First-Time Attendees

2024 SIOP Annual Conference

Advice for All First-Time Attendees

The 2024 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! 



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. You can start now by using the searchable program
  •   If you don’t have a set research area, attend sessions that interest you as possible specialties. 
  •   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 business casual 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. Bring a water bottle for easy refills while between sessions.

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 psychology 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. Check out special events and the SIOP Commons for great ways to meet other I-O psychology professionals. 

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 the annual conference. Share it with your advisor, supervisor, research teams, and whoever else might be interested or benefit from it. Ask them what they learned too! 

A few additional FAQs to help you get ready

Do I need to sign up for sessions beforehand?

You don’t need to sign up for sessions unless otherwise noted (e.g., specific workshops, seminars). In general, the conference sessions (e.g., panels, symposia, posters) are first come first serve.

What should I bring to sessions?

The only thing you need to bring is your SIOP 2024 Annual Conference badge, which will be given to you at Registration upon arrival at the conference. 

Many people bring a bag with either a laptop or notepad and pens. Other items that may be helpful to bring are a portable charger, business cards (or have your LinkedIn QR code handy), a snack, and weather-dependent clothing.

What should I wear?

Most wear business casual attire. If you are seeking a job or participating in interviews you may want to consider dressing more formally.

It is also recommended to wear comfortable shoes – this one is important enough to state twice! You may be on your feet a lot and spend time walking from session to session so wearing comfortable shoes goes a long way! 

You may also want to bring layers in case temperatures vary by room.

How can I connect with people who have similar research interests as me?

The Whova app is a great way to see topic threads on certain interest areas, specific meet-ups to discuss topics, etc. Attending sessions and greeting presenters can also be a great way to connect, especially poster sessions.

Can I record sessions?

It is not preferred to record a session, but if you are interested in doing so, please seek out the presenters before the session starts to ask their permission.

Many sessions (about 130!) will actually be recorded and posted on Whova for viewing until June 30, 2024. To add this option onto your registration, simply revisit the registration page and click the “Extended Session Recording/Material Access (Whova access through June) option.

Check out additional Annual Conference FAQs as you get ready to enjoy your first event in Chicago!