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General Information & Membership

What is SSP?

The Society of Sensory Professionals (SSP) is a professional society run by its members with the help of a professional management company. We operate using byaws written and approved by the membership. Officer’s duties, responsibilities, elections and committees are established in the Bylaws.

Why do we need SSP?

To serve the professional and educational needs of sensory scientists in all types of organizations and grow and enhance the profession as well as the society.

When and why did we start SSP?

In 2008, a group of seven sensory professionals saw the need to develop a Sensory Professional Community with the goal of sharing technical information, professional growth and networking for members.

What is the scope and mission of SSP?

To advance the field of sensory evaluation, including consumer research, and the role/work of sensory professionals, for the purpose of sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas, mentoring and educating its members.

How is SSP organized/governed?

Membership in SSP is open to any person who is interested in any aspect of sensory or consumer research, including students. SSP has an executive committee of officers and committee chairs who govern the day-to-day activities of the organization according to society bylaws. Any member may volunteer to serve on SSP committees or nominate themselves or others for office.

How many members do you have?

We currently have around 450 members from 30 different countries around the world.

What is the benefits of membership? What is the cost? Is there any commitment expected? Are there any qualifications to join? How do I join?

As an SSP member, you can take advantage of many benefits, including:
  • Accessing conference presentations
  • Networking with industry leaders
  • Attending conferences at an exclusive, discounted member rate
  • Attending regional meetings with your local sensory community 2x/year at no further cost
  • Expanding your knowledge through training and educational courses
  • Accessing key publications (Journal of Sensory Studies and Journal of Texture Studies)
  • Searching members-only job postings
  • And more!

Be a leader in this advancing science—become a member today! The cost is $105 for a 12-month membership ($25 for students).

Become a Member​

You need not volunteer for any further commitments as a member nor have any formal sensory training. However, if you are interested in participating and being more involved in this sensory community, see the “Getting Involved” section below.

Is there a leadership succession plan?

Elections are held every two years. Nominations and volunteers for offices will be solicited and recommendations for office will be made by a nominating committee comprised of people who are not running for any office. Committee volunteers are accepted at any time. The by-laws specify offices, terms of office, and the ways in which offices are filled.

How does the Wiki work?

The Sensory Wiki is an ideal platform for sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas, and educating others in the sensory community. Any member of SSP can (and should) contribute to the Wiki either by creating an original wiki page or by editing/updating existing pages. Further information on the details of this process is available on the Sensory Wiki landing page. Non-members can also contribute through a submission form. Wiki submissions are monitored by an international editorial board. The Wiki will grow to be your source of information for methods in sensory and consumer science.

How is SSP different from other organizations?

There is some confusion about differentiation of SSP from other organizations, such as IFT/SED, ASTM, Pangborn, Sensometrics, etc. SSP has a single focus – the sensory professional – free from the need to serve any consumer product focus, such as food or cosmetics specifically, or any output requirements, such as standards and documents. SSP differs from the Pangborn Symposium in that it is a conference that is held every two years. SSP is a community of professionals who have ongoing connections through a variety of channels, including the SSP website, Sensory Wiki, and a conference on the off year from the Pangborn Symposium.

How is SSP different from Pangborn?

SSP is a member-based society that organizes conferences every other year. In addition to sharing technical sensory content, SSP focuses on developing the sensory professional through professional workshops, creating formal cross company mentorships, developing community through regional meetings, and much more.

Pangborn is an international symposium that is held every other year, focused primarily on technical sensory content. It is not a member based society

Does SSP represent both non-food as well as food sensory?

SSP has had food and non-food participation since its inception. In addition, there is a specific committee focused on expanding the impact of sensory on non-food categories. Contact to learn more!

Global Questions

Can the members be located outside of North America?

Yes, there is no geography restriction to become a member. We currently have members from 30 different countries.

What is SSP’s relationship with societies in other countries?

SSP seeks to have a network of global societies where content and information can be shared. For example, SSP jointly presents a workshop with Sensometrics at both SSP and Sensometrics conferences. SSP also presents a joint conference with ASTM International every other year.

Getting Involved

Who are the people involved?

The society is an open organization and welcomes members in all parts of the globe. The organizing committee felt strongly that this society is largely a “virtual” (i.e., web-based) entity and intends to provide a professional organization that can help link members and foster collaboration, education, scientific inquiry, and mentoring in the field. Information on the current officers and committee membership can be found on the committees webpage.

Is SSP for just a few select people?

SSP is a rapidly growing society open to any person who is interested in any aspect of sensory or consumer research and hopes to have many global participating members. There are many ways to get involved. Join a committee, volunteer to be an officer, write a Wiki page, participate in biannual meetings, volunteer to be a mentor, or create content for the website such as a PowerPoint presentation that focuses on a particular area. We hope that members will take the initiative to give suggestions on what they can do for the organization – and then do it!

How do I get involved?

First, if you have not already, become a member using the online system. If you are already a member, then volunteer to serve on one of the many committees (membership, communications, strategic planning, conference, etc.) A great way to get involved, even at your desk, is to write a short article on a topic of interest to you for the Sensory Wiki. Those articles can be read by people all over the world when they need information on that topic.

How much time would be required for me to get involved?

Most committees meet 1x/month for an hour, with committee members having individual follow-ups that vary by committee but are not expected to be more than a few hours total per month.

Are there any commitments required of the members?

No, you are not required to commit to any additional activities as a member. However, we do have surveys from time to time used to determine how to better serve you—our request is that you fill those out to reflect your needs.

What are the current committees focused on?

For the latest on our efforts, visit our current committee listing​. Contact to get further information and contacts.

Conferences and Virtual Regional meetings

Conferences are a combination of keynote speakers, technical presentations and workshops, poster sessions, and professional development training conducted over 2.5 days. The conference is open to anyone but at a reduced rate for members. They are generally held in the North America region every other year.

Our Virtual Regional Meeting program brings together, by region, sensory professionals for networking and real-time presentations in one central location. To learn more or participate in an upcoming virtual regional meeting contact one of the Regional Coordinators

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