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2005-2006 Conference Committee Goals Status Update

Note: Original goals are in italics.

  Goal  1: Make the 2005 SIOP Conference a great member experience:

A.  Continue to focus on the conference attributes developed over the last 3 years: Relevant, forward looking, cutting-edge. 

Status: The focus of the Sunday Seminars and the plenary session will be cross-disciplinary work. We will also be adding a number of conference innovations, discussed below. 

B. Explore new uses of technology, e.g., scannable badges, video streaming of sessions, personalized program for members. 


The development of a personalized program on the website (involving check boxes) is nearly completed.

We are still working with Blue Sky to have video of the plenary available online.

One workshop or conference session may be available online for CE credit via the audio streaming technology.  The initial demonstration materials for handling this, including the evaluations required from APA, looks very promising. Dave, Donald, and Judy Blanton are set to discuss the logistics of this on January 11.

We explored the use of networking software to help attendees connect with each other. However, after having examined this, we decided that it not add much value given the issues involved in setting it up.

C.  Add special sessions focused on science, for example, special sessions (e.g., roundtables) on cutting-edge topics;

Status: The committee determined that the interdisciplinary nature of todays science and practice would be of interest to SIOP members. For that reason, there will be Sunday Seminars focused on interdisciplinary issues (see update from Program Committee). In addition, the Plenary will include speakers on interdisciplinary topics and science and practice. Possible topics will include Occupational Health Psychology, diversity, hi-tech assessment and selection, combining qualitative and quantitative research, and work done with economists, e.g., adverse impact analysis, economic analysis of I/O initiatives.

  Include talks by funding officers, grant reviewers.

Status: There will be sessions focused on grantsmanship. 

E.  Continue to focus on our constituents.

Status: The Conference Committee is, by necessity, heavily focused on its constituents. However, we note the following particular issues: 

Conference Survey:
Because members were just surveyed about conference issues in March, there will be no formal conference survey this year. However, Steve, Doug, Dave, and Donald edited and augmented the current conference-related items on the member survey.  

International Attendees: Leaetta will address international issues in her TIP column. Julie examined the number of international reviewers and worked to recruit more of them. 

Beginning Practitioners: We will have a session where more senior members provide guidance and answer questions. 

Mid-Career Members:

To develop cohorts of members who wish to meet each year, we experimented with the Doctoral Consortium reunion last year. We will continue this reunion this year in Dallas (chaired by Rudy Sanchez and Ted Hayes) and determine its viability.

F.  Check out the Dallas location to facilitate logistics for members.

Issues specific to Adams Mark and their resolution:

This issue was one of the most time-consuming this year because of issues with the hotel facility itself. Specifically, the Dallas Adams Mark has the following advantages and disadvantages:


Very inexpensive sleeping rooms relative to recent SIOP conferences.

Located right on the train line, very close to entertainment.

Adequate presentation rooms.


There is no standard exhibit hall. Instead the hotel suggested the exhibit hall be in the second floor common area, which would have been crowded and potentially unsightly. Mock-ups of this area as an exhibit hall showed the area to be extremely crowded and choppy given the number of booths we now have.

The hotel did not originally plan to give us some of their best presentation rooms, particularly on the first day for the plenary session. Several of their suggested presentation rooms were too small.


We have made significant gains in this area, and we believe the situation is under control. Specifically:


The hotel will give us the best presentation rooms on Friday; this will provide an outstanding venue for the plenary session. Moreover, these additional rooms on Friday will provide us with great space for the program.

Donald and Dave have worked out that the exhibit hall and posters will be in a combination of break out rooms (Lone Star A & B) which will actually be a larger space than we had last year (and very nice!)

Rather than being used for the exhibit hall, the common area on the second floor will now be free during the day for members to meet and network. This large space will all be used for the evening receptions (and should be very nice for this purpose.) 

There are also numerous other meeting rooms available to the AO to assign to groups needing meeting space.

In summary, we believe that these issues are largely solved, and that the facility will work well for SIOP. 

Room block update: As of December 12, members had booked 50.2% of the room block, or 2,449 rooms, versus 2,375 rooms at this time last year. This is very good news given that the 2006 conference will be held at an unusually late time in the year (May.)

Local Arrangements:

Local arrangements are also going well:

Tour: Michelle Collins (Local Arrangements) had put together a tour with Texas Instruments. Notably, we have most of the many of the tour expenses covered by sponsors so that there will be few if any fees for attendees.

SIOpen: Dan Sachau has arranged the SIOPen to be held at the Tour 18 golf course in Dallas, one of the top courses in the country.

Fun Run: Michelle worked with Paul and Pat Sackett and Kevin Williams on this. The Fun Run is under control this year. 

Michelle is putting together materials for local arrangements; she will contact the Visitors Bureau. This should include attractions nearby, how to get to them via train, etc.

Conference Registration Materials: The conference registration materials were assembled in early November. Thanks to all of the Conference Committee and to the AO for all of their work on this monumental task!

G. Try to land important speaker(s) for special programming.

Status: The Conference Committee discussed several possibilities, and Leaetta, Donald, and Jeff McHenry discussed these ideas further. In the end, we decided not to go for an important outside speaker this year, since we cannot afford to give up a block of programming, and putting an outside speaker into the plenary would detract from the presidential address and the other important aspects of the plenary. This idea will be revisited in New York since we expect it to be the first 3-day conference.

Goal 2: 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; and Conference sponsorship.

Outreach to all members, e.g., international members, minority members.

Status: We have continued to keep members updated through TIP articles and, when necessary, emails (as approved by the president).  For example, Donald wrote an article for the July TIP, and Julie and Donald wrote an article about the conference highlights in the October TIP. We will provide additional email updates as the conference approaches. However, we will be sure to limit the number of these so as not to intrude upon members.

Goal 3: Ensure that the 2006 Conference provides a 5-10% responsibility margin to SIOP. This would include:

We raised fees for pre-registered members by $10 this year. We raised on-site registration for members by $15 to encourage members to register early and simplify conference planning.

Larger increases were given to non-members ($30-40), because, since 2002, increases for non-members had gone up at a lower rate than that for members.

This budgeting resulted in a good cushion regarding SIOPs profit margin (10.1% for the overall conference budget, 4.8% for the conference specifically). These increases should allow us to make only small increases in New York (2007), where sleeping rooms will be more expensive than in Dallas.

Working with the Financial Officer, we have continued to view conference funding on a long-term basis rather than year-to-year. Also, we note again that the registration fees for the SIOP conference is still very low compared to most other conferences.   

   Finally, we note that we also trying to find additional sponsors, e.g., for the audio streaming of sessions.

Goal 4: Work with the Financial Officer and LRP on developing an approach to Society and Conference sponsorship that provides a valuable opportunity for sponsors to reach our members, increases annual sponsor revenue by 10%, and is responsive to member concerns about the commercialization of the Society and Conference. 

Status: In addition the regular sponsorships for booths, promotions, etc., we have added sponsorships for wireless internet and audio streaming.

Goal 5: Complete pre-planning for the 2006 and 2007 Conferences, including contract modifications required to ensure that those sites will meet our evolving needs. 

Status:  The conference committee met in Dallas in June to check out the 2006 conference site. (See issues and comments regarding the Dallas site under Goal 1F, above.) We also discussed the issues with the 2007 (New York) conference, which will be chaired by Doug Pugh. These issues include the transition to the 3-day conference in 2007, which Dave Nershi is still getting in writing from the New York hotel. Moreover, we have negotiated a contract addendum for San Francisco in 2008 to accommodate the new 3-day conference, paying particular attention to Saturday night, which is the most difficult night to estimate sleeping rooms under the new conference schedule. Thanks to Dave, Doug, and Steve Ashworth for their input on this decision, which the SF hotel has told us can continue to be negotiated. The New Orleans Sheraton has let Dave know that they are quite flexible regarding our changed schedule.

Our next committee meeting will be the weekend of February 4 in Dallas.

  Goal 6: Begin scouting properties for the 2012 Conference using the RFP process.   

Status: Dave Nershi is putting out feelers with a number of hotel chains to see what future properties may be available. Given that we just signed contracts for 2010 and 2011 (Atlanta and Chicago), we do not necessarily expect a signed contract this year for 2012 unless a very attractive site presents itself.

  Goal 7: Determine when the Conference will begin the 3-day format. This will involve checking with future conference sites, adjusting contracts as necessary. 

Status: Although it was too late to go to this format in 2006 (Dallas), we will begin the new schedule in New York in 2007. As noted above, Dave Nershi is still getting an addendum in writing from the New York hotel. Moreover, we have negotiated a contract addendum for San Francisco in 2008 to accommodate the new 3-day conference. The New Orleans Sheraton has let Dave know that they are quite flexible regarding our changed schedule.

Submitted by: Donald Truxillo                      


Committee Members:

Leaetta Hough, SIOP President
Fritz Drasgow, Past President
Doug Pugh, Conference Co-Chair
Julie Olsen-Buchanan, Program
Steven Ashworth, Site Selection
Liberty Munson, Placement
Joan Brannick, Workshops
Michelle Collins, Local Arrangements
Dave Nershi, Executive Director
Donald Truxillo, Conference Chair