WUSS 2014—same event, new look and feel!


WUSS 2014 logo Do you know the way to San Jose? By now, SAS users are getting to know the way to the Western Users of SAS Software’s (WUSS) annual event on September 3-5, 2014.

Although this is the third time WUSS has been held in San Jose at The Fairmont Hotel, this year’s event will introduce a lot of changes, one of which includes the name of the event—going forward, the WUSS Conference will be called the WUSS Educational Forum and Conference. The purpose of the name change is to emphasize all of the learning opportunities there are at WUSS. Besides the name change, WUSS has more exciting changes to announce:

Keep up with WUSS 2014 through social media

WUSS is planning to grow its social media presence before, during and after the Educational Forum and Conference concludes. Before the event, look for news and updates via LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook as well as SASCommunity.org.

Approximately a month prior to the conference, LinkedIn will be hosting contests on the WUSS group. In addition, the WUSS Twitter handle will be answering any questions conference attendees have—all you have to do is tweet the question and the WUSS Twitter account will respond within minutes. Think of it as having a WUSS expert available to you 24/7 on your phone!

Do you have photography skills? You’re in luck! This year, WUSS will be holding a contest to see who can post the best picture on Instagram using the #WUSS14 tag that best depicts your WUSS experience in San Jose.

Want to join the social media conversation and win cool prizes?

An app to make life easier

A new WUSS 2014 app will be available in mid-August for download prior to the conference. The app will allow conference attendees to build a schedule by picking presentations that sound interesting to them based on the authors’ abstracts, which are available on the schedule builder. The WUSS app also can connect to social media to display tweets and Instagram photos that are posted. Download this free app to your smartphone—creating a minute-by-minute schedule will never be easier!

Let the people decide!

Instead of defining sections for presentations up front, WUSS has taken a data-driven approach to section creation this year. Presenters submit their abstract to a content area, and the conference sections are created based on the submissions. This new approach gives presenters more flexibility to submit topics of their choice. Two new sections have already been created as a result: Big Data and Professional Development. Expect these new sections to be very popular with Educational Forum and Conference attendees.

Are you bummed you missed a presentation and your peers told you how fantastic it was? WUSS will now hold encore sessions for really popular presentations. Now everybody will have a chance to see the all-star presentations!

Don’t forget about Resource Central

WUSS 2014 revamps the exhibit area and has given it a new name: Resource Central. Inside Resource Central, you will continue to see representatives from SAS and other sponsors, including Teradata, Gilead, DataCeutics, Experis, TalentMine LLC, Texas A&M and Veristat.

WUSS Theater will include SAS Super Demos as well as presentations from the sponsors, exhibitors and other speakers. The schedule will be posted on the program card, so check it out often. If you smell popcorn, the WUSS Theater is close by.

Solutions in the Round gives all attendees to participate in an exciting new discussion area. These facilitated interactive discussions will be based on topics that you the attendee will have a say in deciding. Join the discussion on our pages on LinkedIn, SASCommunity.org or Tweet your ideas to #WUSS14SITR then contribute to the discussions live at WUSS 2014.

With all this activity at WUSS2014, you may need to take a breather once or twice, so check out our WUSS Lounge area also in Resource Central.

Other news of note

Conference attendees can expect a unique presentation from keynote speaker AnnMaria De Mars to “Lean In” With SAS. Being a long time WUSS attendee, AnnMaria will provide a strong, informative presentation that will enliven the audience.

To encourage new SAS users to participate in the education forum and conference, WUSS is continuing to offer student, faculty and junior professional scholarships to ease the financial commitment of attending a conference. WUSS is also expanding the mentorship program to give students and new SAS users guidance when writing a paper and presenting. With a mentorship available, the stress of giving a presentation to other SAS professionals is greatly reduced.

The conference committee is making this year’s Education Forum and Conference the best yet! If you haven’t registered, be sure to register as soon as possible—early registration ends August 4. After that rates do go up, but you can still register online until the conference starts. On-site registration will also be available. Visit wuss.org for more information and stay-tuned on social media for live updates, including the announcement of site of our WUSS Happening Mixer!



About Author

Frank Ferriola

Frank Ferriola, WUSS 2014 Operations Chair

Frank is celebrating his 30th year of SAS programming in 2014 and is a Risk Consultant at Financial Risk Group, specializing in data management processes for financial institutions. He moved to Highlands Ranch, Colorado in 1997 and has attended, presented and volunteered at WUSS, SAS Global Forum and other user groups since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter @TotallyGruntled.

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