifically on successful academic-practitioner teams.
  • We will think of ways to facilitate networking between academics and practitioners at the conference to form collaborative partnerships.
  • Continue to develop and refine innovations to make the 2013 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.

eShow has been very successful.  We are going to continue to leverage eShow and new this year we are looking into ways to automate the CE function through eShow to make it easier for CE credits. 
In San Diego we continued to leverage the SIOP Mobile Planner.  According to the conference survey, more people used it this year.  It was 24% this year and 15% last year.  Reactions were less favorable this year and it was only at 60% favorable.  There are some helpful suggestions in the comments on what we can do differently and we will be looking into what we can do to make it more effective for our members.  We are also going to look into how we can more effectively market the planner to increase usage.
We utilized social media to a much larger extent last year and will continue to leverage Facebook, Twitter and mySIOP this year to heavily promote the conference. 
The Wifi lounge was a huge success last year and we are planning on having it again this year.  There are some nice spaces in the hotel for the lounge so our members should be happy again in Houston.

B. Examine Houston location to facilitate logistics for members.

The conference committee met on June 15 at the Hilton Americas in Houston and toured the facilities. We were thrilled about many aspects of the hotel.  First, it is quite spacious and has a nice flow to it.  While we will be on multiple floors there are multiple ways to access each of the floors.  The main challenge that we have is finding space for the closing reception. One alternative is to have the reception outside in a park across from the hotel. We are looking into the details of this as well as other alternatives.
The hotel has several locations on-site to meet for a meal or drinks and has many places for members to sit and network.  The hotel is also on the green link which is a free bus that takes people around the city from 6 to 6. There are restaurant options around the city and there is a $6 cab fare anywhere around the city. Our local arrangement coordinator, Irene Sasaki, is putting together a restaurant guide highlighting recommended restaurants in different neighborhoods with different price points.
Houston Intercontinental airport is about 35 minutes away and is an expensive cab ride but there is an airport shuttle.  Houston Hobby airport is a little bit closer. 
We signed a contract with the Hyatt hotel which is about 8 blocks away for overflow. They gave us a great rate for students which is only $99 with free internet. We also got a competitive rate for non-student members.
Our partners at the CVB are going to have a rep on site to answer questions about the Houston area. 

C. Enhance opportunities for networking and feelings of inclusiveness for all members.

We are going to continue to take advantage of our Ambassador networking program and look for ways to heighten its impact.  We will also continue the Newcomer reception and work with membership to find ways to improve and perhaps extend the networking opportunities that stem from that event.
In addition, we are going to have a networking room. Our members continuously ask for more opportunities to network so we are going to give them a way to do that. There is a room on each floor that we are going to dedicate to networking. In those rooms we will provide coffee and snacks. We will allow them to schedule events online using something like a google calendar. People will sign up ahead of time to discuss topics that may be industry specific or based on topic. The details are still being worked through.
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. 
For the past two years there has been a very successful Speed Mentoring event headed by Mark Poteet.  We will connect with him and other SIOP subcommittees to work on continuing this and starting other possible networking activities at the conference.

D. Continue to increase the “environmental friendliness” of the conference.

  • We will continue to feature the ‘green’ conference bag.
  • We will promote the green features of the hotel.
  • We will continue to reduce any unnecessary printing.
  • We will 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). 
    • Each year the Call for Proposals gets clarified in response to member input and questions.
    • We will keep members informed of conference progress planning and preparation through TIP articles, the electronic newsletter, and social media outlets.
    • We will coordinate with the International Affairs Committee, CEMA, and LGBT to meet their needs for their meetings, receptions, and any other special events.
    • We are also excited to have Mark Frame in his new role overseeing the Consortia (Masters Consortium, Doctoral Consortium, and Junior Faculty Consortium).  We hope that his oversight will significantly improve these venues. 

4.  Examine possible ways to enhance the 2013’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 are projecting about the same attendance in Houston as we had in San Diego.  We did have exceptional sponsorship in San Diego and are hoping to repeat that in Houston.  We will redouble efforts to promote the workshops as well, particularly to the local community.