In the SAS User Groups LinkedIn group, some generous "old timers" offer tips to the potentially shy newcomers for connecting with other SAS professionals at SAS Global Forum. Perhaps these folks remember their own introverted natures, and they want to encourage attendees to get the most out of their conference experience.
One group participant, David Corliss, offered an inspiring (but not unusual!) account of how he met a fellow SAS user whose specific job has a big impact on David's family. I'm sharing the story here (with David's permission).
So, I just have to tell this story about meeting a first-timer at [SAS Global Forum] 2012. I was standing in line to buy a bagel at the hotel convenience store. The person in front of me saw my badge with the tags for speaker and session coordinator - he figured I had been around a little and wondered if I would look at his schedule and make any recommendations.
Naturally, I asked what his background was and what he wanted to accomplish. He said he was a statistician with the CDC in Altanta, working on infectious diseases in the third world. Due to cost restrictions, it is common in such places to receive only partial treatments for diseases requiring lengthy treatment, such as TB. His team calculated the effectiveness of these partial treatments and made recommendations to complete the treatment should it become available later on. He wanted my advice on papers and classes to take in so he could do more to save uncounted thousands of lives....
...like that of my own daughter, adopted from Russia at age 7 and exposed to TB as a small child. I owed this first-timer as inestimable debt of gratitude as the person who determined the remedial treatment needed to keep her as safe as possible from developing TB later on.
At [SAS Global Forum], whether you are a first timer or have been there for years and years, be sure to meet as many people as you can. You never know who you are going to meet.
It's true -- you never know. I'm inspired by SAS users at every conference I attend. I hope to see you there -- and to be inspired again!