AAPOR 79th Annual Conference Recap


AAPOR members gathered in Atlanta for the 79th Annual Conference around the theme of Impacting Communities: Surveys, Public Opinion Research, and Engaged Scholarship.


  • 1,298 registered attendees.
  • 502 talks, 95 contributed panel and paper sessions, 104 posters, six roundtables, six short courses, six idea groups.
  • Six short courses: four virtual with an average attendance of 33 and two onsite with an average attendance of 32.
  • A Plenary Discussion: Form Follows Function: Purpose-Driven Data Collection, Analysis, and Communication. Moderated by Mollyann Brodie, KFF, with speakers: Emily Engelhard, Feeding America, Shefali Luthra, The 19th, and Jeffrey Nesbit, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. View the video here.
  • Jennifer Agiesta gave the Presidential Address before the gavel was passed to Vice President Frauke Kreuter. View the Presidential Address here.
  • The 2024 AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement was awarded to Nancy Belden during the Annual Awards Banquet. View her video here.
  • During the Business Meeting, Mandy Sha, Kristen Olson, Janice Ballou, and Dawn Nelson were given a citation for their hard work for switching the AAPOR 75th Annual Conference from in-person to virtual during the pandemic. View the citation here.

Conference Photos


Daily Blog Recaps

DEI Highlights

Thank you to our guest blogger, Laura Young, for her reflections during the conference! 

Wednesday: Presidential Address

Today, Allyson Holbrook from the University of Illinois started off by saying that you never forget your first AAPOR. As a new PhD student and first time attendee at a major conference, I had a number of thoughts, feelings, and expectations going into the 79th AAPOR Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. One thing that did not make it onto my Conference Bingo Card was crying at the very first event, the presidential address.

But let’s start from the top.

My first introduction to AAPOR’s president Jennifer Agiesta (CNN) came from Frauke Kreuter from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and University of Maryland. As she stood on stage, the warmth and respect she felt for Jennifer was tangible; we all got to know her not just as some ominous figurehead at the top of the academic food chain, but as a lovable and inspiring human being. What was presented to us was the picture of a woman who grew up singing Blondie, who had her first date with her husband at a Nat’s game, and, above all else, a woman who was known for making connections and uplifting the people around her. The “bubbly effervescent magic”, as Jennifer would later quote, is absolutely palpable in regard to her love for her work and the people she works with.

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Thursday: Awards Banquet

In the big tent that is AAPOR, to borrow Nancy Belden’s terminology, talent is abundant and sometimes appears in the most unexpected ways. Excellence in things like survey methodology and public service are practically self-evident after decades of stellar work, but what about athletics? What about lyricism?

The 2024 Awards Banquet began with the incredible results of the Fun(d) Run, during which amazing AAPORians put their running shoes to pavement to raise a whopping 9229.20$ from 13 sponsors, which will go toward Atlanta’s Midtown Assistance Center. And, unsurprisingly, the talent doesn’t stop there. The winner of the 2024 AAPOR Song Contest, Andrea Lynn Matthews serenaded us (a one-woman acapella show!) with “Are you the very model of a survey methodologist?”, which will soon be available on the AAPOR website to ensure the completeness of your summer jam playlist.

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Friday: Plenary

The plenary session Form Follows Function: Purpose Driven Data Collection, Analysis, and Communication sounds like an instructional lecture for researchers, but it ended up being so much more than that. The result was an exciting discussion that was masterfully moderated by KFF’s Dr.Mollyann Brodie with Emily Engelhard of Feeding America, Shefali Luthra from The 19th, and Jeff Nesbit, who is serving as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Public Affairs, about what it really means to conduct public opinion research.

In a discussion that I would have listened to for hours, our panelists gave valuable feedback as users, interpreters, and communicators of public opinion data. They also let us know of a number of pet peeves about survey research that can inhibit the quality and ultimately the impact of this important work. Beyond the practical suggestions (as Emily put, followed by a roar of applause: “If the methodology isn’t transparent, we’re not gonna use that.”) was a deeper call to facilitate a culture of trust and communication between all of the people involved with survey data at all stages.

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The AAPOR Culture and Communications Sub-committee, led by Shelly Plummer Duff (BPI), hosted a DEI & Methodology roundtable bringing together members and peer organizations to discuss how new research methodologies and innovative technologies like AI and machine learning are transforming the research industry. Panelists shared how they navigate these complex topics, including how their methods have evolved to address and how they do it while integrating a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. Thank you to Tamara Terry (RTI), Neha Sahgal (Pew), Nicole Mitchell (Dynata), Josh De La Rosa (NCES), and Liz Hamel (KFF).
The welcome reception had representation from every Affinity Group including our newest two groups The Establishment Survey and The Black and African American Public Opinion Research groups! Members stopped by, networked, enjoyed a variety of creative giveaways, and raffle prizes.
BAAPOR, led by Shakari Byerly, organized an inclusive luncheon where the group’s vision was showcased, and community collaboration was fostered.
The two HISP-AAPOR sponsored panels moderated by Luis Tipan brought a broad range of Survey research and Survey methods, DEI, and Multi-Cultural audiences.