Every person in my department at SAS (User and Customer Marketing) is involved in supporting SAS Global Forum in one way or another. One of the major roles is to coordinate the SAS Demo Area. I recently had a chat with my co-worker Katie Strange, who is responsible for teaming with many others at SAS to make the Demo Area a reality.
1. When did you start planning the SAS Demo Area?
From mid-October to April is the time frame when the planning is the most intense. However, like many events, the demo area planning is an on-going processes and overlaps with the current and future show.
2. How long does it take to build the SAS Demo Area, once you get on-site?
It takes an abundance of people with an incredible amount of talent to take the demo area from concept to reality. Our core team is a group of exceptional folks in Art and Scenic Operations, IT, Materials Management, Corporate Creative, Marketing and R&D. The demo area is a magnificent example of how SAS employees work in a cross-functional environment for the betterment of SAS and our customers.
But to answer your question - we start with a blank canvas at 6 am on Thursday morning, April 8, and are slated for the demo area to be set by 1 pm on Sunday, April 11. We open for attendees at 10 am on Monday, April 12.
3. What have you learned over the past few years that might surprise people?
I have learned that our show floor is a living, breathing and ever-evolving creature. Although the demo area takes many shapes and forms over the years, the one constant is the fact that this is an area that brings together a vast array of people because of their passion for knowledge and SAS. To me, that’s a beautiful thing.
4. Who can we find in the SAS Demo Area?
You will always be able to find SAS experts, such as SAS developers who are available and eager to help in any way they can. And at the Monday Night SAS Mixer you can find a few surprises, such as a lipsologist, a masseuse and much more! Don’t miss it!
5. What’s always been popular, and what’s new this year?
Perennial favorites are the Demo Alley where customers can have one on one time with SAS developers, the books store in the Publications area, the SAS Education Center and the SGF postcards booth.
There are also several exciting, new things this year such as the Innovations Wall and the Twitter Wall. The Innovations Wall is a place where attendees can view some of SAS’ innovations and contribute their own stories about how they have used SAS in innovative ways. The Twitter Wall will be displayed above the entrance to the Demo Area and will stream live tweets about the conference. There will also be a social networking booth near the Twitter Wall that is a resource for individuals who want to make the transition into the social networking realm but haven’t quite taken that leap yet.