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American Association for Public Opinion Research

2021 Conference FAQs

2021 AAPOR Conference Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated: November 2, 2020
AAPOR Executive Council voted unanimously to hold the 2021 AAPOR Conference as a virtual conference. This decision may raise questions for our attendees, presenters, and sponsors. AAPOR council members, staff, and volunteers are working diligently to provide answers as soon as possible. We will regularly update this FAQ list. Thank you for your patience.

A. General FAQs
B. Abstract submissions
C. Sponsorship
D. Virtual conference
      D1. General program FAQs
      D2. Short courses
      D3. Paper presentations
E. Registration
F. Technical considerations for participation

A. General FAQs

A1: Will the conference be held in person in Los Angeles in May 2021?
A: No. The 76th Annual Conference will be held virtually, rather than being held in person. The announcement of and reasons for this decision can be read here.
A2: How will the AAPOR Conference be held?
A: AAPOR will be holding a virtual conference on May 11-14, 2021.  We will release a schedule of events at a later date.
A3: Why did the conference dates change?
A: The virtual 2021 AAPOR Conference will be held Tuesday, May 11 through Friday, May 14, 2021 instead of Thursday, May 13 through Sunday, May 16, 2021. We hope that this change will be more convenient for AAPOR attendees who cannot attend work-related events on weekends. It also reflects AAPOR’s commitment to inclusion, especially for those conference attendees who have competing responsibilities, including dependent care that may be available only during weekdays. This date change will also help promote greater separation between work obligations and life needs for all attendees. All live sessions and events will be recorded, and registrants will be able to view presentations after the conference.

A4: What will the conference registration fees be for a virtual conference this year?
A: We are working on the registration fee structure and will announce these no later than January 2021.
A5: Will you be refunding membership dues?
A: No, we will not be refunding AAPOR membership dues. AAPOR offers many benefits to members beyond our annual meeting.

A6: I made travel reservations to Los Angeles. What will happen with my hotel or flight reservations?
A: You need to contact the hotel or the airline to cancel or reschedule.
A7: What if there is a COVID-19 vaccine available before May? Will you change the format back to in person?
A: No. Every conference format requires commitments well in advance, and so the 2021 AAPOR conference will remain a virtual conference.

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B. Abstract submissions

B1: Where is the call for abstracts?
A: The call for abstracts is here.
B2: Can I resubmit an abstract I withdrew from the 2020 AAPOR Conference?
A: Abstracts withdrawn from the 2020 AAPOR Conference can be resubmitted as abstracts for the 2021 AAPOR Conference. They will go through the regular peer review system for abstracts. Individuals must resubmit the abstract. The abstract can be modified or updated from the prior submission as needed. When you submit an abstract, you will be asked whether the abstract was submitted for the 2020 conference but withdrawn and not presented. As always, abstract acceptance will be subject to space considerations and reviewer evaluations.
B3: Why does the call for abstracts permit panel submissions only for the mini-conference?
A: At the moment, we can’t promise all panel organizers that they would be guaranteed a live vs. on demand format for the panels. We recognize that the organizers of a panel session may be disappointed if they put a set of papers together, and then find that the presentation type to which they have been assigned is an on-demand prerecorded session, without the chance for that panel to talk with each other during the presentations. To be transparent to AAPOR abstract submitters about how the Conference Committee will decide to assign live vs. on-demand sessions, we are prioritizing the following as live sessions: sessions related to the conference theme and included in the mini-conference, sessions organized by affinity groups, round table discussions, and some professional development and career advice sessions. In the virtual conference, we will have a mix of synchronous live sessions and asynchronous prerecorded on-demand sessions, and the virtual conference platform may limit the number of live sessions.
B4: What is the point of this year’s mini-conference?
A: The goal of the mini-conference is to serve as a platform and a forum to bring together experts to collectively understand how the onset of the coronavirus pandemic has affected research practices, data collection, elections, federal statistics, and public opinion. The AAPOR mini-conference and the main AAPOR conference use the same abstract submission site. The abstract submission form asks for author contact information, title, presentation track, keywords describing the content of the presentation, and an abstract of no more than 300 words. Abstract submitters will be asked to indicate whether their abstract is being submitted for the mini-conference or the main conference. 
B5: How many abstracts can I submit?
A: To promote broad conference participation, an individual may not submit more than two proposals as first author, regardless of the proposed format of the submission or whether the submission is for the mini-conference or main conference.
B6: What are the tracks for this year’s conference?
A: This year’s tracks are Attitudes and Opinions; Elections, Polling, and Politics; Media, News and Information Sources; Questionnaire Design and Interviewing; Data Collection Methods, Modes, Field Operations, and Costs; Response Rates and Nonresponse Error; Probability and Nonprobability Samples, Frames, and Coverage Errors; Statistical Techniques and Estimation; Data Science, Big Data, and Administrative Records; Multicultural, Multilingual, and Multinational Research; AAPOR’s History; Research in Practice; and Qualitative Research. Learn more about presentation tracks here.
B7: Do I indicate a track if I want to be part of the mini-conference?
A: Yes! All papers will be asked to identify a track, using the same categories as the main conference.
B8: Will the deadline for abstract submissions be extended?
A: No, abstracts are still due November 13, 2020 11:59 PM Eastern.
B9: When will I find out if my abstract was accepted?
A: The virtual conference will still follow the same decision timeline as previous conferences. Presenters are typically notified in mid-January.

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C. Sponsorship

C1: What will happen with sponsorship for the 2021 conference?
A: The support of our sponsors has been essential to AAPOR’s stability over time. We will reach out to sponsoring organizations about opportunities in our virtual conference format. 

C2: What will the exhibit hall look like for the 2021 conference?
A: We are in the process of selecting the software platform for the virtual conference. We are prioritizing platforms that give all exhibitors the opportunity for live interaction with attendees during the virtual conference.

C3: What can I do to help?
A: AAPOR’s members and dedicated volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. To continue to have a successful conference, we will need everyone’s help in some way. This could be by submitting your paper or poster to the virtual program, by video-recording your presentation for a virtual session, by attending or viewing other virtual sessions, sharing and discussing on social media or volunteering for our conference planning. If you want to do more, one huge help would be to donate to AAPOR’s Annual Fundraising Campaign. See the link here for more details.

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D. Virtual conference

D1. General overview and program FAQs

D1.1: How will the virtual conference work?
A: We are in the process of selecting the software platform(s) for the virtual conference.  More information, including detailed instructions for presenters and attendees, will be available at a later date.

D1.2: Will multiple sessions be going on at the same time?
A: As with the in-person conference, research presentations will be scheduled in concurrent sessions. Some presentations will be available in a live format and others will be prerecorded and available for viewing on demand at your convenience and after the conference.
D1.3: Will I be scheduled for two live sessions at once?

D1.4: What if I have to miss a session or an event?
A: Just like the in-person conference, we understand and respect that attendees may not participate in a particular session or an event. The virtual format offers great flexibility. For example, all live sessions and events will be recorded so you can come back and view what you’ve missed. The platform will permit all registrants to view presentations after the conference ends.
D1.5: How will the 2021 virtual conference be different from the 2020 virtual conference?
A: The Conference Chair and Conference Committee are taking attendee feedback from the 2020 virtual conference extremely seriously. There will be increased opportunities for interaction between attendees, including live research presentations, social events, roundtable sessions, and opportunities for interaction with sponsors. More information about the program will be available at a later date.

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D2. Short courses

D2.1: Are the short courses included in conference registration?
A: No, registration for the short courses is not included in the conference registration. 

D2.2: What is the schedule for the short courses?
A: The short course schedule will be released at a later date.

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D3. Paper presentations

D3.1: How will papers be presented?
A: Some papers will be presented live, and others will be pre-recorded and available asynchronously (see abstract submission site for more details). Live concurrent sessions will be similar to those in previous in-person AAPOR conferences in both length and the number of paper presentations per session. Attendees will be able to view slides, hear presentations, and ask presenters questions. All sessions will be recorded and available for later viewing. Detailed instructions for presenters of both live and prerecorded papers and for attendees will be posted at a later time.

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E. Registration

E1: When will registration for the virtual conference open?
A: Registration will open as scheduled in early 2021. More information about registration will be available at a later date.

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F. Technical considerations for participation

F1: What are the technical considerations for participation in the virtual conference?
A: You will need a device (desktop, laptop, tablet, or a mobile phone) that is connected to the Internet. We will provide detailed instructions on how to connect to the virtual conference at a later time.
F2: What if I don’t have a microphone or camera on my device?
A: We’ve heard from members who do not have a microphone or camera on their computer. If you are also in that situation, you can still listen in using your computer’s audio or dial in using your phone to hear the sound. Not having a camera should not affect your experience as an attendee.

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Notice to Federal Employees

The Annual AAPOR Conference conforms to the OPM definition of a “developmental assignment.” It is intended for educational purposes; over three quarters of time schedule is for planned, organized exchange of information between presenters and audience, thereby qualifying under section 4101 of title 5, United States Code as a training activity. The AAPOR Conference is a collaboration in the scientific community, whose objectives are to provide a training opportunity to attendees; teach the latest methodology and approaches to survey research best practices; make each attendee a better survey researcher, and; maintain and improve professional survey competency.