2009 Annual Conference Report
Sandcastles at Water's Edge
Michael Link, Conference Chair
Patricia Moy, Associate Chair
In a few short weeks AAPOR members will gather for the Annual Conference in Hollywood, Fla., (May 14-17). A lot has changed since we met last May - the United States has a new president, the global economy experienced a meltdown, and AAPOR now has a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. It is appropriate, therefore, that this year's conference focuses on "Public Choices in Changing Times." Citizens today are presented daily with an unprecedented array of entertainment and information options, while leaders in government and industry are using new means of reaching and cultivating audiences and publics. We face the challenges of globalization and immigration, and multifaceted issues surrounding gender, race and politics in America. At the same time, rapid changes in communication technologies open new modes of social organization and place the field's traditional methods for sampling and data collection in a state of considerable flux, with no clear vision of a single, dominant survey methodology emerging in the future.
Building on the conference theme, the finalÂ program features an array of discussions and research debates that will appeal to diverse intellectual tastes. Highlights of the conference include:
- A thought-provoking plenary session featuring two world-renowned speakers: Kenneth Prewitt, Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs at Columbia University and former director of the U.S. Census Bureau, and Paul Donato, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer at The Nielsen Company. The plenary, "The Role of Traditional Survey Research in a World of Electronic Measurement and Changing Information Needs," focuses on the extent and rapidity of change in the fields of survey measurement and public opinion research, reflecting on the potential implications of these trends for self-reported data collection and AAPOR itself.
- More than 400 individual papers, briefs, and poster presentations on a wide array of critical topics, such as the 2008 election, address-based sampling, cell phones, online data collection, exit polling, and measuring consumer behavior. Presentations also will address a host of topic areas, including America's image abroad, immigration, race, and health policy.
- The introduction of "Demonstration Sessions" where new and future data collection technologies will be shown and discussed, including the next generation of survey tools, innovative methods for measuring behaviors electronically, state-of-the-art multimode case management systems, and more. These sessions focus on the science and practical application of new tools critical to the future success of survey research.
- New this year are several networking activities for new members â€“ those interested in exploring new potential career opportunities, and folks just interested in forging stronger ties with other AAPOR members. These include "Speed Networking," where participants will have the opportunity to meet and connect with others who share a common interest and have some fun along the way; and "Network Sampling," which will allow people to get a rapid "sample" of organizations in our profession and expand their network of people who might know about open positions. These are in addition to our annual Docent mentoring program.
We also will be transforming our exhibit space into an "AAPOR village," with a host of activities including new technology/software demonstration sessions, research posters, the book exhibit, author small group discussions, and a wide range of vendors and exhibitors (and don't forget the dessert breaks!). There also will be an area set aside with the AAPOR backdrop for video-blogging, interviews, and photography.
The conference, as always, will offer a variety of social activities both in and out of the sun (see Welcome to Hollywood).
Concerning sleeping accommodations, AAPOR has secured rooms in two great hotels. The Westin Diplomat, site of most conference activities, is located on the beach and features easy access to several restaurants and bars. Looking for a less expensive yet convenient option? The Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Hotel, very family-friendly and located a short walk from the Westin, features large rooms with microwaves and refrigerators, balconies for enjoying the night breezes, and a pool overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. AAPOR guests staying at the Crowne Plaza will be able to obtain passes to enjoy the beach at the Westin.
This year AAPOR is also maintaining a list of 2009 AAPOR Conference attendees interested in sharing accommodations in Hollywood, Fla. When you sign up for room sharing you will be emailed a copy of the list so that you may contact potential roommates directly. Please try to submit your information as early as possible while appropriate room accommodations are still available. If you are interested, please complete the online form.
We look forward to seeing you in Florida ... and don't forget your sandals, shades, swimming suits, and sun block!
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