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Conference Committee Goals and Progress Report Form 2006-2007


S. Douglas Pugh

August 29, 2006 

Goals Report 


Committee Members:  


            Jeff McHenry, SIOP President 

            Leaetta Hough, Past President 

            Tammy Allen, Program Chair 

            Donald Truxillo, Steve Ashworth, Site Selection 

            Joan Brannick, Workshops 

            Mindy Bergman, Placement 

            Robin Cohen, Local Arrangements 

            Dave Nershi, Executive Director 

            Doug Pugh, Conference Chair   


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   


Strategic Planning Goals: (Conference committee goals are in italics, action items are in bullet points below each goal)    

  1. Present the world’s best conference on workplace psychology by featuring cutting edge work in science, practice, and education.     

SIOP Strategic Planning Goal: Primarily, Goal 3, Organization of Choice of I-O Professionals (through effects on member satisfaction and retention).  Additionally, Goal 1 (Visible and trusted authority on work-related psychology), and Goal 4 (Model of integrated scientist-practitioner effectiveness—see, for example, keynote speaker information below). 


A.     Bring in a high profile speaker for a session that has clear relevance to our strategic goals.


·        Dr. Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford University and author (with Robert Sutton) of the book Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, & Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management, has agreed to deliver a keynote address at the conference based on the topic of his book.  Pfeffer and Sutton’s most recent book focuses on the integration of science and practice in the field of management.  The integration of science and practice (Strategic Goal 4) will also be highlighted in the Presidential Address.  Pfeffer’s visibility in both the scientist and practitioner communities is expected to be a big draw for our members.     

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


·        Joan Brannick’s workshop committee has developed a lineup of 15 workshops in areas ranging from ethics to talent management to coaching.  This is one more workshop than was offered in 2006.

·        The Sunday theme this year will be on the topic of Globalization, featuring several prominent invited speakers (see update from Program Committee).  

2.      Continue to develop and refine innovations to make the 2007 Conference a great member experience.    

SIOP Strategic Planning Goal: 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.   


·        All conference sessions will be recorded and offered on SIOP website via streaming audio.  Conference attendees can access for free, non-attendees can pay for access to all sessions or on a per-session fee.  Service provided by Blue Sky.  Plenary session is available via video streaming.  These innovations were initiated in 2006 and will be continued this year.

·        Currently developing an opportunity for members to obtain Continuing Education on-line through the use of streaming audio from a CE session offered at the 2006 conference in Dallas. 

·        Possibility of using electronic social networking tools is being explored.  This may be pilot tested this year. 

B.      Examine New York location to facilitate logistics for members


The conference planning committee met on June 24, 2006 at the Marriott Marquis in New York. The Marriott Marquis has the following advantages and disadvantages.


·        Exciting, central location in Times Square close to restaurants, theaters, and other destinations of interest.

·        Property is updated and appealing.

·        Many areas for members to socialize and some unique reception spaces (e.g., 16th floor open space with view of Times Square).


·        Meeting space is constrained.  Fewer rooms are available than in past conferences, and available rooms are smaller.  Addition of keynote speaker is putting further strain on room availability.

·        9th floor has problematic access for persons with disabilities.  Elevators do not stop automatically on 9th floor; typical access is via escalators. Hotel employees must be called to manually override elevator to stop it on 9th floor. Due to scarcity of meeting space, we will need to schedule some sessions on the 9th floor.

·        Hotel rooms are expensive in comparison with the 2006 conference hotel rate, although they are comparable or better than the rates for other rooms of similar quality in Times Square.


·        Dave, Doug, and Tammy will make the meeting space work.  We are working with the hotel to make sure we are taking full advantage of available space. 

·        Dave and Doug are working with the hotel to address the 9th floor situation.  One possibility we will explore is having the hotel dedicate an elevator for 9th floor access during scheduled sessions.  If the situation remains problematic, attendees will be asked upon registration on the SIOP website to indicate if they need accommodation due to the access issues.  All members so indicating will be contacted individually prior to the conference to explain the situation.  Tammy will be particularly aware of the access issues when scheduling sessions for this space.  


In sum, although there are some challenges related to meeting room space, overall we believe these issues can be solved, and that the hotel will work well for the SIOP conference.


Other issues: New York local arrangements

·        Robin Cohen (local arrangements) is arranging for a tour of Time Warner’s facilities.

·        SIOPen: Micky Kavanagh is coordinating the SIOPen, working with Robin Cohen to identify courses.

·        Fun Run: Paul Sackett is coordinating, and Robin is providing him with information on possible routes.

·        SIOP web page will put up information and links to dining and theater ticket options.


C.     Other Conference Innovations


The following initiatives are currently being explored by the conference committee

·        Harold Takooshian (A SIOP member and APA fellow) is inviting "SIOP dignitaries" to come to the UN for a visit/lunch with one Ambassador who is a Ph.D. psychologist.  This seems like it might be a useful PR and learning opportunity for a President, Past-Presidents, Executive Director, and perhaps some members of the executive committee.  Status: Will be on agenda at September EC meeting.

·        Improvements in registration process (sign-in and sign-out) for CE sessions.  Alternatives will be pursued, as well as electronic enhancements for pre- and post-tests. 


D.     Continue to Focus on our Constituents


The conference committee is, by necessity, heavily focused on our constituents.  We note, however, the following issues:

·        Conference survey.  A free-standing conference survey has not been conducted since immediately after Orlando.  In 2007, we will conduct a conference survey evaluating New York, conference issues in general, and issues that may become relevant as we transition to the 3-day format in San Francisco.  Doug Pugh is coordinating this effort and will be working with our contacts at Questar to design and conduct the survey.  A draft of the survey should be available for review at the January conference planning meeting.  Note that this item will contribute to goal #3 under the “membership” topic of the SIOP strategic plan developed at the April 2006 EC meeting: Meaningful and actionable trend metrics.

·        New Faculty.  The Junior Faculty Consortium will be held again this year, coordinated by Wendy Becker.

·        Doctoral Students. A doctoral student consortium, coordinated by John Hunthausan and Ken Yusko, will be held this year.

·        Master’s Students.  A Master’s Consortium, coordinated by Dan Sachau, will be held on the Thursday afternoon prior to the conference.  


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


The following program enhancements have been proposed.

·        Dual facilitators, one from “science” and one from “practice”, have been proposed for the Communities of Interest sessions.   Feasibility is being explored.

·        There will be an award for the best LBGT-themed paper at the conference.

·        An award for the best practice-oriented session has been approved.

·        We are exploring the possibility of making papers for interactive poster sessions available on line prior to the conference (to facilitate discussion). Jeff McHenry is checking with APA to see if this would be problematic. 

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 


SIOP Strategic Planning Goal: Primarily, Goal 3, Organization of Choice of I-O Professionals (through effects on member satisfaction and retention).  



We have and will continue to keep members updated through TIP articles and, when necessary, emails (as approved by the president)


  1. Ensure that the 2007 Conference provides a 65-75% return on expenses to SIOP.  This may include:   

·        Some increases in registration fees, although any increase is likely to be minor given the increases put in place over the past several years. 

·        Eliminating demo booths in the exhibit hall 

·        Developing opportunities for sponsors to reach our members while being responsive to member concerns about the commercialization of the Society and Conference.  

SIOP Strategic Planning Goal: Primarily, Goal 3, Organization of Choice of I-O Professionals (via the responsible financial management of SIOP).    


The 2007 conference budget is currently being finalized.  Please note that the 65-75% figure is considerably higher than the “5-10% responsibility margin” stated for this goal in 2006.  This is due to the fact that a percentage of Administrative Office operating expenses, previously charged back to the conference budget, now come out of a different budget. The approved return on expenses for the 2006 conference budget was 68.9%, and the actual return was 112.5%.  This surplus is due to the increase in registration fees put in place for the Dallas conference combined with relatively low conference expenses (e.g., contract labor).  Returns on the 2007 conference will be more modest.   


Demo booths have been eliminated because they were (a) losing money for SIOP in that exhibitors that normally would purchase two booths were instead purchasing one less expensive demo booth, and (b) creating some resentment from exhibitors who wanted demo booths but could not obtain one.  Exhibitors who desire more space will now be encouraged to purchase two booths. 


Other sponsorship opportunities being explored include audio streaming (we were unsuccessful obtaining a sponsor for this in Dallas), the opportunity for sponsors to use the many large LED screens throughout the hotel, and various bag inserts.  Sponsorship of a wireless internet café will not be pursued as it was deemed financially unviable.  All sponsorship opportunities are weighed against concerns about overt commercialization of the conference.


  1. Complete pre-planning for the 2007 and 2008 Conferences, including contract modifications required to ensure that those sites will meet our evolving needs.   

SIOP Strategic Planning Goal: Primarily, Goal 3, Organization of Choice of I-O Professionals (via enhancing member satisfaction and retention). 



As noted above, the conference committee met in New York in June 2006 to check out the 2007 conference site.  We also discussed some issues involved in planning for 2008 in San Francisco, which will be the first conference on a 3-day format.  Contract modifications for the 2008 conference have been handled by the Executive Director.


  1. Issue RFP and have proposal for 2012 conference site ready for review at January 2007 EC meeting.    

SIOP Strategic Planning Goal: Primarily, Goal 3, Organization of Choice of I-O Professionals 



RFP has been issued and over 30 proposals received.  Cities under serious consideration include San Diego, California, Anaheim, California, and Houston, Texas.  Executive director and site selection committee (Steven Ashworth is transitioning out and Donald Truxillo is taking over) are in the process of arranging site visits.