First Time Attendees

2022 SIOP Annual Conference

Advice for Students & First-Time Attendees

Advice for all first-time attendees 


The 2023 SIOP Annual Conference is right around the corner and will feature diverse educational sessions, add-on events, and networking. But it can be overwhelming for first-time attendees so we've compiled advice below! 

Must see sessions and events for students and first-time attendees

Tips for Making the Most Out of Your First SIOP Annual Conference



Set a goal.  Are you attending the conference to learn, connect, or find a job? Let your answer guide your decisions at the SIOP Annual Conference. 

Make a priority list of 3 things (sessions, symposiums, panels, etc.) a day that you would like to attend. If you have energy and interest, then attend more. Tips for choosing sessions: 

  •   Look for sessions that are relevant to a current project or paper. Click here for the searchable program. 
  •   If you don’t have a set research area, attend sessions that interest you as possible specialties. 
  •   Review the list (coming soon) highlighting sessions of interest for graduate students. 
  •   Don't try to do it all! At first glance, each session sounds great, but we recommend that you plan carefully for your attention span and energy levels. 

Essential! Prepare to connect. Download the Whova app (using the email address that you registered for the Conference with) and sync it to your LinkedIn profile. You can use the app to talk to people who went to the same sessions as you. 



Check out the poster sessions. It’ll allow you to speak directly with the researcher(s) and share ideas. 

Dress appropriately in professional business attire. But make sure you wear comfortable shoes! You will be surprised at how much you walk during the event. Even if you are attending virtually, appearance still matters. 

Decompress. Take time for yourself. The conference can take a lot of energy out of you.  

Don’t forget to eat! Be sure to take breaks and stay fueled. 

Screen fatigue is real! Don't forget to look away from your screen regularly and blink. Look out the window for a change of scenery, if you can. 

Remain professional in your attitude and composure, whether it’s in a session, an online chat, or a networking reception. Maintain a professional manner at all times. The I-O field is a small one! 

Network, network, network!   

  •   Meet up with alumni from your program or current students of a program in which you’re interested. These connections could help you gain insight or even get a foot in the door. 
  •   If you go to a session and find someone’s research or experience especially interesting, try to meet them virtually afterwards (if they’re not busy)! Chances are, they’ll appreciate your interest. 
  •   Attend receptions and social hours coordinated by SIOP or other sponsors that share the same interests as you. Click here for a list of special events. 

Have fun!  It’s your first SIOP experience, so soak it all in while you can, without putting too much pressure on yourself. You’ll likely be back! 


After (Within one week)

Revisit goals. Did you meet the goals you set for yourself prior to the conference? What else might you need to do as follow-up in order to reach all of your goals? 

Revisit notes and organize them in a way that helps you reference them for later projects or professional development. 

Follow-up with a brief email or LinkedIn connection to everyone with whom you personally connected. Thank them for the opportunity to chat, mention anything memorable you learned from them, and/or provide anything you promised as a follow-up. 

Organize and submit receipts, if you get any reimbursements from your organization. 

Write a summary of the top 3 things you learned from from the annual conference. Share it with your advisor, research teams, and whoever else might be interested or benefit from it. Ask them what they learned too!