Fall is rolling around, which means time to plan and attend at least SAS regional conferences. I’m heading to the Southeastern SAS User’s Group (SESUG) conference in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida. While I do love the conference, they had me at St. Pete Beach!
Explore this Unique Area
The conference is planned for October 20-23, which is obviously a great time of year to enjoy the last gasp of summer. Andrea Wainwright-Zimmerman, the academic chair, is looking forward to the event as well. “The thing I'm most excited about our conference is that we are once again returning to our roots, but in a different way. Last year we went back to the mother ship by being at the SAS campus in Cary, NC, but this year we are returning to a favorite site, specifically the site of the first ever SESUG conference, St. Pete's Beach. It's a great location to bring the whole family as there is plenty to do before and after the conference.”
There are plenty of fun things to do in the area, which is outside of Tampa and about an hour from Walt Disney World in Orlando. You can visit the Dali Museum featuring the works of Salvador Dali. His artwork is playful and full of tricks on the eye. You may think are looking at fantastic picture of Dali’s wife, but if you back away 20 feet you realize it’s actually Abe Lincoln. It’s a gentle and fun way to learn about fine art. And the building itself is as work of art.
If you spend the morning at the museum, then you can spend the afternoon strolling through the downtown streets trying some of the quaint cafes, visiting the interesting gift shops and taking in the picturesque scenery. In the evening, you can ride over to Tampa to visit the historic Ybor City, where you can learn about the millions of cigars that were hand rolled from 1880 to the Depression hit in the 1930s.
Wait … there is learning also
While your co-workers might suspect a boondoggle, the amount of learning you bring back from the conference will soon change minds. “We've added a section of more advanced topics (Black Belt) for more advanced users, but we do still have the wonderful Back to Basics for those just starting on the wonderful SAS journey as well as Beyond the Basics for those intermediate users as well,” said Wainwright-Zimmerman.
There’s also the Hands On Workshop section, which is my personal favorite. On Tuesday morning, I’ll be leading a workshop called “Creating Your First SAS Stored Process”. Within an hour you will create three different stored processes for one macro. Angela Hall and I presented this workshop at the SAS Global Forum and received a lot of positive feedback. Section Chair, Erik Larsen bribed me into presenting it again for SESUG with a SAS Global Forum t-shirt!
Registration is Open!
You might want to come early, as there are some workshops taught prior to the conference by some SAS superstars. Topics include macros, time series forecasting, and even methods for taming Excel for SAS use. These are great ways to learn a new skill or even brush up your existing skillset.
Head over to the SESUG site for more details about the workshop, sections, and location. There’s a discount for those who register early. Look forward to seeing you in St. Pete!