From the CEO

For almost 120 years, members have been meeting at APA’s Annual Conventions. Although the size and scope of APA’s convention have changed considerably over the years, the primary reasons psychologists meet — to connect with colleagues and discuss ideas — remain the same.

Beginning this year, APA’s Annual Convention will be held in Washington, D.C., every three years. Meeting in D.C. offers many advantages. For one, D.C. is home to APA headquarters. It allows members to attend convention and visit their congressional representatives. The city boasts of many local attractions that are both inexpensive and family-friendly, from the Smithsonian Institution to the Washington Monument to Arlington National Cemetery.

In addition, by our committing to holding our convention in Washington every three years, the city gives us an annual real estate tax abatement of about $1 million — a savings that greatly increases our ability to meet members’ needs.

What’s new at APA’s convention this year? Here’s a sampling:

  • To make the convention more family-friendly, APA is providing a room in the Washington Convention Center with seating for parents and a play area for children. In addition, we will host a family social hour with wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres for parents and entertainment and snacks for the kids.
  • For the first time, for a single fee, attendees can earn unlimited continuing-education credits by choosing from almost 250 designated sessions. The cost is just $50 for members if you register by the end of this month — and $65 after. (Half- or full-day CE workshops are priced separately.)
  • Special this year is an APA evening at the Newseum, the 250,000-square-foot interactive museum of news and journalism, located just a few blocks from the Capitol. APA will serve light refreshments at the event, where members can explore such exhibits as “The Story of News,” covering the history of news, the voices struggling to be heard, and the people and technology that spread communications.
  • This year’s presidential programming theme, designated by APA President Melba J.T. Vasquez, PhD, is social justice. A variety of sessions will focus on immigration, discrimination, diversity and educational disparities.
  • APA is hosting a D.C. Food Trucks Festival just across the street from the convention center on Saturday, Aug. 6, 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Lobster rolls, Korean food, Indian food, BBQ sandwiches, pizza, empañadas, kabobs, Asian fusion, macaroni and cheese, and cupcakes are some of the culinary treats that will be available for purchase. Bring friends and enjoy an outdoor picnic and live music.
  • We’ve also created a Technology Exhibit in the APA Exhibit Hall, sponsored by Hewlett-Packard and Pearson, where psychologists will be able to get hands-on experience using the latest tools. Members will hear 15-minute discussions on such topics as new tools to help your practice, securing your computer, what a tablet PC can do for you, getting the most from Windows 7 and more.

Of course, even in this age of revolutionary technology, members still place a high premium on face-to-face meetings. Networking has been and always will be a major draw for the convention. When we ask people why they attend APA’s convention, they say they like to gain new knowledge, develop practical skills and have the opportunity for informal discussions. They like to explore employment options and internship possibilities. Members who are just entering the field often like to meet with more experienced psychologists at events like “Speed Mentoring,” at which small groups of graduate students and early career psychologists interact with more experienced psychologists. (Space is limited, so sign up for the event when you register for convention.)

For more convention highlights, be sure to review the list of APA division programs. And, of course, don’t forget to register.

See you in D.C.! There’s no place like home.