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American Association for Public Opinion Research

AAPOR Conference Is Only A Month Away!‎

by Kristen Olson, AAPOR Conference Chair
April showers bring May conferences! As we look toward our annual May conference—and our second virtual conference—many AAPORites may be wondering what the conference will look like this year.
Our conference will kick off with an opening plenary session, “Polling the Electorate During the Pandemic.” This live session, featuring Jennifer Agiesta (CNN), Jennifer De Pinto (CBS), Lydia Saad (Gallup), and Emily Swanson (AP) and moderated by Courtney Kennedy (Pew Research Center), will focus on what we learned about the electorate, voting and polling during the 2020 election and beyond. It won’t be recorded for later viewing, so be sure to tune in on May 11 at 10:00 am ET!
We will close with a new and important plenary for AAPOR—the inaugural AAPOR Award Keynote Address, given by the winners of the 2020 and 2021 AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement. The winners and their talks will be announced during the Awards Ceremony.
So, what happens between these two plenary sessions? We have over 550 papers being presented this year in two formats. The live paper sessions will take place using a Zoom webinar format. This webinar format means that you, as the attendee, will see the presenters and their slides and can ask questions via a text Q&A. The prerecorded paper presentations will be available to be browsed at any time during the conference. A live 30-minute Q&A with the presenters for each of the sessions will take place using a Zoom meeting format—you will be able to see the presenters and they will see you. You can ask the presenters questions via chat or by unmuting yourself.  On the virtual platform’s page for each paper presentation, there will also be a chat box where you can type questions. This means that each paper presenter has the opportunity to answer questions out loud or through text response.
Other all-attendee sessions include the Presidential Address (Wednesday at 1:00 pm ET), the Annual Awards Ceremony (Thursday at 11:30 am ET) and the Annual Business Meeting (Friday at 3:30 pm ET). Social events will take place on two of the evenings: a virtual mixer for the newer to AAPOR members will be on Monday evening (before the conference) and our virtual Chapter mixer will be held on Tuesday evening. Events are spread out across the days of the conference, so you have the chance to see as many papers as you can and join with all of AAPOR for this year’s all-attendee events. And don’t forget about the short courses and various committee meetings held during the week of May 3.
We also have lots of opportunities for AAPORites to talk with each other! In between sessions, we have what we are calling “coffee breaks,” which are 30-minute Zoom meetings around a theme to allow folks to connect as a group. Our coffee breaks feature our Affinity Groups, our chapters, our Honorary Lifetime Members, this year’s AAPOR Executive Council, our committees—including the new Inclusion and Equity Committee—and much more. At the end of conference, AAPOR’s 2021-2022 Conference Chair Darby Steiger will be hosting a coffee break to listen to your ideas for next year’s (hopefully in-person!) conference.
Looking for new information on products, data collection, or job openings? This year’s conference platform makes connecting with our sponsors and exhibitors through video chat easy! Do so during the coffee break times, or schedule a meeting to talk with the sponsors or exhibitors any time during the conference. You can also easily send our sponsors and exhibitors an email or drop a virtual business card off to learn more from the company.
The conference platform also makes it easy to connect one-on-one with other AAPOR attendees. You will be able to email attendees directly on the platform. The message will go directly to their inbox on the platform and they will get a notification in their email inbox outside the platform as well. You can also request a video meeting with another person or group of people who are attending conference, and the conference platform will set up the Zoom meeting for you.
In addition, we will have three photo contests—AAPOR Outdoors!, AAPOR Eats! and AAPOR Remember When? —held on Twitter and in the Connect Discussion Boards on the platform. For AAPOR Outdoors!, post your favorite photo of yourself outside—especially with AAPOR swag. For AAPOR Eats!, let’s see what your best conference meal-at-home looks like (bonus points for chicken!). And, for the AAPOR Remember When? Discussion Board, find some of those great photos from AAPOR past (or find your favorite in the photo archives on the aapor.org website).
Want more information and a guided tour? We will be holding an Information Session on Monday, May 10 to walk through the conference schedule and help navigate the conference platform. All attendees will get login information early so that you can get familiar with the conference platform itself, fill out your profile (don’t forget a photo of yourself!), and watch the prerecorded presentations early.
It’s going to be a great conference this year. We can’t wait to see you virtually in May!