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AAPOR
The leading association
of public opinion and
survey research professionals
American Association for Public Opinion Research

Message from the Conference Chairs

The AAPOR 2021 Annual Conference will be virtual!

It has become a cliché to start messages like this with “in these uncertain times,” so we are writing to our AAPOR Community with a certainty: At its October meeting, the AAPOR Executive Council voted unanimously to hold the AAPOR 2021 Annual Conference as a virtual conference. In addition, it voted unanimously to change the dates of the virtual conference to be held on weekdays only, from May 11 to May 14, 2021.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed dramatically since we put together our initial plans in June 2020. Cases are surging once again in many states across the U.S. and in countries across the globe. Furthermore, the CDC continues to rate travel at a Level 3 risk (high, with nonessential travel to be avoided). Importantly for AAPOR 2021, convention centers in Los Angeles are ordered to be closed, with many nonessential indoor business operations being closed. The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health states: “Hotel and lodging operations with large meeting venues, banquet halls, or convention centers, if applicable, must keep these areas closed until each of these types of establishments are allowed by the Health Officer order to resume modified or full operation.” Thus, any meeting, including AAPOR’s meeting, is not permitted under the current COVID-19 rules in Los Angeles County. And it is plausible that the ban will continue well into 2021 and certainly beyond the dates at which decisions must be made.
 
AAPOR Executive Council is extremely disappointed that we will not meet in person in May. Our AAPOR community is strongest when we can gather in person to share new findings and connect with old and new colleagues. The AAPOR Conference Committee has listened to the feedback from the 2020 Virtual Conference—positive and negative—and has been working diligently to create opportunities for connections. We are reviewing multiple virtual conference platforms to identify one that will allow more opportunities to communicate with AAPOR friends, sponsors, and exhibitors. To allow for interactions between presenters and participants, the program will have a mix of live and prerecorded sessions with opportunities for live Q&A for all presentations. We're introducing two new session types—Round Tables as well as Professional Development and Career Advice sessions—that are dedicated to live interaction. Finally, the 2021 conference will feature a mini-conference focused on all aspects of our professional lives that have changed during the pandemic.
 
Abstract submissions remain open until Friday, November 13, 2020, at 11:59 PM Eastern time. The Call for Abstracts is here, as well as a full description of the session types and tracks, as well as details about the mini-conference. All abstracts already submitted will be considered for the virtual conference. If you have already submitted an abstract but wish to withdraw it from the virtual conference, please contact Sam Nysetvold to withdraw the abstract. Our list of FAQs can be found here and will be updated regularly. Any other questions can be sent to AAPOR Conference Chair Kristen Olson.
 
We hope to see you virtually in May!

Kristen Olson
AAPOR Conference Chair
 
Darby Steiger
AAPOR Associate Conference Chair

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.