As the NorthEast SAS Users Group (NESUG) approaches, I sat down with NESUG volunteer and Executive Committee member Sue Douglass to discuss all the features of this year’s conference and why SAS users can’t wait to register. This year, they’re offering over 125 papers, expanded preconference training sessions and perennial favorites such as the Solution Center, Collaboration Cafe and Code Clinic.
Located in scenic Burlington, Vermont, NESUG 2013 offers an array of networking opportunities for SAS professionals, which Sue says can “connect you to SAS experts and industry insiders.” Expand your SAS knowledge, meet some great people and have a blast in Vermont--it’s no wonder SAS Users flock to NESUG each year. If you’re still not convinced, check out these reasons for making the trip:
Four reasons to attend NESUG
- New perks: New additions to the classic NESUG lineup include expanded pre-conference training classes, one-day passes, free Wi-Fi and an incredible dinner cruise on Lake Champlain. Sue says that the cruise will surely be a “memorable event” for attendees, giving them the opportunity to have dinner in a beautiful setting and make new connections with other SAS users. All of these new perks sound like a win-win for conference goers.
- Easy navigation with the NESUG Mobile App: NESUG is once again offering a comprehensive mobile app to help conference goers stay organized and connected. It’s an all-in-one resource for planning your agenda, checking the daily schedules and navigating the conference thanks to the comprehensive floor plans. It even includes a messaging system so you can talk to other users. Set an alert now because the app will be available for download on September 1 for iPhone/iPod Touch, Android, Torch, Blackberry and more devices.
- Personalized attention: NESUG offers many opportunities for users to collaborate and gain one-on-one advice, among them are the Solution Center, Collaboration Café and the Code Clinic. At the Solution Center, you can meet, discuss and collaborate with other SAS users. If that’s not enough of an opportunity to meet and greet, head to the Collaboration Café, which Sue says is a “perfect place for small group discussions with peers or presenters.” If you have a specific problem you were hoping to solve at NESUG, bring it to the Code Clinic where expert SAS users will be available to help solve your specific programming problem.
- Experience New England Fall Foliage: Burlington, Vermont is a beautiful getaway with many options for outdoor recreation and sightseeing. Sue calls Lake Chaplain the “main attraction in Burlington” and luckily for conference attendees, “the hotel is right across the street.” In addition to the hiking, biking and exploring you can do in the great outdoors, Burlington offers a wide range of activities. In fact, co-chair of the NESUG “Hands On Workshop “and Burlington native Steve Ruegsegger suggested 17 fun things to do in Burlington. Some highlights include a Ben and Jerry’s factory tour, rock climbing and local brewery tours. I’d also suggest taking a swing by Green Mountain Coffee factory and bringing back some fresh ground beans to share with your coworkers.
How can you convince your boss to send you to NESUG?
Sue says that attendees can start by emphasizing that NESUG is filled with presentations with practical information that you can use on the job. You can view the NESUG 2013 Program to view the paper abstracts and pick the ones relevant to your organization or industry. In addition to its robust proceedings, “NESUG offers extensive material on best practices, hands-on training experience, and new and upcoming innovations,” she says. Beyond the tips and tricks you’ll learn, one of the biggest benefits to attending a regional conference comes from the opportunity to meet other users and share ideas. Sue suggests that professionals emphasize to their bosses that “the conference brings together the community of SAS users in an environment which would allow them to network with industry experts, including SAS representatives.”
The conference is also an affordable way to improve your productivity on the job and value within the organization. Networking, knowledge and increased productivity all at a great price? Sounds like a sound investment for employers. Sue agrees, saying that “receiving the information in a seminar format is a cost-effective way to ensure finding solutions or best practices that could benefit the company”
Thanks once again to Sue for sitting down with me and offering her expertise on what makes NESUG an essential event for SAS users. Make sure you mark your calendars for the app download and register today if you haven’t already secured your spot.
You can check out the NESUG website for the most up-to-date information about the conference and to view the post-conference proceedings. NESUG also has a Facebook page and LinkedIn group, which are updated regularly. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Conference Newsletter, which is updated throughout the year and contains tons of great information about the conference and general SAS tips and tricks.