Right now I'm packing up my materials for SAS Global Forum.
It's actually a lot easier than it used to be. My first SAS conference was SUGI 21 (1996), and we didn't have personal laptop computers or USB drives or fast network connections. Machines were staged weeks ahead of time and shipped by truck to Chicago. As insurance against technical glitches in my presentation, I prepared a slide deck -- a real slide deck -- in a carousel, for use in a slide projector. You know, the type that your grandparents used for vacation photos.
With the conference site relatively close by near DC, SAS has chartered a bus for SAS employees to get there, and I'll be on it. I shouldn't reveal the schedule or bus route for security reasons. In fact, I'm sure that there will be several decoy buses deployed along the way to throw off would-be assailants. I'm assuming that the bus will include full meal and beverage service, as well as on-board live entertainment and --
Wait. Just received a memo from SAS Travel. They advise packing a bag lunch. And if you've got one, an iPod. Oh, and be at the departure spot on time or else they'll leave without you. Hmm, business travel can be a humbling experience.
The conference itself promises to be first class though. Sunday's opening session features a keynote by author Stephen Baker. And Monday morning's technical session features Dave Barry, whose work I admire and try really hard not to plagiarize. I've managed to beg my way into a meeting with him before his presentation. I'll blog about that and also plan to "live blog" his presentation for the SAS Global Forum blog.
Whether you're attending or not, you can follow the conversation in a number of ways. If you're there in person, be sure to stop by the SAS Enterprise Guide booth and say Hi. If you get there soon enough, and you say that you read this on my blog, I'll be happy to share my bag lunch.