~Contributed by Paul Gorrell and Warren Stinson, Conference Co-Chairs
There were 384 attendees from 23 states and 6 countries gathered at the Holiday Inn By The Bay in Portland, Maine for three days to present, discuss, code, blog and tweet, using both familiar and new ways to share SAS expertise. There were more than 150 formal papers, posters and workshops, plus numerous Solutions Theater, Code Clinic, and Collaboration Café events in the Solutions Center. Together, those provided many opportunities to listen, lounge, laugh, and especially to learn.
New, this year, was the Junior Professional Program and we welcomed program grant recipients. This program is supported by SAS and the NESUG Student Scholarship Program. Also new this year were the daily keynote presentations. On Monday, Mike Zdeb presented "The Lifetime Warranty," a delightfully perfect blend of fun and substance. On Tuesday, we held a "Spotlight on SAS" event with discussion and Q&A presented by SAS R&D and the Customer Loyalty staff.
We introduced four new sections this year that were well attended: Finance, Large Data Sets, PROC FORMAT and PROC SQL.
Our Local Users' Group, SUGME (SAS User Group of Maine), organized a popular scavenger hunt around Portland.
We were treated to some unusually warm weather for Portland and a welcome respite from the rainy weather "down south." And typical for Portland, we found some fantastic restaurants and met some wonderful, friendly, helpful people.
Thanks to our authors, presenters, all the volunteers, members of the conference leadership team, our corporate sponsors and exhibitors and SAS for making this a great SAS learning experience.
If you haven't had a chance yet, take time to read the conference proceedings here.
Now, the planning is underway for NESUG 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. To stay informed about all of the planning, join the NESUG newsletter mailing list.
Paul Gorrell and Warren Stinson