SAS Global Forum chair makes a personal call


Planning for SAS Global Forum 2013 is well underway and it’s time you get involved through the Call for Papers! As the 2013 SAS Global Forum conference chair, I cannot emphasize enough how much we rely on your creative tips and tricks to contribute to the invaluable content provided at the conference.

Although there are a variety of presentation methods, one I want to highlight is the poster.  In fact, SAS Global Forum 2013 is deemed “The Year of the Poster.” My goal is to provide a method of delivery that accommodates great concepts that may not have otherwise had the opportunity to be shared with the SAS community.

Don’t get me wrong, paper presentations are great, but the poster presentations are equally awesome. In past years, the number of posters accepted at SAS Global Forum has been limited to about 30 per year, but for 2013 our goal is to accommodate at least 100 posters!

There are a number of benefits for submitting – for you, your organization and your SAS community. 

It’s time to let your inner SAS shine!  Go ahead, submit your brilliant ideas in the method of delivery that best fits your presentation style – be it a paper or a poster.  Don’t be shy about any topic, what might seem trivial to you may be a special gold nugget to another in our vast SAS community.

Hurry, Call for Papers ends Nov. 19!


About Author

Rick Mitchell

IT Manager at Westat

Rick Mitchell is an IT Manager at Westat, an employee-owned research corporation. He manages a diverse IT team including SAS programmers and has 23 years of experience with SAS performing statistical analyses, reporting, and data management in the area of health studies and clinical trials. He holds a BS in Statistics from North Carolina State University and an MS in Computer Systems Management from University of Maryland. Rick has served as a Section Chair for SUGI and SAS Global Forum for many years and also served as a Co-Conference Chair for the NorthEast SAS Users Group (NESUG) in 2007. Rick is a routinely invited speaker and has been recognized with multiple awards for his presentations on SAS programming techniques/solutions.


  1. I've presented every type of paper except a Hands-On Workshop, and presenting a poster is by far the most work of any of them. In the future, SAS Global Forum might consider dropping the requirement for a paper in addition to a poster, as long as the poster is in a form that can be included in the proceedings.

    One year when I was a judge for the posters section, someone pointed out that there's no way for a shy person to give a presentation at SAS Global Forum - every section, including posters, requires speaking in public. Please consider dropping the "meet the presenter" requirement for this section, to encourage posters by those who are shy or who don't feel their English is good enough, or simply don't like standing in large noisy crowds.

    • Waynette Tubbs


      I really like your suggestions. My concerns about not having a paper - with any presentation - have always been that there is no information for those who can't attend the presentation. For instance, the user in't sponsored to attend by their employers or has had to choose between two or more equally compelling sessions. Also, a paper helps SAS users take this valuable information home to apply right away (many papers include several examples and sample code that is hard to capture from the poster or not included because of space). So, I completely agree that (if all parties agreed) posters could be presented without a paper, but SUG coordinaters would have to agree on a format that could be included in the proceedings.

      Do you have a suggestion for a format that might lessen the work of completing both a paper and poster?

      • Many posters - primarily those done by presenters who don't have professional graphics assistance - are essentially PowerPoint presentations with larger slides. In that case, the proceedings could contain those slides.

        Other posters are quite sophisticated and can't readily be split into pieces in that way, and those posters might require separate papers. It could be up to the presenter to decide how to do it. Now that the proceedings are no longer published on paper, the rule that information must fit into letter-size chunks has lost some of its relevance.

        The problem will be when there's not enough room on the poster for extended code examples. That might call for a separate file or files containing code.

        Perhaps the whole concept of letter-sized PDFs should be dropped. They're hard to read on a computer screen unless you have a really large monitor, and nearly impossible to read on a tablet or phone. Maybe papers should be distributed in Kindle or .mobi or HTML instead, so the presentation can easily adapt to the device where it's being displayed.

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