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

Letter from AAPOR Executive Council

Dear AAPOR Colleagues,
 
As your Council, we are deeply saddened to have to write this letter.
 
After two days of deliberation, AAPOR Executive Council has unanimously voted not to hold the 75th Annual Conference in person in Atlanta this May.
 
We know that this is profoundly disappointing for many of you, as it is for us on the Executive Council. AAPOR is our professional home. We are a community of practitioners and scholars, journalists and pollsters, students and experienced researchers. Our annual meeting is a fundamental part of who we are.
 
Our decision was difficult. We carefully deliberated the costs to the organization, the potential benefits and risks to our members and conference attendees, and our responsibilities as individuals and as an organization to the public health.  COVID-19 is spreading nationally, as well as in Atlanta this week, and the World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic as we met. Based on this compelling information, AAPOR Executive Council unanimously decided during our March 10-11, 2020, meeting not to move forward with an in-person conference.
 
Our annual meeting place serves many needs in our community. We come together to learn about cutting edge research, meet with potential clients and collaborators, explore new job opportunities, recruit new employees, and meet new and see old friends. It is impossible to preserve all parts of our in-person meeting.  Yet, we want to move forward and share the research contained in the papers and posters accepted for the 2020 AAPOR Conference and to celebrate the 75th anniversary of our treasured community.
 
To celebrate our collective research successes and the 75th Anniversary, AAPOR Executive Council is planning a virtual conference and virtual 75th Anniversary events. It is too early for us to be able to provide the details about these events right now.  AAPOR’s generous volunteers dedicated many hours to developing the in-person program.  They have just as generously moved to developing a virtual program that will bring us the research we need and link us to the community and history we value. 
 
At this time, we are planning to offer a mix of prerecorded talks and live sessions. To keep you informed, our 2020 AAPOR Conference Chair Mandy Sha will be in touch within the next few weeks with details of the program as they become more developed. We hope that everyone will participate in these events. Mandy will also be communicating with our accepted presenters. If you were scheduled to be on the program, please look for an email from her, and respond to her message ASAP.
 
We have initiated cancellation of the contract for the May meeting with the Hilton Atlanta. If you have booked a hotel room in the Hilton Atlanta, please cancel your reservations now. You should not incur a cost to canceling these rooms. You are responsible for canceling your flight to Atlanta; unfortunately, flight cancellation fees are out of our control, but check to see if your airline has a more lenient cancellation policy because of our shared public health crisis.
 
We are currently restructuring registration fees for the virtual conference and other virtual events for the reimagined 75th Annual Conference.  Soon, you will be able to request a refund or ask to transfer your registration to the virtual conference. However, we ask for your patience as we have not had to do this on such a large scale before. We will be in touch as more information becomes available over the next few weeks.
 
I know that many of you have questions. Our list of FAQs is here.
 
We will update the FAQs at this link as we receive new questions and have more information. If you do not see your question in the FAQs, please let us know.
 
In this time of uncertainty, we are thankful for the thoughtful and dedicated members of our professional association and for the continuing support of AAPOR staff. We appreciate each and every one of you.
 
Sincerely,
 
Nora Cate Schaeffer 
President
Mandy Sha
Conference Chair
Allyson Holbrook 
Education Chair
     
Daniel Merkle 
Vice President
Kristen Olson
Associate Conference Chair
Rachel A. Caspar
Associate Education Chair
     
David Dutwin 
Past President
Tamara Terry
Membership/Chapter Relations Chair
Mary Losch
Councilor-at-Large
     
Lydia Saad
Secretary-Treasurer
Ipek Bilgen
Associate Membership/Chapter Relations Chair
G. Evans Witt
Councilor-at-Large
     
Gretchen McHenry 
Associate Secretary-Treasurer
Josue De La Rosa 
Communications Chair
Rene Bautista
Standards Chair
     
  Jessica Holzberg
Associate Communications Chair 
Timothy Triplett 
Associate Standards Chair 

Sustaining Sponsors

Westat
Ipsos Public Affairs, LLC

Platinum Sponsors

ICF
Reconnaissance Market Research
RTI
SSRS

Gold Sponsors

ABT Associates
Marketing Systems Group
NORC at the University of Chicago

Bronze Sponsors

Adapt, Inc.
D3
EdChoice
Nielsen
Precision Opinion
UCONN

Conference Supporters

ASDE Survey Sampler
Dynata

Exhibitors

GetThru
Ironwood
NPC
Oxford University Press
ReadexResearch
Roper Center
StataCorp LLC

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.