ePrivacy and GPDR Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent
The leading association
of public opinion and
survey research professionals
American Association for Public Opinion Research

AAPOR Annual Conference Location Selection Process

Recently, AAPOR Council has been asked how the association selects locations for the AAPOR Annual Conference and what options are available for us to change future locations. Selecting the right location for the conference is a complex process where Council deliberates the merits of various locations. This deliberation is informed by member feedback, both verbally and from the member survey, as well as by data from past conferences.
Once Council has identified a target geographic area, a detailed Request for Proposals (RFP) is developed. This RFP is distributed to a number of different locations. Once we have detailed and final offers from the locations, site visits are conducted to verify that the property and cities are suitable for an AAPOR Conference. Because of the size and complexity of the conference, AAPOR contracts with hotels and the cities approximately 3-5 years in advance. This gives the association the best selection of locations and better ability to negotiate favorable financial terms.

Will AAPOR move a conference once it has been contracted? This question has come up recently and AAPOR Council had a lengthy discussion on what would cause the association to move a conference. There are several possible reasons Council might be asked to consider moving conference:
  • Physical disruption of the original site, for example, because of hurricane.
  • A labor action at the site of the conference.
  • Changes in the legal environment that affects the safety of AAPOR members (e.g., because they lack documentation and those with documentation are targeted at the conference location).
  • Changes in the state or city’s legal environment with which some members disagree.
Of these reasons, only physical disruption of the original site or legal changes that would affect the safety of AAPOR members would be considered grounds for moving the conference. Moving a conference is not only an expensive endeavor, but logistically the size of the AAPOR conference makes it virtually impossible that the association would find a suitable alternative.
Council appreciates that some members may, at times, find themselves opposed to holding the conference in a given location because of their own values. AAPOR supports members’ decisions in these difficult situations. AAPOR also encourages members to bring educational efforts related to their concerns to the conference program in the form of relevant research and panel discussions.
In the unusual situation in which the conference needs to be moved because the site is physically disrupted, the Site Selection Committee will be convened to work with AAPOR staff to present alternatives to Council.  An alternative site can then be chosen by majority vote of the entire Council.