At SAS Global Forum this year, Clark Abrahams, Chief Financial Architect at SAS and author of Fair Lending Compliance and Credit Risk Assessment, offered me a piece of advice that I’m fairly certain is going to change my life. We were getting ready to begin the amazing book drawing for 25 books during the Monday night reception at SAS Global Forum. I had been invited to emcee the event, and just between you and me, being on stage is not one of my favorite things to do. Clark happened to walk by, and I mentioned to him that I was feeling a little nervous. Clark’s advice to me was to think about the audience as family. This image greatly eased my nerves and the show went on.
And, as I thought more about his comment, I realized that he was completely right.
As the Editor-in-Chief of SAS Press for almost 15 years, I’ve attended many SAS Global Forum meetings. My focus is always on the SAS Author “Family”—SAS Authors, SAS Users who love their books, and SAS users who want to become SAS Authors. When we gather at SAS Global Forum, we have a chance to reconnect, get the latest news, brainstorm new ideas, and offer lots of encouragement.
One of the highlights of the conference for us is the SAS Authors’ Dinner. Each year, over 40 of us gather at a local restaurant to enjoy a great meal, share lots of stories and laughter, reconnect with old friends, and welcome new ones. At this year’s dinner, we recognized the authors who were just joining the group for the first time. With no prompting, each new author was welcomed with a spontaneous round of applause from the other authors.
When we get together at conferences, I am amazed all over again by the sacrifices the authors make to support the SAS user community, to support the use of SAS and JMP, and to support each other. In addition to writing books, SAS Authors are also conference organizers and presenters. Their primary motivation in writing their books is to help another SAS user benefit from the knowledge that they have gained. (Well, some of them say that they write books so that they can be invited to the Authors' Dinners.) And, although they receive royalties on their books, they volunteer for so many other activities to support the SAS user community.
There are many wonderful moments at SAS Global Forum, and hearing the authors applaud one another is one that has really stayed with me.
Clark was right. It’s just like being with family. And, I’m looking forward to the next reunion!