COVID-19 has impacted many facets of life and work these past few months, forcing companies and organizations to adapt in ways few could have imagined at the beginning of the year.
The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is no exception - and possibly more in the spotlight than many because of its focus on industrial and organizational psychology, a dynamic and growing field that addresses workplace issues at the individual and organizational level.
As part of its commitment to its 10,000 members, SIOP shifted this year's annual conference to a virtual format. In a few short months, the SIOP 2020 Virtual Conference, a comprehensive, online conference featuring almost 500 sessions, was built for more than 2,000 registrants, providing an opportunity for attendees to explore the future of work and the role I-O psychology can play in meeting workplace challenges today and beyond.
"Shortly after it became necessary to cancel the in-person conference, we began quickly, and thoughtfully, making decisions around a virtual conference offering," said SIOP Conference Chair Dr. Scott Tonidandel, professor of management, UNC-Charlotte. "Not only did we want to honor the good work done by submitters, presenters, and reviewers, we saw the role I-O psychology immediately had, and will continue to have, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an important time for our research and practice, so we knew we needed to fill the gap that cancelling the in-person conference would create."
Highlights of this year's conference include the COVID-19 Track and the Closing Plenary program. The track includes a panel discussion on COVID-19 and the Future of Work as well as a series of Ted-style talks covering different areas of I-O psychology. During the Closing Plenary, bestselling author Daniel Pink, Margaret Levi, head of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University; Jed Kolko, Indeed's chief economist; and Skip Lupia, from the National Science Foundation, will join I-O Psychology luminaries in sharing "Perspectives on Possible Futures of I-O."
Conference sessions will be available as documents, slide decks, videos, and even a handful of live-streamed events, and include a robust mix of core I-O topics and subjects vitally important in the current moment. Attendees will find sessions on diversity and inclusion, testing and assessment, strategic HR, technology, groups and teams, and work and family/non-work life.
Conference content will be found on the Whova app, the same app that more than 75 percent of in-person SIOP Annual Conference attendees have used in the past. New this year, the Whova web app will provide an enhanced experience for conference registrants with side-by-side views of video and commentary streams. Access via a desktop version allows maximum participant flexibility and enjoyment.
Attendees will be able to engage with sessions entirely on their own schedule, not having to make the tough choice often experienced during an in-person conference when there are multiple sessions of interest during the same time block. Additional features of the Whova app include a virtual exhibit of conference sponsors and community discussion boards.
Despite its novel format, the SIOP 2020 Virtual Conference will offer the high-quality, peer-reviewed content, diversity of perspectives and topic areas, and blend of science and practice that members have come to expect and value for the 35 years SIOP has been hosting the annual conference.
Full conference access will open June 16 and close June 30. More information is available on SIOP's conference website.