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American Association for Public Opinion Research

2021 Conference FAQs

2021 AAPOR Conference Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated: January 22, 2021
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. Sponsorship
C. Virtual conference
      C1. General program FAQs
      C2. Short courses
      C3. Paper presentations
D. Registration
E. 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 3-14, 2021‎, with short courses taking place during the week of May 3, and the virtual conference ‎taking place between May 11-14 ‎. We will release a detailed schedule of events the week of January 25.
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: See Section D on registration for more information.

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: Where is the call for abstracts?
A: The call for abstracts is closed.

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B. Sponsorship

B1: What will happen with sponsorship for the 2021 conference?
A: The support of our sponsors has been essential to AAPOR’s stability over time. Tiered sponsorship opportunities are now available. View the Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus and learn more here.    

B2: What will the exhibit hall look like for the 2021 conference?
A: The 2021 conference offers new opportunities for sponsors, exhibitors, and conference attendees:
  • Our virtual conference platform (Pathable) has robust engagement and communication opportunities for exhibitors to connect with attendees.
  • Interactive virtual exhibit hall features, real-time video chat, and live messaging will increase connections with and exposure to attendees.
  • We will offer extensive training and support to help sponsors and exhibitors set up and customize their booths for the virtual exhibit hall.
  • Activities will drive traffic to the exhibit hall, including gamification, prizes, and dedicated exhibit hall hours highlighted in the conference program.
  • We are offering many ways to promote your organization with high-impact sponsorship opportunities. View the Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus here.
  • Exhibitors and sponsors have opportunities to engage with conference attendees for several months after the event through the virtual platform.

B3: 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 presenting your research at the conference with an accepted abstract, by attending or viewing other virtual sessions, by volunteering to be a session moderator, or by sharing and discussing the AAPOR conference 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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C. Virtual Conference

C1. General overview and program FAQs
C1.1: 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.

C1.2: 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.
C1.3: When will I find out if my abstract was accepted?
A:. Presenters were notified of their acceptance status via email on Thursday, January 14. If you submitted an abstract and did not receive an email, please check your email’s spam folder. If it is not in your spam folder, please contact Melanie Goff in the AAPOR main office at [email protected]

C1.4How will the virtual conference work?
A: We selected a new software platform this year called Pathable. This platform will facilitate live video-based Zoom conversations among AAPOR presenters, attendees, exhibitors and sponsors throughout the meeting. Throughout the conference, there will be a mix of live and prerecorded presentation sessions. To ensure that all AAPOR presenters and attendees have the opportunity to interact with each other, all of the prerecorded presentation sessions will have a live 30-minute Q&A. We will also have round table discussions, coffee breaks, speed networking and visits to the exhibit hall. More information, including detailed instructions for presenters and attendees, will be available soon.

C1.5: 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 which will be a mix of live and prerecorded presentations available for viewing on demand at your convenience and after the conference. To ensure that all AAPOR presenters and attendees have the opportunity to interact with authors of pre-recorded papers, all of the prerecorded presentation sessions will have a live 30-minute Q&A. More information will be provided soon.  

C1.6: Will I be scheduled for two live sessions at once?
A: No presenter is scheduled for more than one session at a time.

C1.7: 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 through March 2022.
C1.8: How will the 2021 virtual conference be different from the 2020 virtual conference?
A: The Conference Chair and Conference Committee have taken attendee feedback from the 2020 virtual conference extremely seriously. There will be increased opportunities for interaction between attendees, including live research presentations, social events, round table sessions, and opportunities for interaction with sponsors. More information about the program will be available by the end of January 2021.

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C2. Short courses
C2.1: Are the short courses included in conference registration cost?
A: No, registration for the short courses is not included in the conference registration cost. Short course registration fees are $100 per course.

C2.2: What is the schedule for the short courses?
A: Short courses will take place during the week of May 3, 2021. The short course schedule is available here.
C2.3: How will the short courses be administered?
A: Each short course will be delivered over Zoom through the conference platform. Short courses will be capped at 40 students to facilitate interaction between the instructor and the students.
C2.4: Why are the short courses taking place prior to the AAPOR Conference?
A: To allow all AAPOR conference attendees to have a chance to take short courses and participate in the conference sessions, we are introducing Short Course Week as the week before the annual meeting officially begins.
C2.5: Do I have to register for the AAPOR Conference to take a short course?
A: Yes. The short courses are part of the AAPOR Conference, just as during an in person conference. You will need to register for the short courses through the conference registration site.

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C3. Paper presentations
C3.1: How will papers be presented?
A: Some papers will be presented live, and others will be pre-recorded and available asynchronously. 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 presenters in prerecorded sessions will have a live 30-minute Q&A where AAPOR members will be able to ask each presenter questions over a video discussion. All of the live presentations, Q&A sessions, round tables, and coffee breaks will be conducted over Zoom through the conference platform. 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.
C3.2 Are there deadlines for submitting prerecorded presentations and slides?
A: Yes. A PDF of your slides for live sessions will need to be submitted by Friday, April 16, 2021,11:59 PM Eastern, so that they can be uploaded into the system and available for attendees to download as part of the platform when you present live. Prerecorded presentations will be required to be submitted by Friday, April 16, 2021,11:59 PM Eastern, so that they can be uploaded into the ‎system. Additional details about these deadlines will be emailed directly to presenters.
C3.3: What happened to methodological briefs and posters?
A: A virtual conference provides fewer constraints on the number of papers that can be presented in a time slot than an in person conference. All papers will have the same length of time available for presentations.
C3.4: Where are the presenter guidelines?
A: The presenter guidelines are forthcoming and will include details about timing.

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D. Registration

D1: When will registration for the virtual conference open?
A: Registration is now open.
D2: What are the registration costs for the 2021 virtual conference?
A: The early bird rates for the 2021 virtual conference are the same as for the 2020 virtual conference and vary for AAPOR members, nonmembers, students and honorary lifetime members. Details about the registration costs are in the table below.
Registration Type Early Bird Registration
On or before March 26
Regular Registration
March 27 through the end of the meeting
Members $199 $239
Student Members $99 $129
Honorary Life Members $50 $75
Nonmembers $399 $449
Student Nonmembers $149 $149
Short Courses $100 $100

Early bird rates will end on March 26, 2021.

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E. Technical considerations for participation

E1: 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. The conference platform, Pathable, recommends the following technology to participate in the conference:
  • Join from a Desktop or laptop computer with at least:‎
    • Mac: Mac OSX 10.7 or later
    • Windows: Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7, Vista (SP1 or later), XP (SP3 or later)‎
    • Ubuntu: 12.04 or later
    • Linux: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 or higher
  • Attendees can view sessions from a tablet or mobile phone. While it is possible to present from a tablet or mobile phone, it is not recommended.‎ 
  • A second monitor is recommended, but not required.‎
E2: 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.