Each time I attend the SAS Global Forum, I learn some tricks and this year was no different. Here're 4 tips that you might find useful for the conference next year and please leave yours in the Comments Section.
Tip #1: Arrive early
Usually I arrive the night before and sometimes even miss Opening Session - I arrived early this year. This was definitely a good idea, I meet some awesome folks at the Tweet-up and even won a keychain with an LED. The next day I was able to catch up with some old friends, meet some new ones, and the Opening Session was great. I'm a sucker for fancy multi-media presentations and SAS never fails to deliver. They had hologram images this year, which was cool. I had never seen such large and realistic looking ones.
Tip #2: You don't get to see all papers you plan
I did a better job creating my schedule this year: however, there were still papers that I missed. Steve Overton pointed me to this paper, Beyond Star Schema: Exploring the Next Query Generation with the SAS Enterprise BI Server that had some great information about the new intelligence query generator. I was able to attend Top Ten SAS Performance Tuning Techniques when some free time opened up. I always enjoy hearing some tips from Kirk Paul Lafler, and he labeled me as SAS Nerd this year, which I wear with honor. (Gordon Cox had this picture in his post.)
I say this every year, "Next year I will read all the papers before the conference." I guess I can add that to my list of New Year's Resolutions.
Tip #3: Find a way to organize business cards
You will meet a lot of people. Make sure you have your business cards handy and a way to store the business cards given to you. Here is a list of the strategies I have tried that worked for me.
- Bring a plastic baggie to store the cards until you get home.
- Between sessions or while waiting, use your smart phone to send an email to the person.
- Use LinkedIn to find and connect with the person.
- Take a picture of the business card and place in EverNote.
Everyone is really friendly, so do not be afraid to say Hello or ask others how they use SAS.
Tip #4: Make sure you have your survival kit
It is a hectic conference - there is a lot to do and see. One day I did not get lunch, so next year I need to make sure I have some snacks in my Survival Kit. Other things I will include in the kit are aspirin, water and caffeine pills. Of course you never get enough sleep - so rest up prior to the conference. I doubt if I got to bed before 1 a.m. any night.
I was standing a lot this conference chatting with others, watching demos and sometimes just waiting for an event to start. Quickly I determined I was wearing the wrong shoes. Besides finding cute and comfy shoes this year, I think I'll carry some flip-flops next year so I can change out.
Did You Learn Any Tips?
Next year the conference is in San Francisco, so a short trip to Napa Valley afterwards might be in order! However that is another series of tips! Share your tips in the Comments Section.
Please share your tips in the Comments section.