Andrew Moszkowicz, an account manager for translation services at CETRA, attended the 77th Annual AAPOR Conference from May 11 – 13, 2022. The conference was held in Chicago, IL this year with more than 1,200 attendees.
The theme of the conference was “Come Together.” True to that theme, the conference was held in-person. Andrew kept a daily log of his time at the conference. Following are excerpts from his journal:
I arrived in Chicago to learn that it was sunny and over 90 degrees. Good thing that I tend to pack for every possibility, because it remained hot for the rest of the week.
An early observation – getting an Uber at O’Hare during rush hour is virtually impossible. After 7 attempts and almost an hour of waiting, I was on my way to the hotel.
This was my view (image right) of the Chicago River, Riverwalk, and Lake Michigan in the distance. I saw very little of this view. After checking in at the hotel, I stopped to check in at the conference.
- Badge? Check!
- Lanyard? Check!
- Comfort Sticker? Check!
- Ribbons? Check!
Ready to go!
Conference Day 1
I was up early to start my volunteering duties at the conference welcome desk at 9am. And of course, I wore my AAPOR socks for luck! They didn’t work.
Got there and it turned out that they didn’t need my help after all. So, I grabbed coffee with another volunteer and started to familiarize myself with the floorplans. The conference was spread out over four floors to help maintain some personal distance.
They had strict COVID precautions, including mandatory masking inside the hotel, proof of vaccination, and a negative rapid test prior to arrival. Each conference badge had a colored circle sticker (green, yellow, or red) indicating your comfort level with handshakes and physical contact. I was green.
The Exhibition Hall opened at noon, and it was my first stop. There was a combination of other service providers like CETRA and research companies. It was great to see and meet with many of our clients!
I attended my first session of the conference. It was the opening plenary about pursuing equity in public opinion research. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Robert Santos (former AAPOR President, and now the first Latino to head the US Census Bureau).
That evening I attended the Happy Hour Reception. It was great to connect with people from the local PA/NJ AAPOR chapter that I haven’t seen in years and meet new people from other regional chapters.
Conference Day 2
Thursday was a busy day. If I wasn’t in a session, I was in the Exhibit Hall visiting exhibitors and networking. The sessions I attended included:
- Data Collection in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
- Quality, Calidad, Qualité: No Matter How You Say It, We Want to Improve It
- History of Hispanic Survey Research in the U.S.
The day ended with Affinity Group dinners.
Conference Day 3
My last day at the conference. Another busy day, and the most “language intensive” of all the conference days. If I wasn’t in a session than I was walking the exhibit hall or looking for other connection opportunities.
I attended four sessions, including two specific to multilingual research and the translation of surveys, as well as the luncheon and awards ceremony.
Immediately after my last session today, I headed for the airport. After many delays, I finally arrived home at 1:45am. In the rain.
One issue that has come up in years past and was very present again is that some feel the TRAPD approach to survey translation (or some variation of it) is the ONLY acceptable approach.
I believe that while it works in some instances, it simply is not practical for all.
Our translation approach can provide comparable results in a fraction of the time. More attendees seemed open to it than ever before.
Another take-away was to be reminded of the benefits of in-person conferences. Every chance encounter is an opportunity to meet someone new and learn something. I struck up conversations with other lost attendees looking for session rooms, and attended events peripheral to the conference where I met people I may not have otherwise.
Finally, do you what must to stand out. I decided to opt for comfort on the last day and wore these shoes (image right). They sparked many conversations, including sustainability since the shoes are made of recycled materials.
It was also great to hear public praise from clients about my colleagues at CETRA and CETRA overall. I was even referred to as a “language industry expert” by a panelist during a session, which is greatly appreciated and humbling.
Overall, it was great to attend AAPOR. Looking forward to next year’s conference in Philadelphia.
If you want to connect about the conference or translation services, please contact Andrew at email@example.com.