Yesterday (Monday) was an incredibly busy day for me at SAS Global Forum. It began with a successful Technical Session where SAS R&D staffers showed off:
- the new features coming in SAS/STAT (with the 9.22 /nine-twenty-two/ release)
- SAS Enterprise Miner with the Rapid Predictive Modeler (hosted in SAS Enterprise Guide and SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office)
- SAS ODS Graphics Designer and the SGRENDER procedure, which renders graphs the you can define using Graph Template Language.
- A new program editor for SAS Enterprise Guide that offers SAS syntax completion and embedded help, which makes it super easy to access all SAS syntax, including the very latest stuff in the SAS language.
- SAS Social Media Analysis, a groundbreaking solution to analyze social media content and report on brand/company sentiment and more.
After the Tech Session, I rushed to Demo Alley to show customers the latest advances in SAS Enterprise Guide. In addition to the one-on-one interaction at the demo stands, we offer scheduled "super demos". We use larger display monitors and amplified headsets to show off our wares. Imagine if Ron Popeil promoted business analytics software -- that's the scene.
Shortly before 2pm yesterday, I set up at a Super Demo station to show off What's New in SAS Enterprise Guide. 2pm arrived, and I stood at my station ready to go, but I was missing something important: an audience. Nobody came to see my demo.
Okay, I understand that there is a lot going on here at the conference. Every presentation competes with a dozen other presentations that are just as interesting, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I had light attendence. But nobody?
As I stood there at 2:05pm, a couple of people gathered to see what I was up to. I offered to deliver my Super Demo speil if they were interested, sort of a private show for the passersby.
As I spoke and drove the demo, more people gathered. Soon I had more people stopping by to catch my dog-and-pony show, and ask me interesting questions about what they were seeing. At the end, it turned out to be a worthwhile interaction.
It wasn't until after it was all over that I looked at the posted sign with the Super Demo schedule. It turns out that my demo time is really scheduled for 2pm today (Tuesday), and not yesterday (Monday). Well, that explains a lot!
It just goes to show how excited folks can get about new SAS technology. I'm grateful for the chance to "practice" my demo for the smaller cozy crowd, and we'll see if the attendence today for the "real thing" is a bit higher. Even if it's not, I know I'll be able to connect with a few customers and we'll all get something good out of it.