Imagine stuffing a 500,000-square-foot event space into a 5,000-square-foot hallway. That was the crazy idea I had when I checked out the Innovation Hub.

The Innovation Hub was the center of the action at SAS Innovate in Las Vegas. Attendees saw demos of the hottest new SAS solutions, met the technical experts driving innovation and maybe picked up some fun swag along the way. More than 10,000 customers, SAS® users and top tech experts got to experience it.

Cheers from the Innovation Hub!

So, I thought, “Why can’t we bring that home? Why can’t we have the Innovation Hub with demos of our technology in Cary, NC? Why can’t we play with the AI putting green and throw IoT smart darts in our campus’ IoT Lab? Why can’t we print out AI stickers, give away prizes and let our employees show off all their hard work to their coworkers? Why can’t we have that for our employees and interns?”

I told that to a coworker who was instrumental in building the event. To my surprise, he said, “You’re right. Let’s do it.”

I told that to my boss. Without hesitation, she said, “Let’s do it.”

We pitched it to our executives. They said, “Let’s do it.”

And we did it.

A first-person perspective of the Innovation Hub 

The halls at SAS headquarters were filled with hundreds of curious individuals ready to check out the Innovation Hub. Others joined online since we live-streamed my firsthand experience with global employees. Experts in quantum computing described the nuances of the emerging technology and data scientists rubbed shoulders with SAS® Viya® Workbench experts who had interns wide-eyed. I was happy to see people playing AI-powered video games, throwing darts and testing their golf swing against the pros using analytics.

As I walked through the bustling hallway, beyond the cheers from the putting green, I overheard bits from interns:

“I didn’t know SAS did that?!?” 

“I am really bad at darts, but that was pretty cool.” 

“When you put that model into production, what happens next?” 

“Was that a video game you were just playing using SAS?!?!” 

Then, when I circled around to chat with our expert employees sharing their demos, they responded:

“This was so great!” 

“I’m really impressed with these interns.”  

“They were asking intense questions about quantum computing.” 

Making bold ideas come to life 

This event showcased our role as leaders in AI to those who will actually be building that future: hundreds of young interns working at SAS for the summer. It was a great opportunity to bring interns that close to SAS technology and for others to hear and see what we shared with customers and industry leaders at SAS Innovate.

The point here is that it wasn’t one person who made the Innovation Hub@Home a successful event, it was also because of the people I work with who embrace bold ideas.

Want to experience it yourself? SAS Innovate is now on tour! 


About Author

Ginny Inman

Ginny Inman loves telling people’s stories. Having studied at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and earned her master’s degree from North Carolina State University, she uses her experience to communicate through writing and video production for SAS’s internal communications team. She enjoys using creative communication solutions to build projects from the ground up for SAS employees around the world.

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