Networking with other SAS users is what I love most about SAS Global Forum! At every conference, I look for ways to find those who share my interests or whose experience sheds new light on my use of SAS software.
When I come across tips on networking, I always try to put at least one into action. That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about the SAS Global Forum 2014 Conference Scheduler. It’s designed to make networking so much easier! Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
1. Have a purpose. Think of networking as a tool, not a goal. Many of us attend SAS Global Forum with a specific outcome in mind—whether you are researching a new SAS software product, trying to improve your programming skills or possibly wanting to talk to others who are migrating to SAS 9.4. Having a clear goal makes it so much easier to find the content and attendees that are likely to help.
2. Know what to expect. Use the conference scheduler filters to find the combination of presentations and activities that match your interests, skill level and industry. Mark them as My Interests, and be sure to make a note of the authors and organizations represented.
3. Introduce yourself online. How many times have you agreed to meet someone in a crowded lobby and wondered who to approach? Fill out your profile in the General Info tab of the Conference Scheduler and be sure to include a photo. Also important--your messaging preference lets others know how to contact you. Want to connect with another attendee? Be sure to accept the conference Terms and Conditions to access the attendee list. Now you can get to the contact information you need.
4. Make time for fun. It’s hard to hold a good conversation as you’re running from presentation to demo to panel discussion. So be sure to set aside time for the great social events we have planned! Use the Special Events and Meals filter for an up-to-date list of activities tailor-made for networking.
5. Volunteer. There’s no better way to feel part of a community than giving back. At this year’s Red Wagon charity event, you and others can roll up your sleeves, build wagons and fill them with STEM related books and toys.
6. Ask questions. Every list of networking tips suggests that asking good questions and listening thoughtfully is the best way to make a good connection. Too shy to speak up in a presentation or introduce yourself? Or maybe you want to ask a question that takes more thought? Tap into the list of speakers and attendees and ask your questions through conference scheduler messaging.
7. Go social. Photos, tweets, videos—we’ll be sharing lots of them throughout the conference. What a great chance to include other attendees, SAS users back at the office and even family and friends in your SAS Global Forum experience! Watch for a blog later this month telling you all the great ways you can connect.
8. Bring a buddy. Encourage your colleagues to attend. Sometimes having a few acquaintances along can make a roomful of strangers seem less intimidating. There are team discounts available throughout regular registration.
9. Follow up. Lists of networking tips always end with this important reminder. If you’ve been promised an answer or if you have information to share with a new acquaintance, be sure to follow up.
I look forward to networking with both new and old acquaintances! See you at the conference.