I recently asked chair Debbie Buck some questions to help us learn more about the upcoming conference. Here’s what she had to share – good reading ahead!
1) How is this year’s conference different from SAS Global Forum 2010? What’s New?
SAS Global Forum 2011 includes a number of changes this year, while still retaining those features that have made SAS Global Forum such a great conference for the past 36 years. One change that everyone should be aware of for 2011 is that the conference runs Monday through Thursday, rather than the usual Sunday through Wednesday. This has led to some interesting (and sometimes entertaining) conversations among the conference team members in trying to clarify which days various activities are taking place. Don’t let this confuse you!
Another change is that presentations by SAS formerly in the SAS Presents sections will be included in the Technology and Industry Solutions sections this year rather than being separate sessions. This should make it easier for attendees to find the papers that they’re most interested in seeing. I’m also excited that there are four new sections for 2011 focusing on very different SAS applications:
• SAS Enterprise Guide Implementation and Usage
• Operations Research
• Social Media and Networking
• and (especially appropriate for Vegas) Travel, Hospitality and Entertainment .
As suggested by the new Social Media section, this is again an important focus at SAS Global Forum 2011. Be sure to visit the SocialSphere in the SAS Support and Demo Area to follow the tweets at the conference, as well as to sign up for the SAS Global Forum 2011 LinkedIn group.
2) What’s going on behind the scenes that we should know about?
Paper Authors have finished writing their papers, Section Chairs have reviewed the papers, and the papers for SAS Global Forum 2011 are now all available for viewing, along with their schedules, rooms and abstracts in the Agenda Builder.
A new program was started this year called The Power to Present: SAS Global Forum Presenter Mentoring Program.
Goals of the program include:
• To continue to improve overall conference experience by enhancing the quality of presentations and published papers through mentoring provided by content experts and experienced SAS user group presenters
• To expand the pool of presenters by encouraging new people to share their knowledge, while still maintaining the quality of presentations and content
As the program grows, potential presenters will also be able to benefit from advice on developing and submitting, as well as writing and presenting a paper for SAS Global Forum.
BTW, did you ever wonder how all of the Program Guides, conference bags, t-shirts, giveaways, SAS Publishing books, other displays and items in the SAS Support and Demo Area, etc. get to SAS Global Forum – no matter where it is in a given year? Well, there’s a whole team of people at SAS in Cary who work very hard to assemble everything, load it on the truck and actually drive the truck to the conference site. They’re busy doing that right now. Thanks, folks!
3) When in Vegas … what do you recommend if you have free time?
In addition to all of the great paper content, we’re planning some exceptional networking opportunities that take advantage of being at Caesars! Make sure to attend the Opening Night Session on Monday evening and enjoy some Vegas entertainment, as well as learning about what’s happening with SAS. Immediately after that, we will have a Get Acquainted Reception in the gorgeous pool area at Caesars where you can reconnect with or meet new fellow attendees.
Also, on Wednesday night, our annual Kickback Party will be something quite special! SAS Global Forum attendees will have exclusive access to PURE nightclub, located at Caesar’s Palace. I’ve seen this nightclub and this will be a great venue for networking with other SAS users. And, the view over the Vegas Strip from the Terrace in PURE is amazing! Don’t miss it!
In addition to the great shows and great restaurants in Vegas, there is the awesome Hoover Dam and gorgeous natural beauty like Red Rock Canyon if you have an extra day before or after the conference.
One final tidbit that you might not know - SAS Global Forum has a past history with Las Vegas. SAS Global Forum (then called SUGI) was in Las Vegas once before - in 1978 - 33 years ago, also at Caesars Palace, at SUGI 3. There were 241 attendees.
I’m very excited about SAS Global Forum 2011, and I hope to see you very soon in Las Vegas!