SAS Global Forum: What to expect?

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SAS Global Forum will be here before you know it, and we’ll have the opportunity to meet with the world’s largest assembly of SAS users. If you’ve attended before, you know about what to expect. There are lots of learning opportunities available on Sunday morning and afternoon, so if you are going to arrive early you might want to check the schedule of Sunday sessions.

If you’ve never attended SAS Global Forum before, you will definitely want to go to the First Timer’s session on Sunday afternoon. Here you will learn tips about getting the most out of your conference attendance. You’ll also get a chance to meet a room full of other first-timers, so you won’t be alone. Stay for the first-timers’ dinner. You’ll get a chance there to network with some of your new friends.

After dinner, head on over to the Opening Session. Not only will you learn what SAS Institute is up to and what new things are coming your way, you’ll also hear about the SASware Ballot results and about how some of our customers are benefiting from their use of SAS. The Opening Session ends with some fun, local entertainment that you won’t want to miss. Next, you’ll go directly to the opening night welcome mixer for food, drink, and great conversation.

On Monday, the regular papers start and the hard part is deciding which ones to attend. Check out the Industry sections to see if your industry is represented. Hands-on Workshops are very popular, but you have to sign up for a seat. Make sure you’ve taken the time before Monday morning to study the program and identify how you want to spend your time while you are in Seattle.

The SAS Global Users Group Executive Board, which runs the conference program, has made an effort to invite a few groups that they feel are underrepresented at the conference. Students and their faculty are invited to come together as a team. Some students give papers, and some get an academic scholarship. International attendees are also welcomed. SAS is used extensively around the world, and this conference is the “Global Forum,” so we really love it when our counterparts across the ocean make the trip.

On Sunday and Monday, students can check out available jobs in the Career Connections session, where recruiters and companies looking for SAS programmers are given a chance to talk to prospective employees.

While you are at the conference, take time to come to the demo area, where representatives from all SAS product areas and SAS services are there to demonstrate what is new. The Publications booth is especially busy during the two-and-a-half days. Browse the bookstore and see the newest books as well as the old standbys that our customers have always loved. If you buy a book at the conference, you’ll get a 20% discount off the regular price.

Whether or not you can attend SAS Global Forum this year, you may want to pick up a copy of “SAS Global Forum—Take Out.” This is a downloadable product with several of the presentations in either video or audio format with slides. The opening session and the technology sessions are both there too. If your team back home wants a report on the conference, this is a good way to share the experience. And if you are unable to attend, stay tuned for an announcement about the product so you can see what you missed.

I hope to see you there!

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Kathy Council

Vice President, SAS Publications

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