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American Association for Public Opinion Research

First-Time Attendees/New Members Guide

AAPOR Annual Conference 2017 (New Orleans, LA): A Guide for New Attendees

Brought to you by the AAPOR Student and Early Career Engagement Subcommittee, this guide is intended to provide helpful information about AAPOR and the upcoming annual conference for all AAPOR conference attendees, but particularly students, early career attendees, and those who are new to AAPOR or are attending the conference for the first time. Don’t forget to also check out the Day-by-Day Guide that outlines the entire conference and highlights all the opportunities and activities!  This guide is divided into six sections:

I. AAPOR Student and Early Career Engagement Subcommittee: Who We Are
II. Activities That Will Benefit Students and Early Career Professionals
III. Practical Information about the AAPOR Annual Conference
IV. Conference Tips and Highlights
V. Searching for a Job or Internship at AAPOR
VI. Getting The Most Out Of Your AAPOR Membership

I. AAPOR Student and Early Career Engagement Subcommittee: Who We Are

The AAPOR Student and Early Career Engagement Subcommittee is a group of volunteer AAPOR members who serve on the larger Membership and Chapter Relations Committee (MCR). MCR is responsible for recruiting and retaining AAPOR members, analyzing and reporting on membership trends, and serving as the liaison between the national AAPOR organization and the regional chapters (we have more about regional chapters later in this guide).

This Subcommittee was set up to assist students and early career professionals in getting the most out of their AAPOR membership and to increase retention of these members. We have planned several activities leading up to and during this year’s conference to give you the chance to meet and interact with other conference attendees, and learn more about the benefits of AAPOR membership and how to get the most out of your conference experience.

Subcommittee Members
Below are pictures and quick bios of our subcommittee’s members. Most of us will be at the conference, so feel free to look for us, ask questions, or just say hi! Our email addresses are also included below in case you want to reach out with questions before the conference.
14275_bulgar-medina-2.jpeg Justine Bulgar-Medina (justine.bulgarmedina@gmail.com) is a PhD candidate student in Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  She serves as the Chair of the Student and Early Career Engagement Subcommittee and as a member of the Diversity Subcommittee.  Her present research interests include measurement of racial, ethnic and sexual minority identities with a specific focus on the intersection of identities and disclosure practices (both on surveys and in the workplace).
AAPOR Pic_Aleia.jpg Aleia Clark Fobia (aclark41@gmail.com) is a Research Survey Statistician at the U.S. Census Bureau’s Center for Survey Measurement. She received her PhD in Sociology at the University of Maryland in 2016. Her research interests include measurement of racial and ethnic identities, cognitive interviewing methods, and privacy and confidentiality.

Holly Hagerty (hollyhagerty@gmail.com) is a Statistician at NORC at the University of Chicago. She received her Master’s degree from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy along with a certificate in survey methodology. She works on sampling for the National Immunization Study and
the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation American Health Values Study.

Jessica Holzberg (jessicaholzberg@gmail.com) is a Research Survey Statistician at the U.S. Census Bureau. She received her Master's degree from the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland in 2014. Two of her current research interests include leveraging online methods for cognitive pretesting and addressing privacy and confidentiality concerns of respondents. Jessica also serves on the AAPOR Standards Committee and as the Webmaster and Secretary/Membership Chair for DC-AAPOR.
grand2.jpg Meaghan McKasy (meaghan.mckasy@utah.edu) (M.A., University of Utah) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. After completing her masters, Meaghan spent four years working in alternative energy. Her research focuses on science and environmental communication with a specific interest in energy topics.
Bedoya.jpg Emily Ann Bedoya (emilybedoya@outlook.com) is a survey Statistician for the U.S. Census Bureau working on the Survey of Income and Program Participation. She studied Political Science and has a graduate certificate in Survey Design and Data Analysis from George Washington University. Her research interests are in the relationship of public opinion and policy making and the methodology of political polling.



Anna Wiencrot (wiencrot-anna@norc.org) is a Survey Director at NORC at the University of Chicago, where she leads data collection for the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP). Currently, Anna serves on the AAPOR Executive Council as the Chair of Membership and Chapter Relations Committee. She has been an active member of AAPOR since her first conference in 2010. Previously, Anna served as chair of the Education Committee.

Morgan Earp (Earp.Morgan@bls.gov) is a research statistician for the Office of Survey Methods Research at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and a Professional Lecturer of Educational Research and Statistics at the George Washington University. Currently, Morgan serves as the Associate Chair of the Membership and Chapter Relations Committee for the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). Morgan currently works on a variety of research areas including survey measurement issues,
adaptive design, nonresponse bias, and nonresponse
adjustments and holds a Ph.D. in Quantitative Research
Methods from the University of Denver.
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II. Activities That Will Benefit New Attendees, Students, & Early Career Members

There are several programs and events leading up to and during the conference that we want to make you aware of. Some of these are geared specifically to students and early career members; others are aimed at new AAPOR members and first-time conference attendees more generally.

Before the conference:
  • First-time Conference Attendee Videos: The MCR and Conference Committees will host a webinar for new members and first-time conference attendees to give you more information about the benefits of AAPOR membership and what to expect at the conference. If you’re a new member or this is your first AAPOR conference, look for an email with details about this webinar in coming weeks.  Additionally, there are several additional opportunities to learn more about the conference including Webinars and Twitter discussions - see the main AAPOR site for more information and to access these materials.
  • Docent Program: The Conference committee also runs the Conference Docent program, which connects interested new members with longer-term AAPOR members who can help answer questions and provide a friendly face at the conference. If this is your first AAPOR conference, someone from the Conference Committee will contact you in the weeks before the conference with more details about the program and to connect you with your docent.
  • The Roommate Matching Program:  The Subcommittee coordinates a  Roommate Matching Program for all AAPOR members while conference registration is open.  The program helps conference attendees save money on their hotel costs by sharing their rooms with other attendees.  You can find more information or sign up here: Roommate Matching Form
At the conference, for all new members:
  • New Member/All-Chapter Welcome Mixer and Chef Tasting Party: Thursday, May 18, 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.  This reception, held on Thursday evening of the conference, provides new members a chance to mingle with long-time AAPORites and gives all members the chance to meet and greet with representatives of AAPOR’s regional chapters, as well as learn about exciting chapter initiatives and events. Don’t forget your business cards as you mix and mingle at this business professional event! (plus more chances to win great regional prizes). If you’re new to AAPOR, or just want to meet other SEC folks and some members from the SEC Committee, join us for dinner at our reserved tables in the main dining room. Please RSVP on the general event page to ensure we have enough seats, but ‘walk-ins’ will be more than welcome too!
  • AAPOR Booth MCR committee members will be on hand at the AAPOR Booth (located near the Conference Registration) to welcome members, provide information about AAPOR membership, and generally offer a friendly face. We encourage you to stop by the booth as soon as you’ve finished at the registration desk to connect with us!
  • President’s Reception and Awards Dinner Banquet: Saturday, May 20, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Join all attendees for a more formal dinner (business or party formal, not black tie formal) and an evening of fun to end the conference!
  • Post Banquet Cabaret Lounge and Poker Field Trip: 10:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. Don’t miss this fun opportunity to experience New Orleans nightlife!
At the conference, for early career and students specifically:
  • Early Arrival Dinner Meetup: Wednesday, May 17th, 6:00 p.m Arriving early? If you arrive to the conference on Wednesday (as many people do so they can get started first thing Thursday), meet up with other students and early-career professionals and make new connections before the conference even (formally) begins! While RSVP’s aren’t required (we’re more worried about your attending than RSVPs) having a headcount is helpful so we don’t leave without you.  You can RSVP for this and all SEC events here!  All events meet in the hotel lobby, just look for the AAPOR meetup sign.
  • Welcome Lunch: Thursday, May 18, 11:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m.
    Arriving early? Meet and mingle with other folks who are new to AAPOR. Meet in the hotel lobby at noon to head out for an informal lunch off-site. up, RSVP’s help us ensure nobody is left behind - you can RSVP here!
  • Meet Your Docent: Thursday, May 18, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. The Docent Volunteer Program is geared toward welcoming new AAPOR members  to AAPOR and our research community.  Specifically, the Docent Volunteer Program consists of AAPOR volunteers who help us welcome and make that special  connection with new members . The goal of the program is not only for our volunteers to be that “go to” friendly face that new members see in the conference lobby but also to build  lasting connections that continue beyond the conference and into future AAPOR conferences. This meet-up will be located in the Waterbury Ballroom and allow those connections to take place prior to the AAPOR New Member & All-Chapter Welcome Mixer and Chef Tasting Party. Email Ahn Thu (anh.thu.burks@nielsen.com) for more information.
  • Chef Tasting Party Tables: If you’re new to AAPOR and looking to meet other students and early career folks (or just want to have people to sit with), join us at our reserved tables in the main dining room.  You can RSVP, or just show up.  As always, look for the meetup sign!
  • Student and Early Career Meet-Up and Pub Crawl: Friday, May 19, 6:00 p.m.  
    Calling all students, early career folks or new members! Join other students and early career professionals for a meet-up dinner off-site, along with members of the AAPOR Membership & Chapter Relations Committee. We’ll meet in the lobby by 5:45 p.m. and head off for dinner at 6:00 p.m. Following dinner, we will embark on a pub crawl around New Orleans. Locations will be posted in advance and as we move on Twitter through #AAPOR17crawl. Don’t forget to RSVP here!  
More Fun Stuff at Conference:
  • Annual AAPOR Golf Outing: Thursday, May 18th, 7:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  If you love to golf, make plans this year to arrive early enough to play a round during the Annual AAPOR Golf Outing before the annual conference begins. The annual outing will be held on Thursday, May 18.
  • Fun Run/Walk: Saturday, May 20, 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.  If you like competition, or just want a good workout while at the conference, the Fun Run/Walk is for you. This annual event happens early on Saturday morning (May 20). All AAPOR conference attendees are welcome to participate, and prizes are awarded to the fastest runners and walkers.
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III. Practical Information about the AAPOR Annual Conference

Travel and Hotel
This year’s conference takes place at the Sheraton in New Orleans, LA.

Sheraton New Orleans
500 Canal St.
New Orleans, LA, 70130, USA

The AAPOR conference website at has the latest information about the conference, including information about room availability, alternate hotels in the area, and travel options.  Don’t forget about signing up for roommate matching as well, if you’re looking for a way to reduce costs of attendance.

Your registration packet will have maps of the hotel conference rooms that AAPOR will be using during the conference. AAPOR also has signs, either electronic or posters on easels, for every room, as well as conference volunteers who can help direct you where you are going. The conference app is also a great resource for electronically accessing the conference program, finding rooms, and getting other AAPOR-conference information. More information about the hotel and travel can be found on the AAPOR website.

How to Dress
The conference program states that dress at the conference is “business casual,” though actual attire worn by attendees often ranges from casual (shorts and polos) to formal (suits and ties - particularly among those who are presenting). People tend to “dress up” more for the President’s Reception and the Awards Banquet on Saturday evening (ties and cocktail dresses). Also note that while average high temperatures in NOLA in May are usually in the mid-80s, the weather can vary significantly. Hotel meeting rooms can be quite cool, so you may want to bring a sweater or jacket regardless of what the weather is in NOLA during your time there.

Food at the Conference
Another great part of AAPOR is the food. On Friday and Saturday mornings, the conference provides a continental breakfast of pastries, coffee, tea, and juice available in the Exhibit Hall, where we also have refreshment breaks during the morning and afternoon. This is a great time to casually network with other AAPOR attendees and visit booths and exhibits in the hall before sessions begin for the day.

Several meals are also included with your conference fee, including lunch on Friday and Saturday. Dinner is provided on Thursday and on Saturday night during the Awards Banquet. There is no assigned seating during lunch and dinner, so many AAPOR members take this opportunity to sit with colleagues they do not often see or to meet new colleagues from different organizations.

Friday night traditionally is open for AAPOR conference attendees to dine out. The MCR committee is organizing an informal meet-up for dinner away from the hotel on Friday night to give you a chance to meet other conference attendees and network apart from the conference.

The hotel also has many restaurants on site, including the Roux Bistro, Pelican Bar, and Starbucks.  

Around NOLA: Recommendations for Food, Culture & Sightseeing

We’ve combed Guides to NOLA, talked to regular travellers and locals to bring you some suggestions for getting the most of your time in NOLA, when you have some free time from the conference.  This is also a great list to turn to if you’re looking for Friday night dinner plans, when no conference dinner is scheduled (although don’t forget to check out the many groups coordinating offsite dinners such as SEC and GAAPOR).

Also, don't forget to check out podcasts on your way to NOLA to learn more about the city or find more activities to check out during your free time!  One to get you started is “Beyond Bourbon Street” and you can find it here: Beyond Bourbon Street Podcast

Creole Queen (Riverboat Tours) http://www.creolequeen.com: View the French Quarter, the Port of New Orleans, and Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve and be entertained by a costumed narrator with a detailed description of New Orleans landmarks, history, vessel information, and river lore.

Audobon Aquarium: http://audubonnatureinstitute.org/aquarium: Located on the Mississippi River adjacent to the French Quarter Audubon Aquarium of the Americas immerses you in an underwater world. The colors of a Caribbean reef come alive in our walk-through tunnel, while our penguins and Southern sea otter enchant you with their antics. Touch a sting ray, feed a parakeet, and marvel at our gigantic sharks, tarpon, and rays in the 400,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico Exhibit. Watch for sea turtles throughout the Aquarium—as coordinator of the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program, we prepare many of them for release to the wild. (It also made USA Today’s Top 10 List).

Woldenberg Park: Named after philanthropist Malcolm Woldenberg, the Riverfront was opened to the public before the 1984 World's Fair. Floodwalls, warehouses and industrial docks have been replaced by jumping off points for steamboat and dinner cruises. Accessible wide, bricked walkways wind through lush landscape and public art. (Taken from neworleansonline.com)

French Quarter: The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré or the “Quarter” to locals, sits on a crescent in the Mississippi River on some of the highest ground in New Orleans. Not only is it the city’s cultural hub, but it is also a community where residents take time to welcome visitors in the streets.  Intimate and unique, New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood has exerted a spell over writers and artists since the time of Mark Twain, Lafcadio Hern and John James Audubon. (Taken from neworleansonline.com) It’s also about a 10 minute walk from the conference hotel.  Nearby you’ll find Bourbon Street, largely the ‘party’ scene of NOLA with many tourists and bars.  For a more authentic NOLA experience, check out nearby French Street, where there are many options for food, music and culture.

Cemetery Tours(Garden District): http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/tours/cemeterytours.html Only in New Orleans could cemeteries be major tourist attractions. With a spooky history, unique, ornate tombs, and some of them dating back to the late 1700s, it’s no wonder that travelers are usually eager to explore New Orleans’ famous resting places. There are dozens of cemeteries throughout the city, but most organized tours will take you through St. Louis Cemetery #1, home to Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau's grave, and Lafayette Cemetery - a popular location for movies shot in New Orleans, and situated directly across from Commander's Place in the Garden District.

World War II Museum: http://www.nationalww2museum.org/ formerly known as the D-Day Museum, is a military history museum located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana. The museum focuses on the contribution made by the United States to Allied victory in World War II. Founded in 2000, it was later designated by the U.S. Congress as America's official National World War II Museum in 2003. The Museum maintains an affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution. The mission statement of the Museum emphasizes the American experience in World War II.

Vegetarian/Vegan Food in NOLA: NOLA is known as a food capital and abroad.  While they’re often associated with Crawfish and Po’ Boys, there are many vegan and vegetarian places not far from the conference, and you’ll find many menus offering vegetarian options as well.  Here are a few that have come across via suggestions:
  1. Sneaky Pickle http://yousneakypickle.com
  2. Green Goddess http://greengoddessrestaurant.com
  3. Killer Po’ Boys (offers vegetarian options) http://www.killerpoboys.com
  4. Carmo http://www.cafecarmo.com
  5. Seed http://seedyourhealth.com
  6. Shaya http://www.shayarestaurant.com (Recent James Beard Winner! Reservations needed usually.)
  7. Check out this podcast episode for a more in depth discussion and even more vegan and vegetarian suggestions: Beyond Bourbon Street - Vegan and Vegetarian Podcast Episode
NOLA Foodie ‘Musts’
  1. Beignets at Cafe Du Monde (http://www.cafedumonde.com):  While distinctly a destination must for many tourists, also regularly rated the best beignets in the city!  
  2. Po’ Boys: You’ll find many Po’ Boy options in and aroud the conference hotel.  These sandwiches (originally called ‘Poor Boys’ after the working class group they fed) can be served with shrimp, alligator, vegetables and many other options.  Check out one list of ‘bests’ here: https://foursquare.com/top-places/new-orleans/best-places-po-boys
  3. Jazz Brunch:  If you’ll be around after the conference wraps up on Sunday, consider going to a jazz brunch.  Here are a few ‘bests’ that have been suggested:
    1. http://www.atchafalayarestaurant.com
    2. http://www.commanderspalace.com
    3. http://www.courtoftwosisters.com
    4. http://www.cafeamelie.com
    5. http://www.brennansneworleans.com
    6. http://broussards.com
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IV. Conference Tips and Highlights

Presentation Sessions
The AAPOR annual conference has hundreds of presentations and posters on research conducted by AAPOR members and others.  AAPOR will post a preliminary program online, and the final program will include a full list of presentations, authors, and abstracts and will be posted on the website during the first week in May and provided in hard copy at the conference.  To begin planning, you can again reference the Day-by-Day Guide.

The sheer volume of presentations can be daunting, and we encourage first-time attendees to look through the final program before arriving at the conference to identify the sessions, papers, and posters that may be of particular interest to you. Presentations and posters cover a variety of fields, including survey research methods, health care, politics, economics, education, public policy, and many others. Many AAPOR attendees divide sessions into two types: those that focus on public opinion and those that focus on research methodology. You may get the most out of the conference by planning to attend both types of sessions, regardless of your research interests, since the conference is a good place to learn something new.

AAPOR presentation sessions generally consist of 4-5 papers presented by different authors. AAPOR sessions are led by a single facilitator/moderator that is intended to introduce authors, keep track of time, summarize themes of the session and offer feedback to the authors, and help moderate audience discussion. This role is not quite to the level of discussants who often would prepare a full presentation summarizing their feedback on the research presented, but intended to help kickstart the conversation.

It is acceptable to “float” between rooms during sessions if you want to hear one paper in a given session and another in a session taking place at the same time; just be courteous by sitting on the aisle or near the back of the room and try not to leave in the middle of a presentation. Also, we encourage you to ask questions of the presenters at the end of the session or to ask for a copy of the presenter’s paper, which they can usually email to you during or after the conference.

Poster Sessions
Poster sessions are more informal than presentation sessions. There are three poster sessions during the conference, one each on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Poster presenters set up their posters in the Exhibit Hall and talk about their research as attendees look at the posters during the poster session time. At the same time in the Exhibit Hall, several events will be going on including demonstration sessions of products from companies attending the conference, “Meet the Author” sessions, and snack or dessert breaks. Like session presentations, we encourage you to ask questions of the poster presenters as well as for copies of their papers when you are interested in knowing more about their research.

Short Courses
We would be remiss not to mention the short courses available at the AAPOR annual conference. The short courses occur on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday morning before the conference begins, and on Sunday morning (the last day of the conference), and are led by subject experts in the field. The short courses are not only an opportunity to learn more specific information about a topic of interest to you and your research, but they are also an opportunity to meet leading experts in the field and ask questions about the short course subjects. Short courses are not part of the conference registration, so there is a separate registration for those. You can see the short courses available for this conference at AAPOR Short Courses.

Other conference events
Want to know more about what goes on “behind the scenes” at AAPOR? The AAPOR Membership and Business Meeting, held on Saturday from 5:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., is a great chance for students and early career professionals to learn more about how AAPOR works and to hear about the association’s recent accomplishments and future initiatives. All members are encouraged to attend and to ask questions and exchange ideas with members of AAPOR’s Executive Council and other leaders in the association.

Tweet your conference experience!
Many AAPOR members (those attending the conference as well as those not attending) make use of Twitter during the conference to share interesting tidbits of information they pick up, offer opinions on happenings at the conference, pose questions, or announce events. If you are a Tweeter, join the conversation using hashtag #AAPOR! There will also be an electronic Twitter board at the conference where you can read what others are posting.

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V.  Searching for a Job or Internship at AAPOR
The AAPOR conference is a great opportunity to search for a job or internship, or to make professional connections that could lead to a job or internship.  It helps to be prepared in advance, so we’ve organized some helpful tips from members who have successfully found jobs and internships through their connections at the AAPOR conference.

Preparing for the Conference
Prior attendees who have conducted job and internship searches at the conference suggest you prepare a few things before you leave for the conference:
  1. Create a résumé or curriculum vita (CV) and/or business cards to give out to interested conference attendees. It helps to look at example layouts and ask for feedback about these from people you trust.
  2. Prepare a short (1-2 sentence) summary of your academic program, prior training, work experience, and your particular interests and goals. Be aware of what you have to offer that might set you apart, and be able to frame it in a way that would benefit a potential employer. Keep in mind that employers don’t hire people in order to help them further their career; they hire people in order to solve problems or meet challenges within their organization. Note that the larger employers may ask you for your specific interests or goals, your salary requirements, or the position level you believe you are best suited for.
  3. Know who will be at the conference ahead of time, and do some research on organizations you may be interested in. Some organizations will send recruiters for speed networking or interviewing sessions, and others will simply have a booth presence or employees attending the conference. Most recruiters would like to see that you are familiar with their organization, and some will expect you to know their organization’s activities at AAPOR. For instance, one recent graduate reported that she had been asked which presentations by people at a certain organization she had attended and been most interested in.

A lot of information about who will be at the conference is available on the AAPOR conference website.  Some of the information that may be useful in your search includes:
  • Career Center:  Before leaving for the conference, take a look at AAPOR’s Career Center.  This resource is available year-round for AAPOR members to search for internships and jobs.  Knowing what positions are available before going to the conference can help you target the organizations and jobs that most interest you in your networking efforts.
  • AAPOR Conference Program:  The conference program provides information about the sessions and speakers, including their organizational affiliation and the topic of their paper, to help you figure out which papers you may want to see.  The program also contains names of sponsors, which are organizations and individuals that have provided resources for the conference.  Many of these organizations will have booths and/or will participate in the networking sessions at the conference, so these are good organizations to find out more about their open positions and the research projects they work on.
  • Resources for Researchers:  The resources for researchers available on the AAPOR website can help you determine what areas of public opinion research and survey methodology most interest you, which is a question you’ll likely be asked when you tell other conference attendees that you’re searching for a job or internship.  You can see the variety of fields that AAPOR members come from, and you can find out more about what individual members and their organizations research on this page.

Networking during the Conference
Many activities at the AAPOR annual conference are designed to allow conference attendees opportunities to connect with colleagues and make important professional connections.  Sometimes it may seem like the attendees already know each other because some AAPOR members come back to the conference year after year to reconnect with their colleagues. The connections that frequent attendees have are wonderful, but they can also leave you standing awkwardly on the sidelines. New attendees can benefit from their existing educational and employment connections, their mentoring relationships, involvement with their local chapter, and by simply being bold and friendly. One tip for students and early career professionals: don’t be afraid to approach unfamiliar faces and strike up conversations, including with those who are senior in their fields. Most long-term AAPORites are thrilled to meet students and other new AAPOR members and learn about their research as well as share their own professional experiences.

The Exhibit Hall and Meet the Authors is also a great way to meet professionals in the field. The Exhibit Hall includes booths from conference sponsors ranging from commercial survey vendors, to software providers, to academic research programs. In the afternoons on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, authors of newly released books will be available to talk about their books and other research. Many of the authors are faculty members who teach students and enjoy speaking with new researchers at the conference, so take the chance to introduce yourself and meet an author from the field.  

For job and internship seekers, a few activities at the conference may be of particular interest to you in your search:
  • Conference Networking and Social Activities:  The networking and social activities at the conference are a good way to meet new people and learn about their research interests and their work.  The conference has formal networking events like speed networking and also fun activities where you have a chance to talk to other AAPOR members, like the New Member and All Chapter Reception on Thursday evening, AAPOR Fun Run/Walk on Saturday morning, and post-banquet party on Saturday evening.  Planning out your activities will help you get the most out of the conference.  And don’t forget to participate in informal networking at the conference as well.  Take advantage of meals, receptions, session breaks, and even the Exhibit Hall early in the mornings to meet new people.
  • Speed Networking: AAPOR organizes speed networking sessions specifically for jobseekers and recruiters to briefly connect. While these are not official interviews, it helps to take them as seriously as you would an official interview. The sign-up sheet comes out early in the conference and fills up quickly, so try to sign up as early as possible. When your appointment time comes, be sure to arrive early in case the recruiter is running ahead of schedule, dress professionally, have extra copies of your resume or CV ready, and be prepared to discuss the particular organization and the role within it that you are most interested in. Remember that interviews are an opportunity for you to learn more and see if you are interested, and not simply a showcase- no false advertising! Also keep in mind that you are likely to run into your interviewers later during the conference.
  • Conference Booths:  In the Exhibit Hall at the conference (see the conference program for a map), several organizations sponsor booths where they provide information on the studies and research they are conducting, products and services they sell, as well as job and internship opportunities that are available.  Many of these conference booth sponsors also participate in speed networking, although visiting their booths is a good way to meet multiple individuals from the organization and to find out what each of them does to get a better feel for the organization.
Although this list is not exhaustive, we hope the experiences of AAPOR members who have successfully found a job or internship at the conference will help you to make the most of your conference experience.

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VI. Getting The Most Out Of Your AAPOR Membership

There are many ways to learn about the various benefits of AAPOR membership, and we encourage you to visit the AAPOR website, attend the new member welcome webcast (mentioned above), and stop by the AAPOR booth at the conference. Below are just a few highlights of AAPOR member benefits that may be of particular interest to students and early career professionals.  If you still have questions, please check out our FAQ’s page, or submit a question of your own!

AAPORnet is a listserv for AAPOR members only. It offers a great way to ask questions about research and methodology, share ideas, see job postings, or just to gain insight into what leading professionals in the field are discussing. AAPORnet is also a useful place to ask questions and get information about the conference from those who have attended many times before.

Social Networks
Find AAPOR on Facebook. Be sure to “like” us and check back often for the latest updates. Facebook is also a great place to see who else is a member of AAPOR and/or will attend the conference. Through Facebook, you can get to know other conference attendees in advance. Additionally, you can join other public opinion students and early career researchers and professionals on Facebook.

AAPOR is also on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is great for job-seekers as well as those looking to network or to post and answer questions about public opinion research, market research, and the like. Some of AAPOR’s chapters also have their own LinkedIn groups, so look up your local chapter!

AAPOR offers webinars on a broad range of research topics. This is a great way to learn new skills and information right from your home or office. For students who are members of AAPOR, participation in most live webinars costs only $15. For more information on upcoming webinars or to purchase recordings, see the AAPOR Webinars page.

Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ)
Your AAPOR membership includes a free subscription to Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ), including hard copy and online access. Published since 1937, POQ is among the most frequently cited journals of its kind and is rated in the top ten scholarly journals in communications, political science, and interdisciplinary social sciences. POQ selectively publishes important theoretical contributions to opinion and communication research, analyses of current public opinion, and investigations of methodological issues involved in survey validity including questionnaire construction, interviewing and interviewers, sampling strategy, and mode of administration.

Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology (JSSAM)
AAPOR has a new interdisciplinary journal to be published in conjunction with the American Statistical Association (ASA). The purpose of JSSAM is to publish cutting-edge articles on statistical and methodological issues for surveys and censuses. It also publishes empirical and theoretical papers as well as applied papers and review papers. In addition to POQ, AAPOR members receive a free subscription to JSSAM.

Survey Practice
Survey Practice is AAPOR’s e-journal. It provides current information on issues in survey research and public opinion useful to survey and public opinion practitioners, new survey researchers, and those interested in survey and polling methods. Check it out at http://www.surveypractice.org/index.php/SurveyPractice.

Regional Chapters
A great way to learn more about AAPOR while connecting with a smaller group of professionals in your own geographic area is to get involved with one of AAPOR’s seven local chapters. Most chapters hold their own local events, ranging from two-day conferences, to short courses and workshops, to happy hours and networking events. Chapters charge an additional fee for membership beyond the AAPOR membership fee, but for students these fees are small (all are under $20), and like AAPOR, many offer students their first year of membership for free.

You can learn more about the chapters by visiting the individual chapter websites:
Midwest (MAPOR):  www.mapor.org
Pennsylvania-New Jersey (PANJAAPOR):  www.panjaapor.org
New York (NYAAPOR):  www.nyaapor.org
Pacific (PAPOR):  www.papor.org
Southern (SAPOR):  www.sapor.us
Washington, D.C.-Baltimore (DC-AAPOR):  www.dc-aapor.org
New England (NEAAPOR) : neaapor.org

Don’t forget that you can always stop by the AAPOR booth or the registration table to see a friendly face or ask advice!
See you in NOLA!

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