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Jenny Baker
/ Categories: 2024, 613

The SIOP Ambassador Program Creates Welcoming Conference Experiences and Opportunities

SIOP Conference Committee, Anna Godollei, Shani Pindek, Amy Barron, Amy Minnikin, & Annie Simpson

“As someone who is just attending SIOP as a graduate student for the first time, I had a lot of questions that pertained about more than just the conference. I feel like my Ambassador provided a wealth of knowledge and answered so many of my questions.”

“Just thank you! This is the only conference I've ever been in that takes intentional steps to increase networking and build bonds between people.”

“[The Ambassador Program] made my first time at SIOP [Annual Conference] so much more welcoming!”

                                                                           -2023 Ambassador Program Newcomer Respondents

Fortunately, Ambassador Program experiences like these are not unique! According to the Ambassador Program survey conducted after the 2023 conference, the majority (80%) of newcomers were satisfied with their overall Ambassador program experience. In addition, 85% Newcomers were satisfied with the relationship they had with their Ambassador. Of the Newcomer respondents, 83% indicated they were likely to recommend the Ambassador Program to a prospective Newcomer, and the majority of newcomers wanted to participate as an Ambassador in the future!

Ambassadors also report enjoying the program just as much as Newcomers do. The postconference survey showed that 89% of Ambassadors were satisfied with the program, and 88% reported wanting to participate as an Ambassador again in the future! Ambassadors were particularly satisfied with communication from the Ambassador Program team as well as with their Newcomer before the conference. The Ambassador Program overall is a great way to expand your network in the I-O community and create lasting professional relationships that help new conference attendees navigate the sessions. We’d love for you to participate!

Other insightful feedback from the post conference survey has helped us understand how we can improve the program as well as the Newcomer and Ambassador experiences. Specifically, this year’s Ambassador Program subcommittee has been focused on:

  • Actively working on ways to better match Newcomers and Ambassadors
  • Enhancing the Ambassador Program event during the conference
  • Ensuring all parties remain engaged throughout the program

Our Newcomer base continues to remain strong with over 25% of first-time SIOP conference attendees participating. With the annual conference growing every year, SIOP can be an overwhelming (and exhilarating) experience, particularly for those who are new to the event. Since 2010, the SIOP Ambassador Program has supported our newest attendees by matching them with previous conference attendees willing to share what they’ve learned and pass along knowledge to support newcomer success.

Serving as an Ambassador is a relatively small time commitment that can have a tremendous impact on first time SIOP Annual Conference attendees, including providing a positive introduction to the SIOP community.  Anyone wanting to participate as an Ambassador or Newcomer can sign up within the 2024 SIOP Annual Conference registration process. We encourage everyone—from graduate students who are more advanced in their programs, recent graduates in academic or applied jobs, or more veteran SIOP members—to consider showing a first time SIOP Annual Conference attendee the ropes.  

A table with the program requirements for each role can be found below. 

Ambassadors

Newcomers

Program requirement

Registered for 2024 SIOP Annual Conference

 

Has already attended at least one Annual Conference

 

Attending the Annual Conference for the first time

Agree to follow all program expectations

Respond to conference communications

 

Initiate contact with your Ambassador via email

Connect by email or phone at least once before the conference

Meet at least once during the conference through an in-person, virtual, or hybrid check-in.

 

We’re very excited about the 2024 SIOP Ambassador Program and look forward to your participation! Keep an eye out for this year’s program campaign and help us #MakeAConnection with someone new to SIOP.  If you have any questions about the Ambassador Program contact us at ambassador@siop.com or visit our webpage.

We’d love to hear your stories about being a Newcomer or Ambassador! If you had an experience with the Ambassador Program that you would like to share or photos of you with your Ambassador or Newcomer, please email us at ambassador@siop.com. For example: Have you continued your professional relationship beyond the conference where you met? Have you had a research project or conference presentations with your Ambassador or Newcomer? Do you now work with your Ambassador or Newcomer? 

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