By Paul Thoresen, SIOP Blogger
My first SIOP conference was in Dallas, 1998, just a little while ago for some, and in the stone ages for new graduate students. That first SIOP conference was an eye-opening and inspiring experience. There were so many great papers, posters, presentations, a few disagreements, and the discipline of I-O was well represented. Meeting some of the movers and shakers of the field was super exciting for me. I also learned that the conference finished early on Sunday, which I did not know when I booked my flight. So, I have fond memories of going to a stadium seating theatre and watching “The Big Hit” before going to the airport. I know, no one else likes that movie, but if you watched this entertaining comedy instead of hanging out in the DFW airport, you would like it, too!
I wish I could say I have gone to the conference every year for the last dozen years. Instead it is closer to every other year on average. I would love to attend it every year, but work obligations and family life make that difficult at times. I always find posters that are well done, sessions that are thought provoking, old friends I have not seen in years, and new friends to keep in touch with going forward.
In terms of favorite conferences, the 2000 conference in New Orleans certainly tops my list! I went with a batch of friends, which is the best way to attend when possible. We had posters to present, and this made SIOP more personal. Riding the trolley cars, sampling local cuisine, and a short tour to the home of author Anne Rice (we could not go in, so we just saw the house from the outside) etc. made for memories.
At Chicago’s 2004 conference, I decided to save money and get a less expensive hotel that was pretty far away. Never again! Between lost time at the conference due to travel, parking expenses, and the pure “hassle factor,” I decided going forward to always book a hotel at (or near) the conference.
At the Dallas conference in 2006 I ran the 5K for the first time –although I had signed up in previous years, this was the first year I made it to the race and actually crossed the finish line. It is much more fun collecting a T-shirt when you have actually completed the event! That was also the year of the awesome practice forum Defining and measuring employee engagement: Old wine in new bottles?
I am excited for this year because I have not made it to the conference for several years. I plan to participate in the Frank Landy Fun Run this year. Running in San Diego will be cooler than Dallas. An added dimension for me personally is that I will be exhibiting for my employer. I am eager to be involved in this aspect of the conference and although I have exhibited at other conferences, there is only one SIOP. I have been to San Diego before for other conferences and know we will have excellent choices for food in the Gaslamp district, as well as a great harbor view.
What part of SIOP 2012 are you most excited about?
- Perhaps the preconference workshops?
- Arguments over state vs. trait, or the role of (IQ, EQ, Personality etc.) in selection?
- Or maybe it is the keynote speaker, Dr. Albert Bandura?
Have you started reaching out to networking contacts to ensure you connect in San Diego? Are you planning out which sessions to attend? It can never be done too early.
On a final note, I wonder where we will be in 2014 . . .