It’s April again, which means three things – taxes are due, my March madness bracket is hanging by a thread, and SIOP season is here! Every year, I look forward to SIOP for the opportunity to present recent Hogan research, the chance to attend sessions and learn about other advances in the I-O community, and the informal reunions with friends and colleagues. More than anything, however, I look forward to people watching at SIOP. There are certain types of people you can find in the exhibitor’s hall or attending sessions, but to date no attempt has been made to catalog these species. So, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, we provide the first ever field guide to people watching at SIOP.
- The Tourist – Frequently seen in its natural habitat of the exhibitor’s hall, this creature wanders the booths with the sole purpose of gathering souvenirs from as many vendors as possible. This species is often noted for having a SIOP conference bag or other tote stuffed with its various finds.
- The Loiterer – These curious squatters can be found in the exhibitor’s hall looking for available seating inside vendors’ booths. Confusing these seats for common hotel meeting areas, The Loiterer takes up indefinite residence without even attempting to engage vendors in conversation. They may catch up on emails, chat with colleagues, interview job candidates, or even nap, but make no mistake about it – these uninvited guests are hanging out until they’re good and ready to leave.
- The Party Crasher – This nocturnal species is seen from the late afternoons through the very late nights. Lacking proper invitations to popular parties and receptions, they attempt to gain access by identifying invited guests they know, entering with groups of invited guests, or finding unguarded entries.
- The Rager – Although long removed from graduate school, The Rager attempts to relive glory days and party like it’s 1999. They may not actually attend conference sessions to learn, but can frequently be seen starting after lunch. Although The Rager and The Party Crasher are easy to confuse, telltale markers of Ragers are bloodshot eyes, complaints of headaches or lack of memory, and wearing the previous day’s clothes.
- The Bro – These younger males often confuse SIOP with spring break and are relatively unconcerned with learning and developing their professional network. Known for their overly casual appearance, tight shirts, flip-flops, and indoor use of sunglasses, this creature wants everyone at SIOP to know just how cool they really are.
- The Party Girl – The female counterpart to The Bro is The Party Girl. Scientists suspect that this species may also confuse SIOP for spring break as evidenced by a manner of appearance more typically seen in bars or dance clubs than professional conferences. Because of their striking appearance, The Party Girl is frequently surrounded by many Bros.
- The Card Dealer – This creature just had 500 business cards printed, and between Thursday and Sunday will hand ALL of them out. They give out cards to former colleagues, eager students, presenters, waiters, bartenders, the maid, and drop them in containers for every drawing and contest they see.
- The Lifelong Learner – This species is known for an overly serious approach. They attend all advanced workshops and CE courses, and their program may be torn and tattered from overuse.
- The Contrarian – This curious creature attends many sessions at SIOP, but with the sole purpose of arguing against the topics discussed. This species mourns the loss of debate sessions at the conference, and may attempt to revive them informally by frequently arguing against ideas and those offering them.
- The Human Acronym – This species is observed across herds of academics and practitioners. They may be known as Professor Dr. John/Jane Doe, Ph.D., or may hand you a business card that reads John/Jane Doe, M.S., MBA, PHR, ABD, BA. The Human Acronym frequently lists all their achievements since high school in an attempt to wow fellow SIOP attendees.
We hope this Field Guide helps you prepare for the conference jungle and all the creatures you may encounter there. The Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology is a phenomenal organization and Hogan is proud to sponsor the conference each year. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Houston!