Sample Solutions at the 73rd WAPOR – Online Conference, October 7th-14th 2020

With the current outbreak continuing well through the last quarter of 2020, many market and opinion research conferences and fairs have either faced cancellation, have been digitized or with optimistic doubts delayed their dates for spring 2021.

However the 73rd Annual World Association of Public Opinion Research(WAPOR) conference together with the 9th Latin American WAPOR congress, initially scheduled to take place in Salamanca, Spain from 6th till 9th October, had followed the footsteps of their American counterpart – AAPOR and have decided to still pursue the event on the same dates but in a digital format.

Even though the Sample Solutions team would have loved to directly engage with the audience on their recent paper and absorb the last warm sun rays of October in the picturesque Spanish town. They are no less grateful to the WAPOR board for making the switch to an online format, considering the well being of all presenters and attendees.

And the format proved to be in favour for many participants due to the flexibility and the freedom given to each attendee to view pre-recorded presentations and access the presenters slides at any time before, during and after the session dates. Such approach limited each scheduled conference Zoom session block to a short summary by the presenters and question rounds from the attendees. And almost all sessions we attended ended up just in time to join the next session or the virtual coffee break to mingle with fellow researchers.

”Is it worth it? Screened mobile sample for IVR surveys in developing countries – The cases of Sri Lanka and Ecuador?“.

Sample Solutions presented it’s most recent research work titled ”Is it worth it? Screened mobile sample for IVR surveys in developing countries – The cases of Sri Lanka and Ecuador?“ where our colleagues Nikola and Nadica presented the advantages of using screened probability based RDD mobile sample – opposed to unscreened, for an international health survey on Non Communicable Disease risk factors in Low-to-Middle income countries. The session generated quite some interest from the audience as there were a few sessions on Survey Methodology tackling Phone interviewing challenges for Opinion Research, as most presentations were focused on F2F and Online.

Extract from SSE’s presentation on the WAPOR online conference

Regarding the roster of the presentations: the conference held a variety of topics to attend: ranging from Cross-Country surveys, Big-Data and digitalization in surveys, challenges of comparative research , methodological challenges and more general topics such as news media, policy making and election in correspondence with public opinion research. Where each researcher provided us with information on the outcomes and solutions within their unique research work.

Alongside with the main presentations the conference also included poster presentations with scheduled live sessions for the presenters to summarize and answer all questions. The conference wrapped up it’s final day the event by offering dedicated training sessions on certain topics for new and emerging fields of surveying.

To summarize our final impressions: The online format exceeded our expectations, and instantly crushed any doubts on the efficiency of such format, The benefits of the online format was felt by all attendees – everyone came prepared and viewed the attached recordings and presentation, the atmosphere was relaxed and calm, attendance levels felt to be the same as previous years and to much of our hope, sadly there was no instance of a presenter’s child walking in the camera frame or saying hi to the fellow audience members.

We are thankful to the WAPOR board for going through with the event digitally, the organization did not face any challenges in  time delays or network failure. We are also thankful to the session chairs on having us this year again to present more on telephone sampling for international public opinion research. And we are awaiting news on the upcoming 74th Annual conference of WAPOR, till then please stay safe.

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